Nothin’ is Unreachable

With a wonderful family and a career getting hotter by the minute, Jason Aldean is a self-described “poster child” for going after your dreams.

Jason Aldean won’t tell you that everything in his life has always turned out like he wanted it to at the time. But he will tell you that knowing what you want out of life and being willing to go after it will win the biggest part of the battle. In a recent conversation with CW’s David Scarlett, Jason talked about his early days in Nashville, following his dream and fatherhood. Here’s some of what he had to say. For more about Jason, pick up the April 13 issue of Country Weekly.

For more from Jason, check out the April 13 issue of Country Weekly.

CW
Love the title cut Wide Open. It kind of takes you back lyrically to the time when you have unlimited options. You’re so young, nothing is impossible. Do you recall when in your personal life . . . those unlimited options started to close in a little? When the window of opportunity started to narrow?
JA
Oh yeah. I think I was 25 when that started hittin’ me. It was after my first daughter was born and I was still sittin’ there pluggin’ away, tryin’ to get a record deal. Still in the same boat I was in four or five years earlier when I had moved to Nashville.
I was still very young at 25, but for some reason, in my mind, I was thinkin’ I was like 60. And I felt like time was runnin’ out and my options were gonna be fewer and fewer. So that was the time for me. As fate has it, two years later I ended up signin’ a record deal and that was kinda the beginnin’ of everything. But for me, it was at the ripe old age of 25.
CW
Have any sad stories about people you know who maybe could’ve gone after their dreams, but were afraid to, so they “settled?” Known anyone like that?
JA
Yeah, I have. Some of ’em are really close to me. It’s really funny, when you’re 18 years old and you’re just getting’ out of high school, or when you’re just getting’ out of college, the world’s at your fingertips. You can do whatever you want. It’s just a matter of findin’ out what it is you want to do and goin’ after it.
I think the unknown sometimes scares people away from that. They want to have the gold at the end of the rainbow, but they don’t really want to walk over there and find out where it is. It’s that kind of thing. And I’ve known a lot of people like that. And I think that’s unfortunate. Because when you have to work hard to achieve something like that, when you finally do achieve it, it makes it that much better. You appreciate it that much more. That was one thing.
Before I even graduated from high school, this was somethin’ I decided I wanted to go after. And I had no idea what I was doin’, but I knew I was young enough that I didn’t have any responsibilities at the time and if I was gonna do it, that was the time to make it happen. I don’t know if you’d call it fearless or idiotic, but I went after it. And, luckily, it worked out.
CW
There’s a line in “Crazy Town” about repossessing your truck and, the next year, you’re worth a couple million bucks. I won’t ask about particulars, but were there times when you were kind of scraping by before you had your first hit? Was it truly life-changing in terms of taking away some big pressures when you had that first hit?
JA
Yeah. When I signed my record deal at Broken Bow . . . to say I was broke is probably an understatement. I had to file extensions with the IRS and things like that. It was not good. That’s a situation where the next year, I had a hit on my hands. Toward the end of that year, I started actually makin’ a couple hundred bucks a night playin’ my shows. I was actually makin’ enough where I was actually seein’ some money, even though it wasn’t much.
Once the financial thing got straightened out, that took a lot of pressure off. But it’s like anything, man, it’s cool to have that part of your life under control a little bit. But at the same time, with money comes pressure. More headaches. The more money you make, the more money you have to spend, or people want you to spend. It’s a never-ending process as far as that goes. But things are a lot better now than they were then, I’ll say that. [Laughs] Decisions are very short and quick when you don’t have any cash. “You want to go eat tonight?” “Can’t afford it.” “Cool, done.”

For more from Jason, check out the April 13 issue of Country Weekly.

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