Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Just Chatting with Justin Moore? - BadGroove.com

Country music star Justin Moore presents a donation to the Hershey Volunteer Fire Company on behalf of Crown Royal, prior to his show on March 26, 2015 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Zimbio/ Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images North America)

So last Thursday at the “day job” I spent part of my lunch hour just chatting away with Justin Moore. Yes THAT Justin Moore. Just us chatting away – like that is an everyday occurrence. Yep – it was one of those rare but uber cool “pinch me okay not really because I hate to be pinched” moments thanks to this here little blog of mine. But you thought this was a NASCAR blog, right? That hasn’t changed- it totally is. Let me start by explaining the correlation:

The last several years Crown Royal has been the title sponsor of the Brickyard 400 and part of that title sponsorship is the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard program. I have posted about this program in years past- as a matter of fact here is my winner announcement post from last year’s “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400. It’s a cool program and if you have a local hero in your community or family- you should definitely take a few minutes to enter them for the chance to be recognized at this year’s race at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Nominations are open through April 12th 2015- so you don’t have much longer to be able to nominate your heroes.

Also if you visited the post about last year’s winner- you will see pictures of country musician Justin Moore with last year’s namesake, John Wayne Walding. Justin has been involved in the “Your Hero’s Name Here” program for several years as well. And that is how I got the chance to chat with Justin about his involvement in “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 as well as other things. So now on to the good part- the interview:

Amy: I just want to start by talking about the Crown Royal Brickyard 400 and how you got involved with that because I know you have been working with them for several years now right?

Justin: Yeah- I’ve had a great relationship with Crown Royal now for four or five years and this was one of the cornerstones, foundations of our relationship was the “Name Your Hero” program. You know, I tell you what, I’ve been able to experience a lot of cool things and have a lot of great opportunities with the career that I’ve been blessed with but this one has been one of the ones that are at the top of the list for me. I grew up in a little tiny town where people who deserve these type of honors exist but they don’t get the honor because nobody knows. That is what is so great about this program. So it’s really cool for me and rewarding for me to be able to be a part of this for what I believe is my fifth year.

Amy: Do you have any personal heroes?

Justin: I do! For me besides our military service men and woman, for me it’s all family. My mom and dad are great examples of what not only parents should be but to me and my wife what a husband and wife should be. So they are right up at the top of the list. And also my grandfather who passed away unfortunately about five years ago from cancer. He was John Wayne to me. He along with my mom and dad would be my top picks.

Amy: Are you a race fan?

Justin: I am a race fan. I was telling somebody earlier that the first race that I ever watched in its entirety for whatever reason, was the 500 where Earnhardt unfortunately passed. So I don’t know what it was, it wasn’t necessarily that particular catastrophic ending, but that particular race kinda got me hooked on NASCAR. I’ve been a big fan ever since and I have become fortunate to become really good friends with some drivers and some crew members. You know,I have a lot of respect for what those guys, both inside the car and outside the car do.

Amy: Do you have a favorite driver that you pull for?

Justin: I do- I am really good friends with Carl Edwards. He was in one of my music videos a few years back and we became really good friends, so I always have to root for my boy Carl. But I have other friends who drive as well. I have become really good buddies with Austin Dillon who is in the three now. There are multiple guys out there now that I pull for, but I gotta stick with the guy I became buddies with first- Carl!

Amy: I am going to switch gears a little bit. I want to talk about what it’s like for you to play at such an iconic venue like Madison Square Garden.

Justin: I am hoping it’s great. It will be my first time getting to play Madison Square Garden. I’ve played so many venues that I guess would be considered bucket list venues- but it’s one of the ones we have not been able to play yet so I am looking forward to it. For a kid from a town in Arkansas of three hundred people, to have the opportunity to step on stage at a place like that in front of however many thousands of people that is, it’s truly mind blowing and unbelievable so I am obviously looking forward to it.

Amy: Do you get nervous in a moment like that?

Justin: Nah, that’s what we do! You know the only place that I get nervous to play ever is church or the Grand Ole Opry. One of my musical heroes if you will who I told that story to, Charlie Daniels, I told him that and he said “You know why that is don’t you?” and I said “No sir, I don’t” and he goes “That’s because it matters to you.” So I thought that was pretty cool.But other than that I don’t really get nervous, you get more excited than anything.

Amy: So what are you most proud of so far in your career?

Justin: Well it would be hard to pick that. You know thanks to radio and thanks to fans, we have enjoyed seven years of success with very little negative energy. But playing the Grand Ole Opry whenever I can is always a proud moment. The fact that I’ve been able to win a country music award last year for an award show that I have watched since I was five years old with my parents. It was unbelievable to get to step on that stage and accept that award. The fact that we’ve sold almost two million albums is just incredible to me. It would be hard to pick one- it’s kind of like picking one of your kids. I think, not to speak out of both sides of my mouth, I think to me the coolest thing, and I talked about this with my dad not too long ago, is the fact that I have the opportunity to employ over twenty people and help them provide nice lives for their families is probably the coolest part of my career to be honest with you. (Amy: That’s an interesting aspect that I wouldn’t have thought of.) Justin: Yeah if you would have told me ten years ago that I would be able to employ that many people and have a business that’s grown to be the size that it is and the operation be as significant as it is- I would have probably called you a liar.

Amy: I have to ask, what was it like working on the NASHVILLE OUTLAWS, the Motley tribute, did you get to work directly with Vince? (An aside from Amy well after the interview: I was so excited about this album when I heard it was coming out- I downloaded it the day it came out! And Home Sweet Home is my favorite on the album. I am not just saying that- I am kind of picky when it comes to covers).

Justin: I did yeah! Probably the most ridiculous thing I have done in my career- is that I have Nikki Sixx and those guys phone numbers in my phone- it’s beyond ridiculous! I believe as of yet we’re the only artist to have put a single out from that album, which was “Home Sweet Home.” All four of the guys from crue were in the video which was a lot of fun. You know, for everything that’s written and said about them, they were just unbelievably humble and gracious and it was just awesome. It was a really cool experience to get to do that. It’s something that not very many people can say that they had the opportunity to do.

Amy: So what’s on repeat on your playlist?

Justin: If it’s not old school country, I probably don’t have it. I’m terrible. Half the time when my own songs on the radio I don’t even know where it is on the radio so I am more of an old school guy. I’m into 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s country. Any George Strait, Alan Jackson, Hank Jr, anything like that- that’s what you’ll find on my playlist.

Amy: And I have one last question for you. If you were to create your ultimate tour what would it be?

Justin: Oh wow- that’s a tough one there. Probably just me and Dwight Yoakum. He’s my favorite artist of all times and I don’t even care the order- I would go out and open for him or whatever. I’m just a huge fan of his. He was and always has been like Elvis Presley is to me.

I just want to thank Justin again for taking the time to answer my questions for BadGroove. And by again, I mean I think I thanked him at least two or three times while on the phone with him- I kind of remember that when I transcribing the interview- when I wasn’t cringing at the sound of my own voice.

BadGroove is my little corner of the web where I talk about racing and life as a die-hard fan of Tony Stewart. My regular readers know that. What you don’t know about me- unless you know me personally is that I love music and am a big music fan. Not just of one specific genre either. My iTunes playlists are varied and eclectic. Pick any of my playlists and you never know what the next song is going to be. As proof of that here are the last five songs from the last playlist I listened to on my iTunes: Mr. Policeman- Brad Paisley, American Bad Ass- Kid Rock, Gasoline- Kicking Harold, Walk- Pantera, (We’re not) The Jet Set- George Jones &Tammy Wynette and this particular playlist. Not represented from that sampling: pop, rap, Broadway show tunes, crooners and more. As a matter of fact the name of this blog actually comes from a fairly esoteric hair metal song from the nineties. My Sirius presets in my car in order: Highway Country, Hair Nation, Ozzy’s Boneyard, 80s On 8, Pop2K, NASCAR Radio. To say that this was cool and an honor would be an understatement.

Anyway- It is weird to me when I am presented with uber cool opportunities like this because of this blog….this “hobby” that has become so much more than that. This is another one of those experiences I can honestly say would have never been on the bucket list only because I would have never thought something like this would happen. I hope you enjoyed. And thanks again Justin- aren’t you glad I answered the phone?! I sure am.

Country music star Justin Moore visits the Hershey Volunteer Fire Company to drop off tickets for his show that night, courtesy of Crown Royal, on March 26, 2015 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Zimbio/Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images North America)


I picked the photos that accompany this post because they were taken the same day I did the interview with Justin Moore).


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