Kix Brooks Interview Part 2: Singer Shares How Songs on ‘New to This Town’ Reflect His Rowdy Past
This is your first solo album in 23 years? How are you feeling?
Well, anytime you work that hard on something you want people to like it, and I don’t know anybody that’s ever made an album that doesn’t listen to it and go, ‘Eh, I could have done this or I could have done that.’
I try not to get my expectations too high, just because I made a lot of music. I know there’s a lot of comparisons and expectations that will be made about Brooks and Dunn and certainly about Ronnie, and I’m obviously not the kind of singer that Ronnie is. But you know, I really enjoy doing what I do and I’ve had enough fans come and enjoy what I do that I feel like it’s worthwhile.
Did you go back and listen to your first solo album before beginning this project?
No. But I’ve heard it more than I need to [laughs].
How are the two experiences different?
Sonically, for sure I’m not very happy with that record. I had a road band at the time that I cut with that didn’t have a lot of studio experience. And it was just kind of an exercise that, in hindsight, I could’ve done it better. I think I probably tightened them up. My mission at that time was just to do something that was loose and live. But in hindsight, it probably tightened them up that maybe they didn’t play as loose as they would have.
The approach to this album was sort of the same in that aspect of, I just got my favorite studio players that now at this point, after 20 years, I’ve made so many records and cut so many demos and been in the studio so much with these guys that we’re old friends… It was really relaxed, and again I had enough songs that if this doesn’t work I didn’t sweat it I had another song that I couldn’t wait to get to and cut.
Do you think you would have been successful as a solo artist?
I can’t imagine that I would have had the success that Ronnie and I had together. Ronnie was a great singer back then, and he had a failed solo deal too. I have no idea why what we did worked the way it did. The whole thing was very unreal, magical and very hard to explain. I mean, Ronnie is obviously a great singer and we came up with some songs that I think we’re still real proud of, and Ronnie wrote some good ones by himself. ‘Neon Moon’ and ‘Boot Scootin’ Boogie’ he came to the table with. Those were obviously huge hits early on. I was blessed with a good partner and a great singer and whatever it was that made the duo work Lord only knows.
What’s more difficult to begin: A solo career or a radio career?
Neither one of them are easy. The radio career was tough, especially because the countdown show is only once a week. So, for all those great radio guys out there that get to talk everyday, I’m really jealous. There’s a mindset and a tempo that goes with talking to people you can’t see. And I kinda have to re-visualize that and reacquaint myself with that process every week.
And it’s taken quite a few years just to get comfortable with it. I really look forward to doing it now. It’s something I do really enjoy and Cumulus just signed me up for another three years and I’ll also be doing a nighttime show from midnight to five in the morning five nights a week.
When was the last time you got an offer to reunite with Ronnie?
People try to get us together every week [laughs].
Are people offering big dollars?
We’re not entertaining offers right now. Both of us got stuff going on and it’s not about the money right now.