Dierks Bentley has been on the road nonstop for the past few weeks promoting his new album Riser. When he was in Chicago on Thursday (Feb. 27), I asked him what kind of dad he was when he wasn't on the road.
"The best kind," he joked. "I'm really competitive in general, so I want to be the best dad ever."
He gave me a few examples of how hard he's striving for that title.
1. Bentley has been stressing for months about where to send his oldest daughter Evie for kindergarten. (He actually had me weigh in on the matter, asking how I chose private over public schools for my own three kids.) "I'm just very involved," he told me.
2. He chronicles everything his kids do. Not as eloquently as his wife Cassidy does, he said, but still he tries to document all the moments big and small in the kids' lives.
3. He flies himself to shows -- not to be the cool guy who flies himself to shows but because it gives him one extra night and morning to be at home earning the best dad title. "I used to never have free time to fly before because of my work, but now I do it because of my work," Bentley explained of the irony. "When you're busy with kids, you have to kind of combine your work and your life and your hobbies. My hockey's fallen off a little bit, but my airplane time has picked up."
But by far, I think what makes Bentley miles ahead of other guys vying for the best dad title is what he calls "the treatment." His baby boy Knox isn't quite old enough yet, but it sounds like Evie, 5, and Jordan, 3, are his perfect little opponents.
"My brother Fife is 10 years younger than me, and we wrestled all the time. So I started this -- what we call "the treatment" -- on Fife. I practiced all of these moves on him, and now I'm using it on my children," he laughed. "I pin their arms down and give them the chop suey hands or the knuckle of justice. We hit it hard. And they love every minute."
You can see this side of Bentley in the TV edit of his film Riser, which documents his private and public life following the death of his father through Knox' birth. And yes, it shows him giving "the treatment."