We got the opportunity to catch up with Rodney Atkins who just last week performed an hour-long concert prior to the race to salute those who proudly serve and also honorMatthew and Daniel Hanson, U.S. Marine twins and grand-prize winners of the Crown Royal “Your Name Here” contest. The contest awarded them with naming rights to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Saturday, April 30, officially titled, “Crown Royal Presents The Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400.”
CMR: Earlier this year in Daytona, you were on-hand to announce the grand-prize winner of the Annual Crown Royal “Your Name Here” 400 program. What was that moment like for you, as you unveiled the winner by singing their names “Matthew & Daniel Hansen” at the end of “These Are My People”?
Rodney Atkins: It was a really cool experience. We were in Daytona for one of the biggest races of the year and I performed in front of NASCAR fans. It was an amazing feeling to be the first one to unveil Matthew and Daniel as the winners and something I’ve never done before. It was really special when Matthew told us that he would use this experience to honor his fallen twin brother Daniel and share his story. To be surrounded by military members that have accomplished so much and made so many sacrifices for our country was very touching.
CMR: This weekend you are honoring two brothers Matthew Hansen & the late Daniel Hansen in the 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Moments like these are so special & moving. When performing for events like this, how do you prepare as I’m sure it’s not just any performance for you?
RA: It’s more than just a performance or a concert. This is about remembering Daniel Hansen and honoring Matthew Hansen in addition to all military members who have sacrificed their life for our country. This isn’t just about the music, it’s a tribute to them – a tribute to our troops for all they do to keep our country safe. It’s about Matthew and Daniel Hansen’s story and remembering them through my music. I’m here to share the Hansen brothers story with my fans.
CMR: Your patriotism & family values speak volumes in your music, is that something we can all still rely on as you go into your upcoming album?
RA: My family and my country are dear to my heart and will always come first. I could never be where I am today without those two things.
CMR: Your new song “Take A Back Road” was one of the most added singles to country radio this week. Tell us a little something about this new single & how it came to light?
RA: It’s really about leaving the city and busy life to enjoy the country life and do the things and with the people that matter most. Road trips and having a good time.
CMR: How does it feel to be back in the studio & what can fans expect on your forthcoming album?
RA: Hopefully they hear me and my music. We obviously want to evolve the music a little bit, but still want to make the songs relatable and real. We have really gone back to the basics and found the same feeling we had when we were making the Going Through Hell Album. Really have been taking our time to get it right.
CMR: In our interviews, we always ask artists 5 Quick Questions for you to give quick answers using the First Thing you think of:
1. You can’t go a day without…?
2. Favorite way to spend time with your family…?
RA: Just Hanging out at the house. Grilling, Laughing,
3. Before a show you always…?
RA: Wake up
4. Your favorite song to perform is….?
RA: Depends on the night
5. The one item you have to take on tour with you from home is…?
RA: Always have a ball cap and my iphone