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Thread: Garth interview

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    Garth interview

    I saw Garth On the cover of a mazine and of course I had to buy it.
    The name of the magazine is Music Connection. It's a nice interview.
    For those who don't have it or you can't find it, I'll go ahead and type it here. Enjoy!

    GARTH BROOKS
    BY Gary Graff

    Next time you're driving across Oklahoma and see a cowboy riding into the sunset, it just might be Garth Brooks, country music super star and, he says, recent retiree form the scene he helped to revive when he began recording a dozen years ago. He says he's not kidding, either; though he's toyed with idea of leaving music at other points of his career, Brooks promises that with the release of last falls album Scarecrow - which soared to No 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and country charts - he's going to make good on the retirement that he announced during the fall of 2000.
    Brooks is giving up a lot; since his self-titled debut came out during 1989, he has sold more than 97 million albums and has won more Grammys, American Music Awards, Academy of Country music trophies and Country Music Awards than could be stored in the average house, mansion or ranch.
    He also deserves credit - along with country Class of '89 mates such as Clint Black and Alan Jackson with reviving a moribund country market and giving it a greater berth in the overall scheme, making the genre a regular presence on the pop charts and in mainstream media in general.
    But Brooks himself has been on rocky ride of late. He suffered a critical drubbing with his role-playing pop effort, Garth Brooks In...The life of Chris Gaines, an album he feels was 'misunderstood" and hopes will still have its day. Meanwhile, Brooks suffered the death of his mother, Colleen, from cancer, and he has separated from his wife Sandy. The couple returned to their native Oklahoma to live on opposite sides of a 2,000-acre farm, sharing time with their three dauthers - Taylor, 9, August, 7 and Allie, 5 - who Brooks says will be the chief beneficiaries of his departure from active duty in the music biz.

    MC: So where are you now in terms of your career? Are you indeed retired?
    Garth Brooks:
    I am exactly what I said I was; in November [2000] we announced our retirement, and in that announcement we said we have one project left to deliver to the record label, which will come out [in 2001], and we did that. [Scarecrow]is that project.
    So people who are writng that the retirement was just bunk or a hoax are [showing] journalistic laziness - or are just giving in to the temptation to make up these headlines that say the retirement is a hoax, because that sounds better than "Garth's doing what he said he'd do,"

    MC: It, of course, beg the question - why retire?
    Brooks:
    Just, this page ends for me. People ask me, my office asks me, "What do we do? How do you want to do it?" I said, "I would like for you to take a look at (San Diego Padres baseball star) Tony Gwynn's career; his last year was quiet and classy, and I'd like to do the same thing, and then my next page turns."
    He'll probably go into coaching; my next page, I'll go into writing. If it's not songs, then screenplay and movie writing - not to act and direct, but to write.
    That's where I go next, 'cause that's what my life now allows me to do. I've been living in Oklahoma for a year and a half between school and sports and all the things that come with children; writing works good for me. something I can do when I have free time.

    MC: As you ride off into the sunset, as it were, do you feel fulfilled as Garth Brooks, artist and performer?
    Brooks:
    Yeah. I felt it in albums like (1990's) No Fences. I felt it after the last tour as a touring artist ; that was the tour with Central Park as the crown jewel. But the greatest three days of my life were spent onstage in Dublin, Ireland. So yeah, I think in all those apsects - songwriting and stuff - I feel fulfilled, very much so.

    MC: Do you think you'll feel a void when you're not doing the music?
    Brooks:
    I don't know. Being competitive and being compassionate, your goal is to make whatever you've done before look small. So whatever we do next, you approach it with that hunger and that passion to pull it off.

    MC: Was it hard to get that same hunger and passion up for Scarecrow, or was it even easier since you considered it you last album?
    Brooks:
    When I first started, I made the mistake of wanting it to be an end-all, be all Garth record, to combine all the other records up in one. Allen [Reynolds, Brooks' producer] saw me thinking that way and really urged me not to be that way and just do what we've done on the other records, just make the record where Garth is at the time - or where I am at the time, whichever way you want to look at it - and that's what we did.

    MC: Was there one song that kind of set the album on a path you were happy with?
    Brooks:
    The end song, "When You Come Back to Me Again," was the song we built the album around. It was originally cut number four or five, which was represented well there, but as the end cut it really wraps the album up. So it seemed better there. That was the quality we were going for and the type of bigness we were trying to find.

    MC: We first heard it in another project though.
    Brooks:
    That's right - in the movie, Frequency. They had approached me to come and do it, but I hadn't written in two or three years, and told them that. I didn't want to take the meeting. Roy Lott, the president of our company out in Los Angeles, asked me to come do it as a favor for him, so I did it. I said "Guys, I don't do soundtracks and that stuff"; they said, "We're not looking for a soundtrack." I said "I'm not ready for a single now; they said, "We're not looking for a single. We're just looking for something that fits at the end of the movie, you're our guy that we want to talk to." I said, "At least you've got me interested now. You've taken away all my reasons not to do it. Let's see the movie." And when I saw the movie, I just fell in love with it. It was right when I'd lost my mom, and its about a guy's chance to get a parent back that he lost, knowing that it might change the history of the future of the world. And 99 times out of 100 we will say "no," but this guy said "Screw it, I'm going for it," and dealt with the changes that it brought. It was pretty cool, and it inspired me to write again.

    Can you explain the kind of "bigness" you wanted that you mentioned earlier.
    Brooks:
    I'm very ignorant when it comes to explaining music. So when I talk to my players and the people around me when we're together, I talk in colors. What I love about it is it actually paints the picture of what I see in my head. The steel guitar can be the lighthouse in one song, and the srings come in as it reflects off the water into an endless ocean, and it's just so beautiful.
    So things like the strings in "The Storm," if you listen closely enough, they rise and fall like the waves of the ocean and a stormy sea. In "Mr. Midnight" the piano paints that 2 a.m. feel, when all you hear is the cliking of the clock and the looneliness that job has in it, the empty halls when you're the only one in the building. Thnings like that were what we were trying to depict.

    MC: In the wake of September 11, the song "Thicker Than Blood" feels like it was written as a response, but like many of last fall's releases, one suspects its origins were considerably earlier.
    Brooks:
    "Thicker Than Blood" started in '90 or '91, and I had the first two verses for 10 years. An then Jenny Yates, who wrote it with me would just not let it go; she kept saying "you have to finish it. You have to finish it"
    Well, for this record she sat me down and said, "This is a song you need to finish," and asked me what wasn't finished about it.
    I said, "Well, I want to take it to a global level," And she said, "Well, what do you want to say?" I said, "Well, really, I'm confused. When I see people on TV killing each other over a strip of land that supposedly God left them, doesn't that seem contradictory to you?"
    From there came the bridge and the last verse of it. These things happen to us in music, and I'm just fortunate that Allen Reynolds is there. This is a song he held onto with both hands; it's my impersonation of James Taylor, and I didn't know if it fit with rest of the record. He said, "Pal, your core audience is just gonna love this song."
    He held onto it for us, and I was really glad it made the record. And now, after September 11, I'm really glad that I have something one there that does move with the mood of America, especially in these kinds of times. So, maybe the song can still be personal to me but somewhat healing for all of us. Maybe we can learn somethning from it.

    MC: "Beer Run," your duet with George Jones, had to be a thrill, even if there was a bit of a hassle over whether or not it would be a single.
    Brooks:
    Well, the great thing about "Beer Run: is the song itself, and George Jones makes it countrier than country and cooler than cool. The bad thing about it is it was gonna be the first single, until September 11, and then it just did not seem appropriate to release.
    I couldn't pull the trigger on it, and it killed me, because it's definitely one of the highlights of my career, to get to sing with George Jones. That would be a great way to lead the album and make sure there was no doubt that the album was country.
    So we waited and waited, and we had to pick a single and we decided to go with "Wrapped Up in You," and then meanwhile George put it out from his album. And a lot of (radio programmers) say, "We can't play two Garth songs," so they were picking and I was the reason why George wasn't being heard on the radio. And then in other places I was very lucky that I was part of George Jones being ondthe radio.
    The problems that arose were with a certain spokeswoman for him, and I told him when we got together that, for some reason, this woman has been after me for as long as I can remember. I've never talked to her, I don't think, other than for just a minute at Tammy Wynette's funeral, but she's just ragged on me since I got to [Nashville]. "When yuou work with George, something's going to happen with her,: and sure enough it did.

    MC: On Scarecrow, how did you decide on covering "Don't Cross the River," the song originally done years ago by the band America?
    Brooks:
    I feel very ignorant in saying this, but I'll just confess that I do not remember the America song. The version of the song that I have is on this album from Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver that I had in college, and I've loved it all these years.
    That was one song off the covers project we started to do that just kept appearing for us and wouldn't go away, and Allen suggested maybe starting to throw it in the mix for this album, We threw it in there just to see, and the longer it stayed there the stronger it got. And I was very happy that the song made it. It comes at a nice time on the album.

    MC: What's going to happen to the other covers you recorded?
    Brooks:
    They sit in the vault with about 30 other tunes that we've accumulated over the last 10 years, most of them coming from '95 on, 'cause we really didn't cut that much for the first four records. We didn't have the budget, so you'd always cut one or two over the 10 you were allowed to release, but not much more than that.

    MC: So, even if you're not actively pursuing music anymore, we'll probably see some relases from the vaults in the near future?
    Brooks:
    I don't know. I have a label that I feel very, very good about and hope that they stay around a long time, 'cause these guys seem to really be in it for the music. It's in their hands, and I'm thinking they'll treat it with quality. I hope.

    MC: What's your hindsight perspective on the Chris Gaines project?
    Brooks:
    Well, that album still kills me, and anyone that's got it, gets it. Allen Reynolds said to me, "Pal, I think you took what people think," and I'd never compare myself to this, but he said, "You took a John Wayne character and made a leap that was...too far."
    He said, "Maybe, if the entire cover and everything would've been black and they just based it on the music alone, maybe it might have been there." He said, "It also might have been a time in your career that it was your turn to get pounded, like all artists do."
    I think whatever the combination was, the music is what counts. It stands up for me, and it'll have its day; good music always does. And this is a great music project that was misunderstood. It's one of those things that you can only hope might be understood some day. And, of course, if the movie (The Lamb) woudld come out, that will hopefully set a lot of things straight for people about what the album is about and why I did it.

    MC: What are the prospects for The Lamb film these days? Will it ever go before the cameras?
    Brooks:
    Well, they say it will; according to Paramount they are looking for new writers now, because the first draft wasn't anywhere near the idea of what the movie is about. It just didn't buzz like the original idea, and I really think the original ideal is still very cool and they love it and they say they're going to stay after it. We'll see if they do that.

    MC: Will you play the character Chris Gaines?
    Brooks:
    I don't know, man. I'd still love for Chris to be somebody that is beautiful and looks and acts like [Aerosmith's] Steven Tyler. I'd love for him to be built like Steven and act like him and look like him.
    To me, the character sure as hell hasn't been a 6-foot-1, 225 pound guy; if I do play it, I'm gonna need to lose an ass and a half. [Laughs]

    MC: Do you feel like you've been appropreately appreciated?
    Brooks:
    You know, man. I think we all get that later. I really do. I never compare myself; but, like, Johnny Cash in in the Sixties - I'm sure a lot of people gave him hell 'cause he expanded over into rock. But now, looking back, Johnny Cash is the king.
    Same way with Hank Williams Sr., the way they told him not to come back to the [Grand Olde] Opry and stuff. I'm not in those people's class, but I think anything you're in, you don't get the credit you're going to get 20 years from now, when they look back.
    I mean even Michael Jordan, as highly as he's looked upon, we're really not going to know how great of a player he is until 20 years later, when there's nobody that came on like him.
    I think it's just a human thing, and knowing this is all part of a game. You're going to take hits, so you just ignore the stuff you think is solely for the use of selling publications. And the stuff that has credibility, you look at it, listen to it evaluate it and move on.

    MC: Have you every thought about setting the record straight one day with a book of your own.
    Brooks:
    No, simply because there's been, I think, seven biographies out, none of them authorized. I really don't read 'em, but sometimes you go through a page or two. There are some quotes in there from people that I love and who I think love me where I don't remember the story being that way.
    So if I write a book, it's simply going to be what my version of the truth is or how I remember it to be; but that doesn't mean it's going to be correct. So I'm not sure it's really something I want to do, simply because I don't want to stir up a bunch of crap.
    But I can guarantee you that a lot of it is night and day compared to what I've read, as far as what went down with guys that I know. The things about me that I've read, I think "God, that's crazy. It never happened that way."

    MC: So, as you "turn the page," as you say, is there an all time favorite song that you've recorded?
    Brooks:
    "The Dance," and this cut was not my favorite at first. But when we do it and the audience waits for the right part and come in and sings...I can't tell you what that's like.


    Sorry for the long post, but I hope you enjoyed reading it.

    Seira

  2. #2
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    Thanks for typing that up It's much appreciated

    allison.

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    Hi Seira! Welcome to PG!

    Thanks very much for typing all that out. Having done that before myself, I really appreciate it. It's a good article, thanks for sharing it with us.

    Ellie
    Have a Garthriffic Day!
    I AM CANADIAN!

    " Oh Canada, our home and native land,
    true patriot love, in all our son's command
    With glowing hearts we see the rise, the true north strong and free, oh Canada, Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee..."

  4. #4
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    Seira,

    Thanks so much for sharing that lengthy article with us!
    I appreciate you typing it up for us to read.
    welcome to PG also!

    -Diane
    "There's Faith,Hope and Love,and the greatest of these is love, that's cool" Garth Brooks on We Shall Be Free Video

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    Seira,

    That is a great interview. Thanks for taking the time to do that for all of us.

    --spud--

  6. #6
    Oh, GREAT interview!!!

    I am SOOO glad that you took the time to post that for us, Seira, that was so sweet, THANK YOU!!!

    I just love interviews with Garth like this. The guy asked some decent questions, Garth was obviously 'at ease' enough to just come right out and tell it like it is AND gave nice long answers, and they actually printed what appears to be the ENTIRE answer to the question. VERY COOL!!! THANK YOU, GARTH!!! And Gary Graff (at first I typed 'Garth Graff', all these G's got me pretty messed up for a second! ) And, again, THANKS SEIRA, that's a lot of work, but I know that everyone will really appreciate you taking the time to share it with all of us!!!

    DeeDee

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    Welcome to PG Seira
    Thank you for typing up the interview for us, it must have taken you ages It was a great interview.

    Hannah
    I'll never reach my destination
    if I never try,
    so I will sail my vessel till the river runs dry.

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    Very cool

    Jakob
    "You're entering a world of pain, son" - Walter, The Big Lebowski

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    AWESOME !

    Wow, thank you so much for typing all of that out for us!

    That was a great interview. I don't know that magazine, but I'm grateful that you do!
    J.

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    I'm glad you guys enjoyed the interview. Sorry for some of the typos. I was a little tired and trying to type as fast as I could. I tried to catch all my mistakes, but I guess I didn't catch all of them. I was very happy to type it up for you all. I didn't think this magazine was widely available. I don't know if this issue is still on the stands, but if it is and if anyone wants a copy let me know.

    Seira

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    Fantastic Interview!

    Thanks for posting it!

    My favorite parts:

    Can you explain the kind of "bigness" you wanted that you mentioned earlier.
    Brooks: I'm very ignorant when it comes to explaining music. So when I talk to my players and the people around me when we're together, I talk in colors. What I love about it is it actually paints the picture of what I see in my head. The steel guitar can be the lighthouse in one song, and the strings come in as it reflects off the water into an endless ocean, and it's just so beautiful.
    So things like the strings in "The Storm," if you listen closely enough, they rise and fall like the waves of the ocean and a stormy sea. In "Mr. Midnight" the piano paints that 2 a.m. feel, when all you hear is the clicking of the clock and the loneliness that job has in it, the empty halls when you're the only one in the building. Things like that were what we were trying to depict.
    sigh.. he is so amazing! Even his words are music to my ears! What I wouldn't give to sit and talk for hours with him. He stimulates my senses. He makes my big toe feel sensuous! God, I love him!

    ~Ann~

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to type the complete interview!
    It was wonderful!
    And welcome to PG!
    ALISON
    Canadian Garthfan

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    Seira, thank you SO much for typing that whole interview. It was great. And don't ever apologize for a long post, particularly when it is all about Garth!

    I've never heard of that magazine, but the author's name sounds familiar. Does it cover all genres of music?

    Paula
    Listen not to the critics
    Who put their own dreams on the shelf
    ~ How You Ever Gonna Know ~
    Kent Blazy/Garth Brooks

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    Hi Ann!

    I love that part of the interview! Garth really is very expressive and makes you feel what he feels. Would'nt we all love to sit down with Garth and have a heart to heart talk. I'm glad I was able to give you one more reason to *sigh* over Garth. I've done my share of sighing too. He's the best!

    Also, to everyone, thank you for welcoming me so warmly. PlanetGarth rocks!

    Seira

  15. #15
    Hi!

    Thanks. That was a lot of typing to do. And a very good article.

    carol
    wizard2c
    "Dance!Sing!Fun!2002!"

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    THANK YOU, Seira!!! I just love those really indepth interviews! And Garth did seem to feel comfortable enough to really speak his mind about a couple things. Great interview!

    Lisa
    Dreams can come true with God's great angels like you.
    Completely Wrapped Up in Garth, and loving it!

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    Another big THANK YOU Seira! Wonderful interview and so very kind of you to type it all out.

    CC

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    WOW...Thanks so much for the interview it was wonderful to read....boy oh boy he is an amazing man *sigh* lol

    Talk Care
    Sue

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    Siera,

    Thank you so much for taking all that time to type this wonderful interview for us all to read!

    Welcome to Planet Garth!

    Hope to see you posting more often!

    Monica

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    Oh this is good! When Garth talks about the guy in Frequency going for it in bringing his dad back, knowing he could change the history of the future of the world, that he wants to take Thicker Than Blood to a global level, and still claims The Lamb will have it's day because of the music, it only convinces me further that some day, that 'leap too far' called Chris Gaines, will show us this picture of music in living color as Garth sees it. And we'll wish we hadn't held him back by our lack of knowledge and acceptance.
    Also, he once again makes no doubt about it, when it comes to things said about him, the facts often aren't there. Yet, he feels unworthy to be depended on to set them straight?
    So people who are writng that the retirement was just bunk or a hoax are [showing] journalistic laziness - or are just giving in to the temptation to make up these headlines that say the retirement is a hoax, because that sounds better than "Garth's doing what he said he'd do,"
    . Guess that means the industry is not into the truth. It doesn't sell. Why not I ask? Or rather, I demand to know why as a consumer we have to put up with lies from people who don't have enough respect for the music, the fans, the artists, or THEMSELVES, to give us facts. Is it too hard to be honest in the music business? What's it become? What can we do about it? Oh boy! When I start asking too many questions I know I'm heading somewhere with this, but hopefully not alone. I've had it with the industry ripping me off. I just want what's real! Does it take a character in a movie to make me see that? Then I say, "Come quickly Chris Gaines!!"

  21. #21
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    I did a little search and found this magazine had a website where you can see the cover and the complete interview that Seira so wonderfully typed out (Music Connection). There are some pictures included in the interview (although no new ones that we all haven't already seen before).

    Paula
    Listen not to the critics
    Who put their own dreams on the shelf
    ~ How You Ever Gonna Know ~
    Kent Blazy/Garth Brooks

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    Come quickly Chris Gaines indeed...

    ...and while you are at it, bring that 'no good' fan of yours with you that Garth is forever gloating on. Let's see what SHE can do!

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