Your British following is nothing on your American fanbase. Are we missing something about Kid Rock?
Yeah, I haven’t been over there. I’m not out there like I am here. People get to see me live here, which is my whole thing. When I’m doing my Kid Rock thing, when I’m on stage there’s no doubt – there’s not a bigger one in America. I think other people would tell you that, I got no problem tooting my own horn, beep beep! There’s no doubt – when I come over to England and play, you will be more than blown away. There’s no question in my mind. If not, I’ll fucking tuck my tail in between my legs and jump on that fucking plane and head back to America.
Speaking of tough audiences, you’ve spent some time in Iraq. What was that like?
The first time I went it was kind of like, “Hooray! We won the war.” It made everyone happy. I went last year by myself, I just took someone from the Pentagon and my guitar. We flew into Bahrain and after that it was just base after base, everyday. I’m going again at Christmas, to go and be with some people who aren’t able to be with their families, and make them feel good. It was very intense last year. On Christmas Day there was an IED bomb that hit and I went down to the hospital in Baghdad. Man, to see grown Marines crying, to go in a room and see kids with their legs all fucked up, their ears bleeding, and shell-shocked and watch the chaplains running upstairs to give last rites to one of the kids who’s about to die – it’s pretty moving.
If you were out there as a solider, would you stay and see it to the end?
From the soldiers I talked to, I would say I’d stay and see it to the end. They deal with the people everyday and they know that if they leave, a lot of people that they protect will be killed. I don’t really try and be vocal and take sides. I just say thanks to the people that have guns in this country and have gone out and used them. If it wasn’t for that… I mean, the same thing goes for your country – we’d all be sitting around going “Heil Hitler!” right now.
So what sort of home security do you have?
I’m really into firearms, I know how to use them. I was raised around them. I think that’s really a deterrent. I’ve got Tommy guns, AR-15 assault rifles. I’ve got gold-plated Desert Eagles that are fun and the standard 9mm Ruger, I’ve got Dillingers and a cannon from 1858. I’m really into Civil War artefacts.
How quickly can you strip a rifle?
Not as quick as you’d think. I’m the lead singer. I can get people to do that for me.
What’s the longest you’ve ever stayed awake while on tour?
Years ago, when we were still being wild, we were able to stay up 36/37 hours at a time. It’s great fun at the time. It’s that whole cocaine jacket that takes you up and then… bam! It drops you. You’ve just really got to watch that shit. I’ve heard a lot of stories about how it ruins your voice, and I could see it affecting me a few years ago. So I just made a decision like, “Look, I want to be able to have a beer with my kid when he gets to 21.” He’s 14 now. I don’t want to be one of those who fuck it up and can never touch a drink again. I want to have fun, but I’ve got to space it out now. I want to make sure I can perform for people at the end of the day.
How do you stay healthy on tour?
When I’m on stage that’s a pretty good workout, and I just try and eat healthy. I have fruit and shit during the day. And I don’t drink soda.
No, soda. The only soda I drink is when I’m making Jack and Cokes. But my new health kick is vodka soda with lemon. There is no fucking calories in that shit. I love drinking beer, so I figure if I eat healthy and drink vodka, when I go to sporting events or have a BBQ I can drink my beer. Dieting 101 from Kid Rock.
Do you guys get cider out there?
Hard apple cider? I used to brew it, I grew up in an apple orchard. We used to make cider as kids. Pretty strong if you let it sit. We called it Bob and Laura Jones’ fresh apple cider.
You started out in Detroit – ever cross paths with Eminem?
Oh yeah, we battled each other when we were like 16, 17 years old.
Actually, I don’t know if there was a winner. Although about two years ago he invited me to play basketball. He was like, “Dude, I’m going to kill you!” I was like, “I’ve got fucking six or seven inches on you, I’ve been hooping since I was a kid.” But he was like, “Yeah, whatever man. See you here. Bring your A-game.” I smoked him – 11 to one. Afterwards, he said, “Now you’re going to brag about that in magazines.”
So what’s rock’n’roll in 2008?
Are you rock’n’roll in 2008?
I like to think so.
You were once married to Pamela Anderson, the sexiest woman in the world. Do you have your eye on anyone else?
I spent a week in South America with Jessica Alba for a TV show, an environmental thing called Trippin’. Ah, Jessica, she’s a sweetheart. But she’s definitely not giving it up. I said to her, “Do you know what? You are so fucking hot, I’m not even going to fuck with you.” She was like, “Fuck you, Kid Rock.”
So is Kid Rock green?
I threw up while we were snorkelling because I was hungover from the night before. I was all pissed off because the girls took a long time to get in the water. And we were swimming with dolphins, we had radios in the water and I kept radioing down, “Fuck this, let’s catch one of those fuckin’ dolphins and eat it.” It didn’t go down well.
You obviously have a bit of cash these days. Can you spot a gold digger?
I’ve never really had many chicks try to take advantage of me for money. Except one, and I fucking married her! So I think the answer is no.
So who is Kid Rock after, anyone in particular?
If I could actually have my publicist call someone to see if they could hook me up? Me and my buddies were at this restaurant in Florida and this commercial came on – with this really hot girl getting off a plane. So I fucking called my publicist and said, “Right – there’s this commercial, I think this chick was hot, she had dark hair, she got off the plane second. See if you can get me her phone number…” And she got me her fucking e-mail!
I was like, “Oh that is evil!” That’s just fucking evil. Funny. But evil.
Original interview by Josh Woodfin in the February 2008 issue of FHM UK magazine