The Lab NYC’s Arthur Kade got the chance to sit down with Darius Rucker. Darius Rucker is best known for being in the 90’s rock band Hootie and the Blowfish, but today he talks to us about recreating himself as a country star. Darius’s new album out entitled “True Believers”, has already hit number one on the country charts.
Darius tells us that he always wanted to do a country album, so when the guys of Hootie said that they did not want to tour every summer, he jumped at the chance.
Darius talks about the surprising success of Hootie and the Blowfish during the grunge era in the early 90’s, he says “It was out of nowhere, because grunge was king when we came out and we had been playing for a while and we always thought we’d get a record deal but we didn’t think it was going to blow up the way it did. We just came out with this record that was in the right place at the right time and people gravitated to it. It was a surprise.
Darius tells us about the resistance to him making it in the country world from the music industry, he says “I heard from a lot of people that work in radio, that are now my best buddies, that they thought they’d never play me, we got in the car and drove around. It was like the old Loretta Lynn story, we drove to every radio station that would see me, we did three or four a day, we did over a hundred radio stations.” Darius says that it was this kind of persistence, working from the ground up, and paying his dues, is what lead to him being taken more seriously.
Darius talks about the difference in sound from the album “True Believers” in comparison to the others. Saying that they intended to create a new sound with songwriting and melodic structure in order to set the record apart.
Darius talks about being an African American in a predominantly white country world, he says that he really did not realize until he started breaking records. He also says how honored he feels to be mentioned with Charlie Pride and that he is happy he can open the doors. Darius also tells us there is a surprisingly large community of African American country followers.
Darius says that it does not surprise him how big country music has gotten, saying that people love guitars, and they are a big part of country. He also talks about the storytelling aspect of his songs, saying “Country songs are a three minute movie.”