Exclusive Interview with Clinton Gregory
Why country music ?
~ I grew up on country and bluegrass music. Country has always been about the truth and the truth hits home with me, it hits home for lots of people out there. Country music can be like therapy; it addresses every person in different ways, touching different emotions, at different points in a listeners' life. A country song can heal or flat out wreck your day! When I was growing up, I only sang privately; I was too scared to sing publicly. I just wanted to be a fiddle player. Once folks started to react to my playing, well, I wanted to continue to try and grow to sound better, so, I starting singing. The audience response has been the biggest surprise of my life.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included) , which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ They've already put the two together: Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline. I'm a big fan of both of their voices. A duet really works when two people can relate to the song and they share the same love for country music. Personally, I would have liked to have sung with Marilyn Monroe! Just not 'Happy Birthday!'
What song you ever recorded means the most to you and why?
~ It changes from day-to-day. Right now, I would say 'Crucifixion,' mostly because it is such a fulfilling song and has a strong message. All of my songs are like my children- like giving birth- I love them from the second they are born [written] and they all age over time. When I revisit them, I end up discovering something new to love in a song I wrote years ago.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ Bob Dylan. He intrigues me. Everything he writes is so personal and I am finding that we have similar points of view. I have been listening to him more and more and learning so much from the great songwriter.
Whisky wine beer or water?
~ Coca-Cola is my 'go-to' beverage of choice (and not diet!) and as for junk food, anything sweet!
If you could turn back time to make only one change, what would you change?
~ I would have waited on signing a major recording contract when I first started out. I'm still learning about this business, songwriting and recording every day and with everything I know now, based on my experiences and observations (and with some growing pains), I would have started my career a little differently.
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ I guess you already asked me this, but it was a great question- 'What drove me to country music?' I don't think I have ever been asked that before.
Describe the ultimate recording studio (not the technique but the facilities)
~ It's a lot more important to me to have the right musical environment rather than the high tech studio with all the new and innovative bells and whistles. All the people involved need to be on the same wavelength. And not just the band--from the engineer to the musicians to the managers--everyone needs to be feelin' the vibe. Right now, my ultimate recording studio is in a motor home in Woodbine, TN!
Johnny or June ?
~ Both. One would not have been who they were without the other; they completed one another. I think it was the reason they were together.
What do you consider the most important change in country music during your career and what are your thoughts about it?
~ Technology has really changed the quality of sound. It is great when used correctly and appropriately. Recording is also a lot easier now (well, that depends on who you are working with!). I don't think much about it because it doesn't change how much effort I like to put into my music. I haven't changed myself with the progression of technology; I just try to be a better self, artistically and personally, everyday.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ Performing on the Grand Ole Opry. I always dreamed of it because I grew up listening to the Opry. My knees were knocking, standing up there, thinking about everyone that has stood on that stage before me. I never thought I would get there. Getting there is one thing- staying is another; I hope to be invited back one day!
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Answers given on October 2012