Your new single “Six Strings and Diamond Rings” was just released and it’s the first single you’ve had in seven years. How does that feel?
It feels good. I feel like 7 years is good because of the number 7. Maybe after 7 years you’ll get lucky and get a hit on it. For me, it’s all about getting the right music together – what you want to put out as an artist and why. I’m not the kind of artist that is going to put out new music every two weeks because I feel like people get tired of that. I think it’s just the right timing and right material.
You are returning to the studio this fall to begin work on new music. What has changed in your life between recording your last album and this one?
Probably a little bit more gray hair! Just most experiences from an artistic standpoint because you want to create music and create art and over time, experiences help that. I’ve done a lot since the last record. I’ve been on the road a ton and I think “Six Strings and Diamond Rings” kind of embodies how much I’ve been on tour.
What made you choose Six String and Diamond Rings as your single?
When you pick a single that is your first crack at putting out your art, you need to emotionally connect with it and this is the song that has that emotional connection for me, so it’s perfect.
Do you have a song that you can’t wait to put out and get feedback from fans?
I was excited about “Six Strings and Diamond Rings” because it’s the first one out of the box. Obviously you want to put your best foot forward. I think this is just a great representation of what the record is going to sound like.
What was the best part and the biggest thing that you gained from the whole Idol experience?
I went from playing small venues to performing in Jakarta, Indonesia in six months. Having always wanted to catch a break in show business and having it be that break, I’m forever grateful to be on that Idol stage. At the time that Idol was on, it was the only game in town and it was the most popular show. I can collectively say that all of us had a great time on that show.
How has it been filming the second season of State Plate? Did you feel like you really had to step things up a notch for the second season?
Progression from television on a show like that is very important. It goes for anytime you start something new in anything. You have to start to understand the concept and how to educate people. For season 2, the content is better, the research is good, the crew is a little bit bigger, so it’s just a natural progression overall. When you birth something, you watch it grow, and that is what we are doing. There are a lot of things about season 2 that I love. The states that we are going to are great, but every state is great because it’s America.
What is it that attracted you to host the show in the first place?
We were pitching ideas for hosting gigs and had the restaurant back in Alabama. I love being in the restaurant business. It’s tough but it’s easy for me because show business is very similar. You throw in everything you can against the wall and hopefully it will stick in a good way. The stars kind of just aligned with this one. INSP was looking for a host to host this great concept called “State Plate” and I was always looking for ways to host a food and travel show, so it came together in a great way.
What has been the most unique food tradition you have come across?
I would have to say eskimo ice cream in Alaska. You would think the ice cream would actually be ice cream, but it’s not. It’s fish, whale blubber, lard and berries all mixed in together. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but that’s just the part of the show that’s so great. We are going and finding iconic foods! Alaska is a great state and a great example of what the show does. It really highlights foods that you would never think about that is iconic to each state.
Being a Birmingham, Alabama native what are some of the best Southern dishes?
Fried chicken. You can also tell a lot by a southern cook when they do dressing at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or holiday time. You can tell because there are a lot of different components to great dressing like whether it’s moist enough, whether it’s dry, or if there’s too much bread or onion. I think dressing is a really good litmus test for people that are in the south. Some more southern food examples would be how you make greens or how you fry an egg. If you know someone that’s a good southern cook, get them to fry you an egg!
What should every kitchen be stocked with?
Sugar and butter! You can make a lot with that.
If you could pick one food to eat every day for the rest of your life, what would that be?
Lasagna. I love Italian food, but I’m also really hungry right now too. You know what else is my favorite is Sperry’s Steakhouse. It’s this old-school steakhouse in Belle Meade and it’s been there since like 1974. There aren’t any windows, there’s a great salad bar…it’s historic! Sperry’s is awesome!
Is there anything that you don’t enjoy eating?
Licorice jelly beans and Oreos. I’ve never liked Oreos…I don’t even like the white stuff inside.
Finally for Battered and Brewed, If you could eat or have a drink with one person dead or alive, who would it be and what would you have?
A martini with Marilyn Monroe. I would like to pick her brain. It just sounds classic!
ABOUT TAYLOR HICKS
Taylor Hicks is one of the most beloved and popular AMERICAN IDOL winners of all time. From the start, Hicks’ material on the mega-hit show set him apart, with a unique take on Southern soul, Country, R&B, and blues. Sixty-four million votes were cast and nearly 37 million American viewers and more than 200 million viewers worldwide turned in to crown Hicks the Season 5 winner of AMERICAN IDOL, making it one of the most-watched TV events of the last decade. Hicks’s talents have expanded beyond the music and performance realms and carried over to television, where he plays host on the INSP original series, State Plate. Now in its second season, Hicks hits the road, traveling the nation in search of the states’ most symbolic and popular foods. From appetizers to desserts and everything in between, Hicks take a heaping helping of America in this hit show.
TAYLOR HICKS ON TOUR:
Oct 21 The Palace Danbury, Danbury Conn.
Nov 14 BB King Blues Club, New York, N.Y.
Dec 8 Red Rock Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nev.
Dec 9 Blue Water Resort & Casino, Parker, Ariz.
Dec 10 The MIM, Phoenix, Ariz.
TAYLOR HICKS ON STATE PLATE:
*All episodes will air on INSP at 8p ET and feature a different state each week.
Oct 13 Maryland
Oct 20 Oregon
Oct 27 Washington
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