Country singer Jack Ingram is promoting his new album, Big Dreams & High Hopes, out today, by attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the most radio interviews in 24 hours. CMT is currently live-streaming his quest — approximately 225 five-minute chats. It’s not the craziest thing he’s ever done: That, he says, would be riding a steer in a celebrity event hosted by bullriding champion Tuff Hedeman. “Three seconds later, I couldn’t breathe for, like, literally two weeks. The next morning I could not get out of bed. Not because I was sore but because something was definitely wrong. It turns out I cracked a couple of ribs. I called Tuff, and he said, ‘You know what you do for a cracked rib, right? You say Ouch.'” Ingram shot the video for his current single, “Barefoot and Crazy,” the next day.
Nervous for his Guinness run, but realizing that when he got to New York he was “gonna have a beer with somebody,” he met PopWatch for a couple Bud Lights last night and warmed up with The EW Pop Culture Personality Test. (He left the bar at 9:30 p.m. — because he had a phoner to do.)
What TV shows do you watch?
Whatever my wife watches. We watch Grey’s Anatomy. Last night she had on that God forsaken Kardashian sisters show. Pathetic.
But you watched it?
Of course, I’m tryin’ to get laid. It’s like, “Whatever you wanna watch, honey. Whatever gets ya goin’.” I love Entourage, anything HBO puts out, I’m into.
Are you watching True Blood?
I have not watched it yet. I know it’s such a big thing right now, but I’ve never been that into vampire stuff. I watched Twilight. I’d heard so much about it, and I finally had enough. I rented it off iTunes, and checked it out. I thought it was cool. Isn’t there a new one coming soon? I”ll be into that. I’ll suffer it. See question 1. [Laughs]
When do you yell at the TV?
Honestly, the last time I yelled at the TV was 2004, one of the awards shows. Kenny Chesney forgot the words to “Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer)”. I was at home, not at the [ACMs]. I was fairly indignant. Of course, I understand how nerve-wracking that can be, but….
The movie you have to watch every time you spot it on cable?
The Shawshank Redemption. And it’s always on television. It’s either that or Hope Floats, but I don’t watch Hope Floats because I’m in it. I’m in the band when they’re dancin’. I look like I’m in high school.
The chick flick you’ll admit to liking?
Anything with Hugh Grant. I just like him, I think he’s funny.
You could be the first male country singer NOT to answer The Notebook.
I’ll tell you what, I came back to my bus one time, right before showtime about 8:30, 9 o’clock at night. Everybody was in such a piss poor mood. I was like, “What is up in here? What did I miss?” I think it was my guitar player who finally goes, “Dude, we just got done watching The Notebook.” They all cried. It got my whole band. I haven’t seen it yet.
Watch Jack Ingram’s “Barefoot and Crazy” video:
The person or band you’ve seen most often in concert?
Willie Nelson. Since I was five-years-old, I’ve probably seen 100 times. He’s my man.
The person or band you have to see before you die?
I wanted to go see The Police last year, but I missed it. I’ve never seen Bob Dylan play. Because of my kids, I’m gonna see Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift this year, so I can knock that off my list. [Laughs] I’m gonna say Beyoncé. You know how all her videos are so tight, I’m always interested to see how that plays out in a situation that’s not controlled. Which is why I think everybody loved seeing that Justin Timberlake concert on HBO. You can see, Oh wow, this is choreographed but it’s loose and it’s real.
The best concert you’ve ever seen?
Todd Snider. He’s a folk guy, but for me he has no classification or genre. The most influential, best show. I opened for him 10 years ago. It felt like watching a train wreck where nobody got hurt. It was so out on the edge that I felt like the whole place was about to blow up at any minute, and then the show ended and everybody was okay. I was changed.
If you could have written any song, which would it be?
“Sunday Morning Coming Down”. Today, that’s my pick. My biggest interest as a songwriter is capturing that moment in your life when you go, that’s it. One truthful emotion, something true. And that song does it: The idea that you’re not where you want to be on Sunday morning, the weekend was not lived the way you’d want your parents or loved ones to see you. To capture that in a song and to somehow make it seem beautiful and hopeful but tragic and sad at the same time….
Your guilty pleasure dance song?
I always tell people that’s why I got in a band, so I don’t have to dance. [Thinks] The last time I found myself dancing was when Miley Cyrus was dancing on that pole at the Teen Choice Awards. I caught that with my three little kids [3, 5, and 7], and I was dancin’ to that.
What was your reaction to the pole dancing?
I’m very liberal socially as far as that stuff goes, but I was a little stunned. I mean, I knew that that pole would come at some point, but I didn’t know it would be right then. [Laughs] My wife was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! What’s going on here?”
Did your seven-year-old daughter get what was happening?
Not really. That’s why I didn’t care. Really, I think it’s kinda funny. But in my mind, I was like, Really? So soon?
Is there any entertainment your kids are into that you genuinely enjoy?
iCarly is badass. She’s badass and the girl who plays her little smartass sidekick is badass.
This could be the first time they’ve ever been described as “badass.”
It’s just great writing. It’s funny. It actually seems like something I would’ve said when I was 13, 14. My kids are out of it now, but The Backyardigans. Their music is so kid-friendly, but you can tell that it’s really well-written, well done. If I didn’t have a career like I have now, I would want to be a writer on a hit show like that. I end up listening to Radio Disney a lot, and I like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, they’re doing some good stuff musically. Look at it this way: As a parent, we would have to listen to what Hannah Montana does, even if it was horrible. We would be stuck with it. So every time I listen to those records, I’m like, Wow, that was a good song. Thank God!
Do you get the Jonas Brothers?
Yeah. I know all three of them are good musicians. I’m not a huge fan of them, but I’m more interested in how they figure it out. They’re pop culture for sure, but rock ‘n roll? Not yet. I’m interested to see if they can jump from what they are to what I would consider badass. I’m not closing the door. It’s great songwriting, and I respect the hell out of it, but it ain’t rock ‘n roll yet.
Watch Jack Ingram’s “Love You” video
Did you ever write a fan letter to someone when you were young?
I probably should have written Donny Osmond a letter to let him know how much I appreciated his work when I was seven.
You can show your appreciation by voting for him on the new seasons of Dancing With the Stars.
We do watch that. I love that show. It works on all levels: It works at the front of the season when the losers are on, and they’re so bad, and you can go, “Yeah, man, I’m better than that. I can beat that dude.” And at the end of the show, it’s just amazing, the transformations. I dig it. I’m in.
Would you be on the show?
I don’t know. Again, that’s why I got into a band. After Chuck Wicks was wearing all those crazy outfits, the whole V down the chest thing — they kinda sold him out. That goes back to the first question — what guys will do to get lucky.
Your karaoke song?
The last time I did karaoke I did “Man! I feel Like a Woman” by Shania Twain and I rocked it. I nailed it. It was at 3 a.m. in Corpus Christi, Texas, a few years ago. I tore the house down. It went over better than my own show did earlier in the evening.
Name something in pop culture you think is overrated.
That’s the American way, we overrate a lot of stuff, and it’s all fun and games until we get tired of it. Desperate Housewives is a great example. It’s not necessarily overrated, but it’s overhyped. The talk is much bigger than the actual content. It happens time and again, and it always will.
So you watched Desperate Housewives?
Of course, I did! Go back to question 1. [Laughs]
Name something you think is underrated.
Mad Men is underrated. Whenever you watch it, you’re like why aren’t 37 million people watching this?
Because they all want to get laid?
And, back to question 1. And we all act like guys have the remote. Not really. Not the guys who are happy.
Photo Credit: David McClister