Group Therapy Takes Hootie & the Blowfish On The Road

An exclusive interview with Darius Rucker

Twenty five years ago, Hootie & the Blowfish released their breakthrough album “Cracked Rear View,”  which went on to become certified Platinum twenty-one times and the 19th best-selling album of all time in the United States.

In an era when grunge dominated the charts, Hootie & the Blowfish’s blues-rock, jam-band style stood in stark contrast to the sounds of the age. The sonic landscape has shifted dramatically since the group last put out an album, and yet, their hits continue to see radio play. Hootie & The Blowfish Lead Singer Darius Rucker ventured out into a record-setting solo career and became a trailblazer for African-American country artists in the industry.

After nearly three decades since the band’s inception, Hootie & the Blowfish is releasing another album, “Imperfect Circle,” on Nov.  1 and going back on their aptly named “Group Therapy Tour” to coincide their newest release alongside the Barenaked Ladies. The group recently performed in Nashville and in their hometown of Columbia, South Carolina before heading across the pond to the U.K. and Ireland.

As the band prepares to tour full-time for the first time in over a decade, Darius Rucker sat down with South Magazine to answer a few questions.

South Magazine: You stated all the way back in 2011 to CBS News that Hootie & The Blowfish would never break up. How did you recognize that almost a decade ago?

Darius Rucker: We’ve always played shows together throughout the years, mostly to support different charities through our Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation, so we were still around each other all the time and knew that we wanted to make this happen eventually.

SM: After the success of your solo career, what made you decide to kick things off again with Hootie & The Blowfish?

DR: We’d been talking about it for a while, but it just never felt like the right time for all four of us. With the 25th anniversary of “Cracked Rear View” the conversation started picking up again, and we all finally felt like we were in the right place to commit.

SM: Has your country career bled into your other work? How have you evolved as a rock artist?

DR: I’ve always said that “Let Her Cry” is actually the first country song I ever wrote. I grew up listening to the Opry on WSM and loving country music, so it was always part of me. We just fell into the pop-rock category at the time when we started putting records out as Hootie & the Blowfish, but I was still listening to country music at that time, so it definitely influenced the music we were making. Genres have become so fluid now that we’re really just trying to make good music and let it fall where it may.

SM: What should fans of yours expect from this Hootie & the Blowfish album?

DR: It sounds like Hootie! It was exciting to get back to writing together and being in the studio again. We wanted to put together an album that fits into the musical landscape of 2019 and where we’re all at in our lives now, but at the end of the day it is still a Hootie & the Blowfish record.

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