John Oates knows he'll always be known best as one half of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame duo Hall and Oates, but these days he's also digging into the roots of American music.
"This was the music I was making before I met Darryl Hall" Oates says from his home in Nashville. His new album is called "Arkansas," and he says it's "a chance for me to rediscover a part of myself that got kind of buried in the pop-stardom career of the last 40 years."
Between all the number one hits Hall and Oates had, not to mention dozens of MTV videos, countless magazine covers, interviews and playing before hundreds of thousands of fans, Oates admits the last 40 years have been "a bit of a blur." Still, he doesn't take it for granted. "I look back on it with gratitude and with respect that I'm still able to do what I love to do" he says.
[Listen to the full interview with John Oates below]
Hall and Oates will be kicking off their latest tour in Sacramento tonight at Golden One Center, and Oates says you won't hear a lot of reminiscing on stage, but you will hear a lot of their hits. "It's hard for me to tell long winded stories in an arena show with 15-thousand people, it's just not the right venue for that. That's why I do my solo shows, where I can play smaller venues and delve more in depth into the songwriting and stories behind the songs."
Hall and Oates haven't written many new songs in recent years, but the guitarist and singer admits the whole process of distributing music has come a long way since the days of vinyl. Still, he says he doesn't spend too much time thinking about it. "However people want to get our music (these days) it's available on every platform."
While he admits Daryl Hall's voice is more closely associated with the groups songs, Oates says that actually gives him a freedom to experiment and try different things. "Any kind of music I make is the music I make. Whereas Daryl is much more associated with those (Hall and Oates) hit records." Since moving to Nashville, the singer also says he's had to up his game. "It's one of those things that your name can get you in the door (in Nashville), but in order to stay at the party, you have to be able to deliver."
[Daryl Hall and John Oates will play at Golden One Center Tonight]