Brad Paisley on Taking Humor Seriously

“It Feels Safer to Be Funny," He Shares

Brad Paisley was a featured speaker at this week’s Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, and the theme was The Art and The Artist.

But he revealed so much more just the artistry of his art.

He told the industry crowd that he wasn’t 100 percent sure if his humor ever stood in the way of his music. “I don’t know,” Paisley said, “but I don’t care.”

It wasn’t always that way, though. Paisley admitted that when he was a new artist, he used humor as a defense mechanism. “I had to learn the hard way when not to try to be funny,” he said.

Then he shared an insider secret: that all the country artists singing country songs aren’t necessarily cowboys.

“There are very few George Straits that really do rope and ride most of the day. When you become an artist, you get a stylist, and you’re wearing things you would never wear to Whole Foods. So we’re all playing a bit of dress up,” he said. “It feels safer to be funny with it.”

“There’s always this underlying smart ass,” he added. “I definitely diffuse with humor.”

But it can be exhausting, he said, for him to try and be cool.
And the perfect example of that happened a few awards shows ago, when he was nominated for the award for the Academy of Country Music’s male vocalist.

“I remember one time at the ACMs, and I thought I looked good. And I see Jason Aldean just cracking up. I look, and there’s a 30/34 all the way down my pants. On my brand new jeans,” Paisley recalled.

Paisley has a week off before his tour starts back up in Bloomington, Ill. on Feb. 15.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.