If you’re a country music fan, you know Nashville’s Jerrod Niemann. He had a chart-topping hit with his single “Drink to That All Night” off his album “High Noon,” so it should come as no surprise that the 37-year-old is quite a fan of beer. He’s not just a singer; he’s also a songwriter and—in his time off—a foster parent to some adorable dogs. He recently performed at the Country Music Awards and is currently at work on a new album. We caught up with him to chat beer, puppies and other pressing matters:
What music did you grow up listening to and how has it influenced your songs?
My parents owned a roller skating rink [from] when I was just learning to walk all the way through grade school, so I was exposed to all types of music. Country music spoke to me like no other genre because I was from a small town and I could easily relate the stories. That’s why I am a country singer/songwriter. It’s where I come from and who I am.
You started your career as a songwriter. Why were you drawn to that?
I learned at a young age that we don’t choose music, music chooses us. I’ve loved creating music since I was a small child. It owns every piece of me.
Why is there a relationship between beer and country music?
I cut my teeth playing dive bars, honky-tonks, parties and patios, so drinking songs just sort of stuck with me. It’s what I know, and drinking songs are always comfortable for me to engage a crowd with.
What’s your beer of choice?
The next one! Anything but O’Douls … there’s just something missing. Recently I was in Ireland and let’s just say my Guinness elbow flared up. Nashville has been representing with some good beers lately, and I really enjoy anything Yazoo has to offer.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you do for a living?
My parents own a roofing company and my dad just won’t retire. I would snag the keys to the business and tell him to go enjoy himself. I’m so proud of my folks’ work ethic, but I’d love to see them travel and take in the world a little.
I saw on your Twitter that you foster some very cute dogs. How did you get involved with that?
My wife, for sure. I have always had a soft spot for dogs, but my wife has expanded my knowledge and passion [about] animal cruelty. She always has an eye out for needy people and animals. Right now, we will adopt as many needy animals as we can and when we decide to start a family, we would love to adopt some children in addition to the ones we are hopefully blessed with.
What song, besides one of your own, do you have on repeat this summer?
My summer playlist always includes old Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley. Instant vacation no matter where you are.
Why is your fan club called Dehydration Nation?
There’s enough bad news in this world [so] when we visit a town and do a show, I love for everyone to cut loose. Beer and whiskey has definitely left me a little dehydrated over the years and I’m sure I’m not alone. That’s why I ask for all my fellow weekend warriors to come together and dehydrate the nation with me from time to time.
What’s next for you this summer and fall?
Finishing a new album. Making music is something that I get the most excited about. I get to hopefully change someone’s day and make them smile or tap their feet a little bit. It takes me to a place like no other.
Responses have been condensed and edited for clarity.