SANTA FE, N.M. — Ted Nugent always speaks his mind. And that’s just the way he likes it.
The 65-year-old musician is gearing up to release his new album, “Shut Up and Jam,” on July 8. Nugent says the album’s title came spontaneously while he was playing around with his guitar.
“The riff was there and I started singing,” he says during a recent interview. “It wasn’t a planned song and I feel that it represents how I’m feeling with music. I just want to shut up and play music. That’s the only time you won’t hear me.”
Nugent says the music on “Shut Up and Jam” is a mix of blues and in-your-face rock. The album is a result of his life being diverse, he adds.
“This year, I will be doing my 6,500th concert,” he says. “That’s a lot of shows since 1958. With each show, I try to do as much outreach in the towns that I’m in. I’ve volunteered my time with various children’s charities and I do a lot of it on the road. There’s a softer side to me as well, and most people don’t get to see it too often.”
Nugent says because he does spend his time volunteering, he’s able to see another side of life.
“This is where the blues-type songs come into play,” he says. “There’s not one day in my life that’s been the same and I’m thankful for that. It’s been a journey to do what I do and have fun doing it.”
Aside from being a musician, Nugent also is known as an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting and fishing.
He says even though he tours often, he’s able to carve out time for his hobbies. He’s involved with the show “Spirit of the Wild” on the Outdoor Channel.
“I go hunting about 300 days out of the year,” he says. “On tour, I’ll hole up near a lake or river and see if I can get in some fishing. This is all time for me to do something else that I love.”