Multi-platinum singer/songwriter Kip Moore loves coming to Milwaukee to play for his fans.
“It’s a great place,” he said in a recent interview before his Riverside Theater show on Oct. 13. “I’ve played The Rave a few times, and Summerfest a few times. There’s a lot of energy there. I also did an acoustic show at the Riverside in 2019.”
Moore and his band are edgy rock-and-rollers with a country undertone that’s driven by thoughtful, personal lyrics. His upcoming performance will offer the Riverside audience a chance to hear popular selections from his ten-year career plus newer material such as “Fire on Wheels” and “She’s Mine” off Moore’s fourth album, “Wild World.”
OnMilwaukee: When did you discover your singing voice?
Kip Moore: I was 14 years old and working maintenance at a golf course. One day I was singing along to the Black Crowes. My brother, who worked with me said, “Man, I never knew you could sing like that!”
How about your ability to express yourself with poetry?
That came before the music. Early on, I had a teacher, Miss Jones, and she recognized my skill with putting words together. She told me to never stop writing. That encouraged me to develop the gift I was given by God.
What’s your process for songwriting?
I write something every day. It varies. Sometimes I’ll write the riff first, and sometimes the words come first. In the morning, I always jot down the first thing I’m thinking of. As for how the songs go together, often I’ll create something and then realize that the last line would be better as the first one. There’s a lot of rearranging until I feel it’s done.
You’re a first and foremost rock and roll band infused with country. Besides the Black Crowes, who else influenced your sound as you were getting into this business?
Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Little Feat – band like those.
Does the newest album, “Wild World,” contain a harder, edgier sound?
Mmmm, yes and no. I think, yes, it’s got a little more edge, but at the same time, it’s an extension of what I’ve been doing since the first album, “Up All Night." I guess it’s fair to say this album is more in your face, a more analog sound.
There are a lot of very good bands trying to get what you have: a record contract, steady bookings and a big fan base. You were signed by MCA at the age of 27. What attracted them to you?
They heard something different in my music, little things that other bands didn’t have. To them I was distinctive, unique, a band they could market. But I’m not the easiest guy to work with. (laughs) I can be aloof at times. I can’t just make records and tour constantly. I need to get away from everything for a while each year.
What does "getting away from everything" mean?
Buddy, I will disappear for six or eight weeks, and I don’t take a phone or anything with me. I might go surfing in Hawaii for a month, I might go snowboarding in Park City, or I might take a backpack and go hiking in Costa Rica or Mexico. Sometimes I can go 48 hours without talking to another person. I need that. It feels like freedom.
Are you still writing when you’re gone like that?
Oh yeah. I still write down everything I’m feeling at that point, everything that means something to me. The songwriting never shuts off. (laughs) But I all I do it make notes. I don’t really do much with it until I’m back in the studio or working at home.
Do those breaks help you get away from things like social media?
I hate social media. I really hate it. If I wasn’t in this business I’d never be on the internet. There are too many opinions, too much information. I think it could take our society down someday.
If someone who didn’t know you, what’s one of your songs that would tell them who you are?
Wow, that’s something I’ve never been asked before. Great question. I would say the song “Wild World,” because it’s about something my mother told me. Goes like this:
"Don't put your faith in the green of a dollar
And be proud of the blue around your collar
Give a little more, take a little less
You ain't done till you done your best"
Where do you see yourself in a year or so?
I have no idea. Seriously. I live in the here and now, and I don’t think about what’s next. Whatever happens happens. At one point I may just hang it up and walk away. I just don’t know.