For lack of a simpler way to put it: There's Jake Owen, and then there's Jake Owen.
How else to describe a musician who one day is racing go-karts against professional NASCAR drivers, getting in trouble with the cops the day before his wedding, and playing a show the same day doctors removed the tip of his finger(more on that later)...but at the same time, updates his social media with tons of shots of his adorable baby daughter, takes his family along on tour, and looks up to his mom and dad as role models.
I’ve always been the kind of person that’s always, you know, I live on the wild side a little bit," Owen says with a grin. "I just like taking chances and living life to the fullest."
That he certainly has done in the past two years. Owen supercharged through 2012, not only with his musical career (he scored his second No. 1 on the country chart with "Alone With You" early in the year, followed by two more chart-toppers), but hitting a bunch of life milestones in quick succession. In April, he surprised girlfriend Lacey Buchanan — and delighted his audience — with an onstage proposal. One month later, the couple married in his Florida hometown. And then, on Thanksgiving Day, Owen became a proud papa to daughter Olive Pearl. From then it was straight back into the studio to work on his fourth album, Days of Gold, which released its title track lead single in August 2013.
Owen says this rapid-fire chain of events is just part of his nature. "I never felt like my life has gone by too quickly. If anything, I’m always pushing it to happen faster," he explains. "I want things to happen quicker. I’m just an impatient human being. I’ve learned that from my father...my dad was always impatient growing up, about everything, and I’m the same way. If I want something, I want it now. I get irritable if I don’t have it."
Although to some it may appear that Owen rose to country-music fame almost overnight, the truth is he's been in the game for a while, and ironically his career is the life situation that has forced him to learn a modicum of patience.
"EIght years into my career making music...it really made me be patient because things did not happen the way that I wanted them to in the beginning as I wished they would have," he reflects. Now, I look back upon it and it’s like that song Garth Brooks had, about unanswered prayers. Sometimes you look back on things, and you are appreciative of the way they worked out."
"If things had happened for me any quicker, I wouldn’t have been as ready for it as I am now. Some people are ready for it a lot sooner place in their life. But my journey’s just been timed perfectly."
Owen did gainfully employ some of his restlessness into the making of Days Of Gold, however. "A lot of this new record was made spontaneously, because I would only be home for a few days at a time.," he notes. "And I got to tell you, when you’re making a record while you’re out on the road and touring all year...I’ve been out with Jason Aldean all year long. And, uh, got married," he smiles. "And then having a child on top of that. There are a lot of things that have come into play on this record that I never had to worry about on the previous records that I made."
"So there’s a lot of things on this record that definitely happened spontaneously. I would come home and only have two days to record a song. As opposed to previous records where I’d go home and, you know, have a month, to record a song or two. It's made the process a little more tedious, but it’s still got the same end result."
Making things a little smoother for Owen is the fact that he's lucky enough to be able to bring his wife and daughter along with him while out on tour, or wherever his career might take him. "They go everywhere with me. My little girl’s [a year old], and I would say, other than about four or five shows, she’s been to every one of them. She's learned a lot, I’m sure, from watching me and the guys that I work with every day. And with my wife being around, it’s created a pretty great family atmosphere."
"Every child is a blessing," he adds, "But, you know, being able to have a child that can endure the road — sleep driving down the road banging up as the road goes by," he laughs.
Speaking of banged up. There's that infamous incident earlier this year in which Owen, having a little fun with NASCAR drivers Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick, crashed a go-kart and severely injured his hand, resulting in surgical amputation of one of his fingertips. Oh yeah, and the fact that, directly following surgery, Owen had a show to play that evening at Fenway Park...and he played it.
"At the time, it was rather, uh excruciating," he deadpans. "But I wasn’t going to miss that. I mean, my whole life, all I’ve ever wanted to do was play music, much less play at places like Fenway Park. So I couldn’t really pass that up. So, I was in a sling and I was wrapped up...and I was on some, um, pain relievers, I’ll call them. And I just did what I could!" Ouch.
"At the end of the day, I’ll always be the guy that likes to have fun and live life and do fun and crazy things," Owen admits. "But I also was raised in a great family, and have a great mother and father. They’re still married and they’ve taught a lot of the great values and morals that they instilled in me as a child that I want to go forth with."
"The responsibility I have now as an artist, and the platform that I have now to speak where people listen, it’s important what I say…because people are listening and my child is watching. It's important to go forth from this part of my life using this to my best ability, and do the best things that I can do."