Scotty McCreery Discusses Handling Success and Having Fun on Tour

American Idol season 10 winner Scotty McCreery talks about his latest tour with Brad Paisley.

2011 was quite the year for Scotty McCreery. The 18-year-old was named the  winner of American Idol season 10 last May, and his album, Clear As  Day debuted at Number One on both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums  charts. Additionally, he was named New Artist of the Year this past December at  the American Country Music Awards.

And the success has continued for McCreery in the new  year. Clear As Day was recently certified platinum in achievement of one  million units sold. He also has been nominated for New Artist of the Year at the  upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards.

The young country singer is currently a part of Brad Paisley’s “Virtual  Reality Tour 2012,” which also features The Band Perry. Last week, McCreery  graciously took the time to speak with me about his success, touring, and who  he’s rooting for during the new season of Idol.

First off, congratulations on Clear As Day going platinum.

Oh thank you, thank you.

Where were you when you first found out about your album going  platinum?

We were in Nashville, actually, rehearsing for the tour. Normally, I get the  news from, like, my manager or something. Apparently my attorney, he found out  first and he sent me an email and kind of got the word out to us first. We were  all excited and pretty pumped that rehearsal day.

Has it been overwhelming at all to have quite a bit of success in a  relatively short amount of time?

Yeah, at times. It really has been. You kind of have to deal with it and go  along with it. It’s just kind of my life now. We’re learning the ins and outs of  it and learning how to deal with it. But, it’s cool. It’s cool having to deal  with this, you know? It’s really wonderful.

From what I’ve seen of you in the last year, you really do seem to take  your success in stride. What do you credit your being able to stay humble about  everything that has been going on in your career?

My family. I’ve got a great support group back home, and actually [to] get a  chance to go home and not necessarily staying on the road. It’s been a real  blessing for me. I haven’t forgotten about my roots and where I came from and my  hometown. I still have my friends in school; just being around them keeps me  level-headed, keeps me sane, keeps me the same old person I was before I  left.

That’s good to hear. I know your current single is doing pretty well on  the charts right now, but has there been any talk about what your next single  might be?

Not yet. We’re still pretty focused on “The Trouble With Girls”; we’ve got to  let it run its course. Country radio, it takes awhile for it to really get on up  there, so we’re going really support this one and then we’ll see about the next  one.

You’re currently on tour with Brad  Paisley; how have the shows been going so far?

Oh, they’re going great. It’s really easy when you have somebody like Brad  out here, who’s just such a nice guy and makes you feel right at home. And The  Band Perry, they’ve been great as well. It’s been a fun tour to be on. It’s a  really a great fit for me, I think.

Do you get nervous at all before hitting the stage each night?

Oh, you better believe it. Yeah. It’s a whole new experience every night.  It’s a different crowd, and I’m really in front of country music fans now. It’s  pretty cool.

I would assume you’re performing close to the same set every night, how do  you keep things fresh for the different crowds each night?

You know, you only have 25 minutes to wow ’em, so you gotta go out there and  give it your all. It’s just fun. As long as it’s fun, it stays fresh. We can go  out there and have a good time with it. Right now, it’s a whole lot of fun.

Has a certain song become your favorite to perform each night?

Oh man. It kind of changes, but “You Make That Look Good” and “Write Your  Number On My Hand.” Those two are really fun ones to perform. The crowd really  gets into them. It’s cool singing those two.

I hear that Brad is prone to pulling pranks on tour, has he managed to  prank you, yet?

Yeah, he got me once. He just kind of photoshopped my head on a big, muscular  Speedo body at the beach. That was funny. He put it on the screen during the  last song of the night, kind of got a big roar from the crowd. It was all fun  and games, so we’ll have to find something that we can retaliate with.

What is your favorite part of touring?

Oh, just being on the road. Meeting the fans and getting to sing songs for  them. These are the people that really got me to where I’m at. It’s just cool to  see them and say thank you.

Speaking of your fans, any fun stories from this tour?

The fans are incredible. They never cease to amaze me. They’re always at the  shows with their signs and stuff. The funniest thing that’s happened to me is a  big guy came up to me and said, “Scotty, sign my belly!” and lifted his shirt  up. I had to commend the fella, so I signed his belly for him. He walked away  and said, “I’m never washing it again.” And I said, “You better wash that.”  [laughs] It was funny.

What are some things that are your must-haves on tour?

On the last tour, the Idol tour, I was big into the sweets. But now  I’m coming up on baseball season, and I just need to get back in shape, so I’m  eating healthier. We’ve got the XBox on the bus. Other than that, I’ve got my iPod. That’s about it.  I’m not really too demanding when it comes to a bus rider.

Is there a certain city that you’re looking forward to playing on this  tour?

Denver will be pretty cool. And Vegas. I think that’s one of the biggest  cities we’re heading up to, so it’ll be cool to get back there. I think we’re  playing Mandalay Bay. Maybe after my set I’ll walk down the strip and enjoy the  lights.

Scotty McCreery - credit: ScottyMcCreery-Official.comYou’re a senior in high school this year, so how has it  been balancing your career with having a normal high school life?

Oh, it’s been all kinds of fun. I enjoy high school, I enjoy being there with  my friends and getting to hang out. But, I also enjoy the music and getting out  here with the fans and singing a lot. It’s really cool for me to be able to do  both. It’s been a fairly nice balance with schoolwork and being on the road.  We’ve made it work pretty good, I think.

Since you’ll be graduating this year, what are your plans as far as  college goes?

Well, I’ve applied. I’ve gotten into East Carolina. That’s the first place  that I’ve heard back from today. I’ve applied to North Carolina State as well.  Also, Belmont University and Middle Tennessee State. We’ll see where I end up,  but we’re not certain yet.

Did you happen to watch the Idol premiere last night?

I did.

What did you think about seeing yourself in the opening credits?

It was pretty cool seeing that. I remember coming off the show people were  saying, “You’re going be part of the introduction next year.” It was pretty wild  seeing that.

Were there any contestants in particular that stood out to you?

Oh, well I’ve known that David Leathers, Jr. guy before from a previous  competition. Schyler Dixon and Colton Dixon. They were with me last year when we  were at Hollywood Week, and we became good friends. So, I’m rooting for them  this year. They’re good pals.

What kind of advice do you have for the contestants once they hit the live  portion of the competition?

Oh man, just don’t let it stress them out. I made that mistake a couple  times. You’re just there to sing, have fun, and really entertain the crowd. If  you let the stress of the TV part of it, the live show part of it get to you,  the singing and the entertaining won’t be fully there. Stay laid back, get your  songs right, work hard, and you’ll be set.

Other than winning Idol, what has been a real standout moment for  you in the last year?

Oh, goodness gracious. There have been a lot of really cool things I’ve  gotten to do. I’ve gotten to sing at the World Series. I got a chance to go on  the Grand Ole Opry. A lot of really cool  things have really happened this year that I’ll never forget. I’m telling you,  its been wild.

For more information on Scotty McCreery, check out his official website.

Tour Dates

1/26 – Boise, ID – Idaho Center

1/27 – Salt Lake City,  UT – Maverik Center

1/28 – Las Vegas, NV – Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

2/9 – Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena

2/10 – Eugene, OR – Matthew Knight Arena

2/11 – Tacoma, WA – Tacoma Dome

2/16 – Lubbock, TX – United Spirit  Arena

2/17 – Las Cruces, NM – Pan AmericaCenter

2/23 – Madison, WI – Alliant Energy Center

2/24 – Moline,  IL – iWireless Center

2/25 – Springfield, MO – JQH  Arena

3/1 – Baltimore, MD – 1st Mariner Arena

3/2 – Knoxville, TN – Thompson-Boling Arena

3/3 – Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena

Photo credit: ScottyMcCreery-Official.com

Originally posted on Blogcritics.

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Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is an entertainment writer and editor from the SF Bay Area. Fan of live music, film, Shondaland dramas, and the San Jose Sharks. Follow her on Twitter: @KirsCoachman

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