Uncle Kracker – Interview [2002]

Uncle Kracker

On the road with Uncle Kracker. Matt, aka UK, is on his way to pick up one of his motorcycles. A Harley of course.

So are you taking your bike on the tour with you?

Yeah, that way every city I’ll have it sitting there. Bob (Kid Rock) brings his Harley and usually rides it all by himself. So this time I wanted to bring mine.

When did you find the time to record the album?

In the middle of December. I had to squeeze it in before Cocky toured in Europe. The label wanted me to wait until the tour was over, but I couldn’t wait. Then we did this show in Germany for the troops and it was a week long thing and when I got back I put a studio together and recorded it.

Did you have any songs done?

Nah, there were only three songs. The other ten were written and recorded in those few weeks. So I averaged a song every day and a half I think. I had no options. I didn’t have anything, which is pretty much the story of my life because I’m never ready for anything. (we both laugh)

The record label didn’t have a time they wanted you to get a record done?

No, they just expected to be waiting around and I couldn’t just do that.

Did you ever imagine the first record was going to have the legs it had?

God, it’s been around forever. I still hear “Follow Me” shit everywhere I go. I think that is what actually killed the next single because they wouldn’t stop playing it.

Which tracks did you have written?

There is a song called “To Think I Used to Love You”. I wrote that during the first six months of the release of the first record Double Wide. In the first six months it never sold and I wrote it about the music business, even though everyone will think I wrote it about my old lady. (we both laugh) “Drift Away” was somebody else’s. “Keep It Comin’” is a song I did for a soundtrack originally and decided that I’d just keep it for myself.

How did you come to cover “Drift Away”?

It was something I was always doing live. It fit everything I was doing, it was a soul song and it was everything I was doing at the time. It went over so well live I decided to do it, even though I hate to do covers.

I really like “Memphis Soul Song”. Where did you pull that one?

It actually started out as a track about strippers. All that Memphis soul stuff is very moving and very authentic. I thought it could be a good serious track and ballad, but not corny. Instead of everything coming up roses, I thought I’d go for doing a ballad and keep my dignity.

I remember talking to you before the first record and you had been touring relentlessly with Kid Rock and you said the hardest thing was being away from your daughters so I wasn’t surprised to hear “Letter to My Daughters”.

When I was finishing Double Wide the idea for the song to my daughters came up when I was working with David Alan Coe. He’s an old country singer, he did (begins to sing) “you don’t have to call me darling/ darling/ you never even called me by my name”. I asked him to write a song to my daughters and I finished up Double Wide. He called me up and told me he finished the song. So I sat on the song long enough to change it, because I had a daughter on the way and didn’t want to single one out, so I rewrote it. That is my favorite song on the record because it is a song to my daughters about missing out on the things that I shouldn’t be missing. If something were to ever happen to me, god forbid, at least there is something talking to them and letting them know I do care.

How cool is this tour with Aerosmith?

Someone worked that out, I guess Kid Rock worked that out. Watching Run-Dmc every night won’t be bad. That was probably my favorite shit growing up. Even Aerosmith too.

That’s what I’m saying. First off, growing up you never expect they’ll still be around decades later and here you are touring with them.

Yep. (Laughs)

Do you ever get a chance to talk to fans?

I do, but you know I’m such a freak about shaking hands and shit like that. I used to bite my nails a lot and it used to get sick all the time and I could never figure out why I always had a cold. I’m a weirdo about shaking hands; I’ll walk a mile out of my way so I don’t have to shake anyones hands. I love kids and I love to sign autographs though.

I’m a freak about not touching door knobs, especially on the bathroom. (we both laugh)

Totally, I don’t even wash my hands in the bathrooms because there is more cock on the handles than there is in the entire place.

At least you know where you’ve been. I’m the same way, that is so funny. (We both laugh)

Is there anything you always get asked that is kind of annoying?

Everyone asks me about Bob and Pam (Anderson). Everyone asks ‘so, what is Pam like?” and I’m like, ‘I don’t know’. Everyone also asks, ‘what’s it like to tour with Kid Rock?’ and I tell them ‘well we go to church on Sunday and have regular prayer meetings’. (we both laugh)

I never even thought of those questions, so I’m wondering if I’m slacking a bit here.

(Laughs) No, it’s a good thing.

(They roll close to Uncle Kracker’s bike)

Are you getting your bike so you have the moment of freedom from the tour while riding?

Totally. Once we have our bikes we can go wherever. We can follow the bus from city to city. As long as the weather is nice you can just start rocking.

Do you ever get to go off and check something out because the buses pretty much keep a pretty steady pace as they drive?

Yeah. We don’t get stupid, but we tag along.

It breaks up the monotony.

Totally, everyday is the same shit. Now we can break away and we don’t have to wait for a limo or someone to come and pick us up.

Do you have walkie-talkies?

No, damn, we should look into that. You mean the kind you just put in your ear and just ride?

Yeah, that’d be pretty cool.

Man, seriously I’m going to look into that. That way we can talk and drive at the same time. I’m going to look into that tomorrow.

You play video games on the road?

Yeah, I’m still trying to finish that Max Payne shit on Playstation 2.

I have that game. I’m still trying to finish Grand Theft Auto 3.

Man I have that too, I started it but I couldn’t get the car anywhere. I was just taking that thing and running over people.

I was into driving the semi and running everything over, hell with solving things.

I didn’t know you had to solve anything, I just thought you were supposed to run over hookers. (we both laugh) Proof, the dj for Eminem will two-way and he’ll say about Grand Theft Auto: “when life has got you down there is one thing we can count on is Grand Theft Auto 3 to relieve us of the frustrations of everyday life”. (we both laugh)

+ charlie craine