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TheCelebrityCafe's Dominick Miserandino spoke with frontman Brad Arnold about hectic touring, finding peace at home, and the band's latest video.
DM: I understand you're currently running around Orange County.
BA: Yeah we are.
DM: What are you doing in Orange County in particular?
BA: We're putting on a show out here .... The weather is really nice. It's about 80 degrees. We're loving it.
DM: You lucky bum. (laughter)
Most bands decide to release their new videos at MTV, but your band debuted Citizen Soldier at the National Guard's website.
BA: We were actually approached by the Guard. They wanted to run that spot at the movies and they wanted a song that aimed at the students. They asked us and we jumped at the chance. We're always proud to support the troops and always glad to give them a clap on the back. The lyrics were based on a conversation I had with a colonel one day and he told me some of the points he'd like to hit on.
DM: Do you come from a military background?
BA: My dad was in the Air Force before I was born, and then my brother was also in the Air Force for ten years.
DM: How have the fans reacted to it?
BA: I actually wondered what the reaction would be. The response has been overwhelmingly good, man, and it really make me proud of the song knowing that everyone out there really supports the troops. I'm not so fond of our politicians, if you know what I mean, but regardless of your political beliefs you have to support the troops. They're the ones on the front lines, they're the ones that really sacrifice everything to protect us.
DM: Do you think you can support the troops and not support the war in Iraq?
BA: Most definitely. Some people do support the war and a lot of people don't support the war. But regardless, you have to support the troops. That's somebody's daughter, somebody's father, you know, and you just have to support them no matter what.
DM: For some people it's like if your support the troops then you support the war. And if you don't support the war, you don't support the troops.
BA: Most definitely not. All you can really do is pray for God's will: if you want the war to be over you pray for the war to be over and if you support the war you just pray it will lead to some place better.
DM: Have you always been a spiritual man?
BA: Most definitely. God's given me everything that I've got and I thank Him for it every day.
DM: Is it something on the forefront of your mind?
BA: Maybe not as much as it should be sometimes but it most definitely is.
DM: Is that because of your upbringing or did it come later in life?
BA: It was because of my upbringing. I've always gone to church. I don't remember a point in my life where my mom and my dad didn't take me to church on Sunday.
DM: Are you still able to do that while you're on the road?
BA: I'd like to sometimes but it just doesn't work out like that. If I was off on a Sunday and had a way to get there I'd probably go, but I really don't have a way to do it.
DM: Your schedule must be insane lately.
BA: Yeah, it's been a little busy.
DM: When I look at your schedule it's like you're running around like a maniac and then you rest for a few months.
BA: It is. We've toured so much. We've done it so much for the past five or six years. When we were on tour we were on the road so much that when we were done it was like: "All right, we gotta lay off." So we took a whole year off. And then this past year, we took the whole year and recorded the record. We'd like to get off the tour for a little while but that just makes you hungry to get back out here and we're so glad to be back out.
DM: I'll bet you're the type that when you're back home you feel restless.
BA: Oh man, most definitely. It's go go go go go and then you get home and it's stop! When you go so fast and stop all of a sudden it's like your head off bounces the windshield.
DM: Do you go stir crazy when you're back home?
BA: Me and my girlfriend are always busy. We're outside riding horses, always doing something, go into town for shopping, always something. There's not too many times when we are sitting and not doing anything.
DM: When you're home are you able to live normal, or is it "Oh my God there he is?"
BA: In my hometown I'm a little bit famous. People want to come up and talk, and you're never really annoyed, but sometimes you just gotta go do something somewhere. Sometimes people at home don't understand that. It's not that I don't want to talk, it's that sometimes I actually gotta gosomewhere . I just moved up to Nashville, Tenn., and it's never like that. It's just laid back and if someone comes up to you it's like they just want to shake your hand and then keep on walking. It's awesome. I live a pretty normal life and I'm thankful for that, too. We're one of those bands thatpeople know our music more than they know our faces. You have to feel sorry for the Britney Spears and all that of the world that's under the microscope.Somebody's always watching.
DM: But you also get the best of both worlds because you can have your normal life or not, whatever you choose.
BA: Exactly. I can go play amphitheaters and the next day go shop at Wal Mart.
DM: I actually visit Nashville pretty often and that's what I love about it.
BA Oh man, I do too. I love it here. The quality of life in Nashville - I don't think you can beat it. After being at home for a while and then getting back on the road it's like coming out of a small town and getting to do all of this great stuff. I think maybe we played 32 countries and then going back home again only to go back out again. It's kind of different all over.
DM: When you're on tour do you get to see anything?
BA. Sometime you do, and sometimes you go everywhere. Usually you're so busy you don't get to see anything because all you see is the back stage of the venue all day, get on stage and play, then get on the bus to go to the next place.
DM: I read you hit every major city in Europe but I'm thinking to myself: has he really seen Rome, has he really seen London?
BA: You could if you got up early. Our day started at about 2:30, 3 o'clock, so if you got up early in the morning you could get out and do stuff. We'd always get up and go to the gym. I thought we'd see more in the gym than if we went out and did other stuff.