Interview with Hank Williams Jr., ahead of Oct.12 concert at Cross Center

Hank Williams, Jr. has been around long enough to have seen a lot of things. He’s the son of country legend Hank Williams, of course, and the father to country-punk star Hank William III. He was one of the first country stars to blend rock n’ roll sounds into his music, challenging the Nashville industry but gradually helping to open up the sound of mainstream country music. He wrote the theme song for Monday Night Football, which ran each week during football season for 22 years, ending in 2011. He’s made his political opinions known with some controversial appearances on Fox News. And, more recently, he’s started his own record label, Bocephus Records, which has released his more recent albums, including last year’s “Old School New Rules.”

He will perform Saturday night at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor; tickets are still available online at Ticketmaster, and in person at the Cross Center box office and at Mark’s Music in Brewer. The Bangor Daily News interviewed him last week. Here’s what Hank Jr had to say.

You’ve got some very loyal fans. What kind of person is a Hank Jr fan?

I am very lucky, I have the most loyal, hardcore fans in the entire country music business. My fans are all hard working people that love our country.

Are you as rowdy now as you were in your earlier days? What kind of rowdy does Hank Jr get nowadays?

Why, of course! Bocephus always has a good time. You should come to the show and see how I boogie woogie all over that stage.

Now that you’re a record executive, what do you like best about it? What’s challenging?

I absolutely love it. I get to make decisions that I have to live with. My manager, Ken Levitan, advised me to start my own label so that I could own my masters and could artistically control what I wanted to do, so we did it! I made one of the best records ever and we have sold over 120,000 copies of it already. So it might be on an independent label, but my fans are finding it and loving it.

Who are some of your favorite up and coming country artists currently making music? Do you like anyone else in other genres?

Eric Church is a great artist. We did some shows together and we really hit it off. I love all forms of music. Remember my childhood was full of musicians. Fats Domino, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis were all in our house when I was a little boy.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, a UMaine graduate, a proud Bangorian and an arts and lifestyle writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food, from media and the Internet to theater and dance. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra, to name just a few. She's interested in everything -- especially if it happens in Maine. She welcomes any and all feedback or suggestions for stories.