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    Exclusive Interview
Pat Green

Detroit Music Notes had the honor of interviewing Grammy Nominated country superstar, Pat Green.  Boasting the largest opening act in the country, Pat Green displays all the characteristics of a superstar.  Pat's latest offering , 'Way Back Texas', is skyrocketing up the charts and placing Pat at the elite of his group.  It is a distinct honor that we were able to catch up with Pat just before he opened the Detroit stop of Kenny Chesney's Flip Flop Tour 2007.  It is with great pleasure that we present Mr. Pat Green.



What is new in Pat Green country?

I am just getting ready to head back into the studio in November and trying to get my thoughts together and write a few songs.  I’m also finishing up the Kenny Chesney tour, heading to Detroit tomorrow.  (Laughing)  The enormo-dome! Can’t play any bigger place than Ford Field in Detroit!

How did you discover your singing voice?  What was your first break?

I guess it’s one of those singing in the shower kind of moments.  I guess I found out that I can sing ‘in tune’.  That was the only thing that encouraged me is that if I can sing the same notes and it sounds the same in my head then I can move forward.  I can never or have ever sounded like a great singer but the guys that I really loved the most didn’t have a great singing voice that attracted me, but it was the believeability of how they sang and what they sang that got me.  People like Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash.  You can’t say that they are ‘glassy’ smooth or anything great like that.  I guess my first break came when Willie Nelson put me on the Fourth of July picnic down in Lukenback, Texas and I had my 15 minutes to prove myself.  The crowd just embraced us and it’s been uphill ever since.  I don’t think there is ever a ‘downhill’ in Country Music!

When and where were you the first time you heard your voice on the radio?

Oh, I was at my house in Waco, Texas.  I had just gotten done with college and moved home and got a place with a buddy of mine, who was my tour manager at the time.  Don’t ask me why we picked going back to Waco instead of Austin or Dallas!  That was where we were from so we just kind of went back there.  I was in the front yard, in my car, and of course you hop out and turn it up as loud as you can and you go beat on the windows and tell everyone to come out of the house.  There is no doubt about it, it was a thrill.  You can have the independent thing as long as you want it and you can play that to the hilt.  But sooner or later you have got to get on the radio to break down the bigger walls and really have a voice and an impact out there.  It’s a breakthrough when you hear that.

Who has inspired you and who is your inspiration today?

I don’t mean to be all sappy and weird, but, my girl has been with me since we were kids and I’ve always drawn to that relationship if I’m going down that road.  All I have to do is think about her and be honest about how I am feeling.  The honesty of the emotion is what makes the connection between the writer and the listener.  It has to be a truly felt thing or else it sounds contrived and feels contrived.  So actually I am fortunate to be in love with my wife.  As far as other writers who inspire me and how to put words together, the Guy Clarks, Pete Yorn, of course Willie Nelson always had a strange, left field kind of way of putting words together.  Sheryl Crow…  She’s great.  She is kind of straight down the middle and easy to get.  Then there is Dave Matthews who sure has a very abstract way of doing things and I appreciate all of that.

What is your songwriting process?

Um, Wow.  I don’t know that I have ever had a process.  I used to think that a good glass of red wine and a quiet space but some of the better songs that I have written have come when the kids are screaming and running through the house.  I’m don’t really know that I have a pattern, just whenever the mood strikes.

I’ve read that you started playing guitar to ‘pick up chicks’.  Did that work?

Man, you know, that’s the funny thing.  You say one thing and that follows you around for the rest of your life.  That’s just an easy thing for people to go to in my bio.  You know that when any man goes to college, he’ll do anything to pick up girls.  And to me, the guitar seemed like something I was already good at!

What was your first guitar?

My first guitar was a Yamaha.  It was just one of their starter electric guitars and my folks hated it.  I was a senior in high school when I started playing.  So basically, my parents told me that I couldn’t play anymore, I was too loud.  So I put the guitar down till I got to college and I traded in my Yamaha electric for a Washburn acoustic guitar and I played all day, every day.  I honestly play now as good as I did back then because I practiced for a solid year, three or four hours. 

What was the first song that you learned to play on guitar?


Favorite song to perform live?

When you get the Grammy nominations and your first gold record it is hard to get away from the track that brought you there.  That song was ‘Wave on Wave’.  In all honesty, I look back to what I consider to be my best independent record and the title track was called ‘Carry On’.  I look back at that song; I loved it so much.  That’s all I can say.  It was just a monster track.

How is the audience reacting to your new material off of your latest CD, ‘Cannonball’?

They are reacting great.  That is what got me back on Kenny Chesney’s tour, it produced another top ten hit and right now the current single, ‘Way Back Texas’, was the fastest moving song on the charts as of last week.  It is hard to argue with the grand machine which is the music business!

What CD is currently in your vehicle or Ipod?

Well, I’ve been on the tour bus since April!  I haven’t really driven my car!  My wife actually sent me a bunch of songs kind of in a mix.  You know, just a minute.  I can look it up on my computer the last record that I purchased off of I Tunes.  You are not going to believe this.  It was Crowded House, Temple of Low Men.  That is the last one that I bought!  But I have always been a Neil Finn fan.  Everybody has Crowded House’s first record but all the writers that I am friends with told me that Temple of Low Men was Neil’s best work and I have to agree.  It is such a strange follow up to such a straight down the middle record.  It sure makes you think.


What are some hobbies of yours?

I am a big golfer.  I feel that most people in my business either sit around the bus all day long becoming addicted to whatever they are addicted to or they get out and get some exercise or go fishing or whatever.  So I like to go golf. 

How is your golf game?

Pretty good!  I am a decent golfer.  I’ve won a few tournaments.  My only claim to fame in golf is that I won the celebrity Pro – Am on the nationwide tour which is the secondary tour to the PGA.  I won that one and got to meet Kevin Costner, John Elway and Emmit Smith.  Who is Elaine’s boss on the television show Seinfeld?  I beat him!  Mr. Peterman!  That’s his name!  I got a free BMW out of the deal!  I thought what am I going to do with a BMW?  So I sold it. 

What do you prefer?  BMW or Pickup Truck?

I drive a pickup truck!

Coming from Motown, is it a Chevy, Ford or Dodge?


If you weren’t in the music industry, you could see yourself pursuing a career as what?

(Laughing)  Inspirational Speaker!!  Before music was along, I always wanted to work with kids.  So, probably summer camp kind of situation.  I love kids.  I love being around kids.  I think that kids make you young.   

What is your most visited website?

You know, that is a great question.  Let me look on my computer at my favorites list and I can tell you.  (Laughing)  I hate to be weird, but PGA.com.  The PGA website is a big deal.  I have a bunch of friends on the tour and second to that would have to be the Texas Lotto!  See if I won!  Everybody wants an early retirement don’t they?  Believe me, I am not afraid of it, that’s for sure.  I’d still go out and do my shows but I guarantee you that I wouldn’t be gone from the house 150 day’s a year!

Greatest thing about touring on Kenny Chesney’s ‘Flip Flop Summer Tour’?

I would say just the access.  Free drinks are a definite plus, but that access that we get to radio and the vehicle that is our industry.  It is a very difficult thing to navigate in the first place but when you get the chance to make any of that easier you should always jump on it. 

What is the most special part of your career?

Hmm.  Coming home.  The home coming after the tour.  That is the best part.

Tell me about your association with the American Red Cross.

Man, it’s a pretty simple deal.  I don’t want to be the guy on the table when they say “hey man, we’re out”.  Doing what we do for a living is a great cush job.  I don’t feel like it’s our social responsibility, blah, blah, blah.  I think it would be insulting if you didn’t lend a hand and doing so without mixing in your political views and whatever bullshit you are dragging around.  It’s more like: Do something good for other people as a standard.  When you have a job like mine, it really becomes a standard because I can make an impact just by showing up. 

What was some of your first jobs?

Oh great.  I did asphalt work, it was great.  It was very humbling.  I was an electricians assistant.  I worked in the bookstore when I was in college.  I’m kind of a bookworm.  Of course I worked at summer camps every summer in college.  Most of the times on high ropes, high adventure instructor like teaching kids climbing and rappelling, caving, whitewater rafting and that kind of stuff.  That was probably my most gratifying job that I have ever had.  You know, teaching kids to trust other kids or other people.  That is a huge thing for a lot of people.  They never really learn how to trust another person. 

Your collaboration with Sara Evans on Finders Keepers paired two completely different vocal styles in true harmony.  Do you have any other collaborations in mind?

Do you know anybody who has Sheryl Crow’s number?

When it’s all done, what do you want to be remembered for?

I just want my wife to remember me as a good husband and a good father for my children.  That is all that really matters.  If anybody else tells you different, their lying. 

Do you get the chance to bring your wife and kids on the tour?

Oh sure.  July was pretty tough.  We played 25 shows in 28 days and that was a pretty tough month to bring the kids up.  But, every other month on this tour she has brought them up for a couple weeks.

How do you keep your voice in shape?

Plenty of beer and cigarettes!  Just kidding!  I don’t do any of that!  A lot of people really struggle with their voices but I just never really have.


Do you have any pre-show routine that you follow?

Nope, none.  I just get together with the band in the dressing room and hang out.  We usually just pick on somebody then the tour manager comes in and say’s “Hey boys, quit talking and let’s go.  You know, I want it to be something thrilling and every night Kenny Chesney has a toast  and anybody who is back stage can come into this one room  that is called ‘The Vibe Room’ and everyone toasts and it is a big shin dig.  But I really don’t have anything. 

Any parting words for your true Pat Green fans out there?

Hmm, any parting words.  Well, I hope you show up early to Ford Field.  I am the first act.  I am the number one opening act in the country this summer on the biggest tour so, show up early!