This week, Kip Moore has his first Top 10 with “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck.” Kip is from Tifton, Georgia. He’s been in Nashville for 9 years. He began work on this record over two years ago. His debut CD will be released this Tuesday. We sat down with Kip Moore to talk about his life and his music.
You’re not the first country singer from Tifton GA: You’re talkin’ about Cindy Thompson. She’s a good girl. She was a little older than me, actually good friends with my brother, I didn’t get to know her til I moved to Nashville. Her cousin knows my mom, but that’s about it. I came here in 2003, and right about that time she got out of the business.
What’s the key has been in your career? Being a student of the records I love. Springsteen, Willie, Petty, and Kristofferson. I spent so many nights not only practicing, but listening to classic records, asking why I love them, going to live shows, making the connection of why people fall in love with those artists. Those guys I listen to, the ones that molded me, they changed my life. It was a long gradual process for me.
When did you begin writing songs? High school. I was always writing, but I kept them to myself. I did the bar band circuit in South Georgia, and every now and then we’d work in songs I’d written. You realize no one wants to hear your original songs, they want to hear Margaritaville. That’s what’s so neat about now. People are singing my songs now.
When were you in this band? In college. We played weekends, and that’s how I cut my teeth, that’s how I learned to engage a crowd, it was a good education.
Talk about your guitar playing: I feel solid as a player. I spent a lot of time doing it. Back in high school, I’d have said the same thing. But I taught myself playing to the records. But I also picked up things from my band.
If they tell you that you can’t do something, that usually makes you work harder? I got that stubborn gene. Like in basketball, I’m 5 foot 10, and all the players were much taller. I always had my back against the wall. I learned to fight and scrape my way through it. I was born with that trait. I don’t mind being told no, because that gets me to yes.
Other than music, what’s been your biggest accomplishment? Sports? Yeah, possibly. My dad was a straight shooter. I love him for it. He was a golf pro. I didn’t start playing til late in high school. I’d ask him about it, and he told me it wasn’t too good. So he changed his tune a year later. Then I went on to compete in tournaments. There are lots of things like that, done my dangedest to prove ‘em wrong. Nine years ago, I had a big producer tell I wasn’t ready. He was really honest with me. For a day I was mad, and then I got better.
Brett James is your producer, and what’s your experience with Brett? He’s a positive guy for sure. What Brett has done is he gave me a really long leash. A lot of publishers won’t let you record anything unless it’s commercial. He let’s me record anything I want. I learned from that. Such a thing other publishers can learn from him.
Who are your co-writers on this album? Keifer Thompson of Thompson Square is one of my oldest friends, and we’ve got one on the record. I’ve got a couple on his. Clifton Davis is a guy who people haven’t heard of. Dan Couch. Lotta no-names, but they’re crazy talented.
What’s the story behind your new song “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck:” For me it was a way of life. I had this Izuzu box car that got passed down to me from my two brothers and had 400,000 miles on it. A girl I was tryin’ to impress had been in that car a couple of times, and was never impressed with me or the car. One day, when that thing broke down, my dad said ‘Take my truck,’ he had this Chevy Silverado, and it was like I picked up a whole new girl. She was all about me, and drove the dang thing by the end of the date. So we had a blast that night and for a good while after. I learned early on that women dig a truck, and that’s how the hook came about.
How do they feel about motorcycles? They love motorcycles too! That’s one of my favorite things to do. I actually had a song called Motorcycle on the record. Then I ended up bumpin’ it at the last minute. So it won’t be on this record, but it may make it to the next one.
How does riding affect your writing? It clears my mind. When I get out and ride on country roads, it puts you in a different mindset. You pay attention when you ride. For me, it’s the therapy of clearing my head. I also love to surf. I just got back from surfing. I went to the east coast over the holidays and surfed for 5 days with a buddy of mine. I went to Fernandina Beach Florida, that will always be my ultimate love. Some of the greatest surfers in the world are on the east coast.
Your first recollection of going to the Opry? Right when I moved to town. There was a woman named Goldie, she was an usher. She sat in the back, and we got in a funny conversation, she had a great personality. I told her one day I’m gonna play that stage, and she laughed and said, ‘Sure you are!’ So first time I played, I said ‘This is for you Goldie.’ I have no idea where Goldie is now. That was out at the Opry House. This week I play the Ryman for the first time. I’ll be a little nervous for that one. There’s a lot that’s gone before me on that stage, so I’ll be nervous.