Before his upcoming show at the Sweetwater County Fair, country music star Drake White spoke with Michael & JJ on the Q96 Morning Show on 96.5 KQSW (an affiliate of Wyo4News). Drake spoke about his latest album The Big Spark, his musical influences and being an Alabama fan and an Auburn fan.
Michael & JJ: Congratulations on the success you and your band the Big Fire, have had with your latest album The Big Spark, which is an interesting name for an album. Is there a story behind the name?
Yeah, yeah. So, I grew up in the outdoors. My grandpa was an avid sportsman and so was my dad. We would always go state parks and places like that, and kind of existing and hanging out around a fire. We were always telling stories around it, playing music, ya know? And my grandfather told me one time that that was the world’s first social network, was a campfire. That really became a part of me as I grew older. As I kind of started forming this album, the first initial reaction to, ya know, build a fire is that spark. So, this is the first record that I’ve been able to release as an artist and the name just seemed fitting.
Michael & JJ: We’ve read about the influences of the album, which we thought you put in the proper order: Your wife, your hometown church, your grandfather—who is the preacher—and your dog.
(laughs) Alex, my wife, she is just so chill. There’s a lot of times when I’m writing a song and I’ll ask her what she thinks and she’ll give me an honest opinion. She’s not a musician, she just loves music. She influences my life as much as anything. And my grandfather, and growing up in the church, that soulfulness of what that is and having that conviction in what you believe and what you sing, is something that I’ve always carried with me. I’ve also got a 10-year-old golden retriever that I bought when I moved to Nashville and I named him Songwriter just to remind me just to pick up my pen. Instead of wasting my day, or doing whatever, just pick my pen up and jot my thoughts down. Those turn into songs, those thoughts. So, Songwriter rounds out that equation. It’s a true statement, for sure.
Michael & JJ: Does Songwriter come on tour with you guys?
He does not… because Alex won’t really allow it. She says I’m gone 200 days a year, the least I can do is leave the dog at home to have a man around the house (laughs).
Michael & JJ: You’re from Alabama. So, we have to ask, are you an Alabama fan or an Auburn fan?
It’s such an interesting dichotomy. I graduated with a degree in engineering from Auburn in 2007 and I grew up a huge Alabama fan because of my grandfather. Someone in my family was actually the team dentist for the Tide. So, we grew up huge Alabama fans, and I remain loyal to Alabama although I obtained a degree from Auburn. It’s a very weird thing but I like ‘em both. I know people hate to hear that—Auburn fans hate to hear that and say that’s impossible—but ya know, I don’t really care. I like ‘em both.
Michael & JJ: So, you’re either ‘Roll Tide’ or ‘War Eagle’, it doesn’t really matter?
I’ll pull for Alabama when they’re playing Auburn.
Michael & JJ: The one thing that is very unique about you is your head gear. Do you have a vast collection of hats?
(laughs) I do. I’ve always enjoyed a good lid, man. It’s something that kind of dates back to being a kid. I’ve always just been drawn to them. I think that a hat finds you, you don’t really find a hat. People that wear hats, you know, you put that hat on and it just kind of becomes a part of your personality, whether it be a baseball hat or a ‘Baggar Vance’ golfer hat, or a hundred percent beaver or a rabbit hat, like I wear on stage. And I’ve always liked it since I was a boy. I never really intended it to be my “stage look”. I mean, I’ll throw on a baseball hat and jump on stage now. It’s just what we put pictures in—it’s what the brand kind of is, is those hats—and I love ‘em, so I rock ‘em.
Be sure to catch Drake White at Wyoming’s Big Show on Thursday, August 3rd. He’ll be opening for LOCASH at 7:30 pm at the Sweetwater Events Complex.