Scotty McCreery Interview: An American Idol's Life: Faith, Cracker Barrel and Cap'n Crunch Sandwiches
Image attributed to Andrew Southam
At seventeen years old, North Carolina native Scotty McCreery became the youngest singer ever to win American Idol on May 25, 2011. His debut studio album, Clear As Day, was certified platinum and Christmas with Scotty McCreery was certified gold.
Two years later at nineteen, the talented country artist has released the first two episodes of his brand new webisode series, “ScotTV,” and has begun his first headlining tour, The Weekend Roadtrip Tour 2013, which launched February 14.
"…I’m a big old southern food guy. I love my fried chicken, green beans, all of those things. Cracker Barrel is the restaurant of choice for me. I recently just found out about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Cap'n Crunch in the middle. It’s great!"
Just recently, McCreery returned to American Idol to perform his brand new song called “See You Tonight,” which is the first official single from the singer’s sophomore album to be released later this year.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Scotty, how’s the tour going?
Scotty McCreery: It’s going well. We’re heading back on Thursday.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Tell me about “ScotTV.”
Scotty McCreery: The band and I have been having a lot of fun on the road for the last two years. We just thought it was about time for the fans out there to see what we were up to. They always see us on stage and television, so we just wanted to give them a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on. We bring Josh who’s a video guy and kind of let them into our lives.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): The fans can watch these videos on your website?
Scotty McCreery: Yeah, my website, Twitter and Facebook. Wherever they go, they will hopefully see it.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You’re a busy guy with a tour, new music and college.
Scotty McCreery: Oh, yes ma’am. I’m at State right now. It’s definitely busy, and it’s tough, but I have fun doing it. It’s a challenge, but I enjoy challenges. The way I look at it is that other people went through college. I just have to get on a bus or plane for my work.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What courses are you taking?
Scotty McCreery: This semester, I’m taking a political science class, a communications class for my major, an English class and a Spanish class. I’m taking a full load.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do the college kids ever ask you to sing at parties?
Scotty McCreery: They ask every now and then for me to do stuff like that, but for the most part, I try and stay low, and they treat me pretty normal. I think the first couple of days of class were an adjustment for the kids. They were looking at me just to see what I was like. But after the first week or so, they realized I was just a normal kid. They just treat me like any other student.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you have good friends there?
Scotty McCreery: I have three buddies that I’ve known since I was two years old. They’re good guys.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I like your new single, “See You Tonight.”
Scotty McCreery: Oh, I appreciate it. Thank you. We’re excited about it.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): How did it feel to return to American Idol to perform?
Scotty McCreery: It felt good. It’s always nice to go back where I came from and see familiar faces and say hello to people I haven’t seen in forever. It’s always a good time, and it felt nice to be able to perform my new single there.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is this the first song you’ve written?
Scotty McCreery: It’s the first song I’ve released that I’ve co-written. We’ve written some, but this is the first one I’ve had a chance to get out for the fans. That’s another reason I’m excited about it because it gives them a chance to see what I’m all about and what my writing style is like.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Were you writing about anyone in particular in “See You Tonight?”
Scotty McCreery: Well … maybe. I try and get my inspirations from real life things. Whenever I’m writing or even when I’m not writing, I’ll plug it into my phone when something comes to mind. It could’ve been somebody.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Are you finding time to date?
Scotty McCreery: It’s tough. Between college and touring, it doesn’t leave much time for socializing. You know, it’s possible. It can work out.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Other than the songwriting, how will this new album differ from the first one?
Scotty McCreery: I think it will be more current. You’re going to see more of “me” all though this album because I’m writing the songs, and we’re getting a chance to take our time with this album. We had a deadline for the first album. We had to be finished by a certain time so they could have it released by a certain time.
We really don’t have that deadline now, and we’re taking our time. We’re still going through songs to see which ones are the best fit and which ones are most like me. I’m having the chance to write more songs, so it’s a more laid back process.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): What have you learned about the music business over the two years?
Scotty McCreery: It definitely feels like this has been my life forever, and it has just been two years. It’s cool. I’d have to say that the biggest thing I’ve learned is that it is a business. I just want to get up there on stage and perform and write songs, but there’s a lot more that has to be put into place so the music can happen.
It is a business, and at nineteen, it’s pretty early for me to learn it, but I’m trying my hardest to do just that. I think I’ve learned a great deal about it over the last two years.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): You’re a professed Christian. Has your faith been tested out on the road?
Scotty McCreery: It has been tested more in the fact that people want me to do things. I wouldn’t say alcohol or drugs, but perhaps places I shouldn’t necessarily be. But I have a great group of guys in the band on the road with me. My entire band is strong in faith, and my family is also. I frequently have them with me. We hold to our faith on the road. It’s nice to have that “out there” when I’m away from home.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Your mom’s a high school teacher?
Scotty McCreery: She taught middle school for ten years and was going back to high school before all of this happened to me. So she’s helping out some. She could still go back to high school, but she does a little bit of everything.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you have any siblings?
Scotty McCreery: I have an older sister who is twenty-three now.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Is she a musician?
Scotty McCreery: She’s an incredible singer, but she’s shy. She prefers to stay in the background and help out where she can. But she’s definitely a vocalist.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you think that you will still be involved in country music in twenty years?
Scotty McCreery: It’s definitely a career. It’s every artist’s goal to be able to do this twenty or thirty years from now on a big stage. It’s tough. Not very many people have that type of success. But that’s what we’re working toward. To achieve that, it takes a lot of hard work and a good amount of luck as well, so we’ll see. More opportunities will come as my career continues to grow. We’ll look down the road, and if it seems right, who knows?
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): I heard you like chocolate-covered strawberries. What other foods are favorites?
Scotty McCreery: Besides the chocolate-covered strawberries, I’m a big old southern food guy. I love my fried chicken, green beans, all of those things. Cracker Barrel is the restaurant of choice for me. I recently just found out about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Cap'n Crunch in the middle. It’s great!
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Sounds interesting (laughs). Is that tied into the fight against hunger campaign?
Scotty McCreery: Yeah. That’s actually how I heard about the sandwich, and I tried it. I thought it was incredible. I was really glad I got to be a part of the fight against hunger, teaming up with Walmart and dosomething.org. The campaign’s goal is to collect as many jars of peanut butter and jelly as possible by the deadline of May 14. I got a chance to help with that, and I found a new sandwich, so that was a really good day.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Scotty, do you have any special plans for your upcoming 20th birthday?
Scotty McCreery: I’m working on it. I said a while ago that I wanted to go skydiving on my 20th birthday. We’re not making a promise, but we’re looking at options. My birthday is going to be right around my album launch this year, so we’ll have to tie some stuff together. But my family and me might go jump out of a plane for my 20th birthday. Who knows?
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Do you have some crazy fan stories to tell?
Scotty McCreery: The fans are great. They’ve done some crazy stuff. I played baseball in high school, but I took off and went with Brad Paisley on the road while my season was going on. I had fans that were driving from Ohio, Maine, Michigan, Florida and all around just to watch me play baseball. Even if it wasn’t a guarantee I was going to play that day, they came, so it was pretty crazy to see those fans there.
We’ve had fans that have driven to my hometown of Garner with Christmas presents. Their parents just drove them there, and they went around to see all the spots where I grew up. “Wow” is what I was thinking when they were doing those types of things.
Melissa Parker (Smashing Interviews Magazine): Hard to believe, right?
Scotty McCreery: Yeah. Just unbelievable that they would care that much.
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