Millions of fans know Dennis Quaid as the actor who has starred in blockbuster hits like The Rookie, Wyatt Earp and the recent I Can Only Imagine, but Quaid is also a singer and songwriter as well. After years of playing clubs with his band, the Sharks, Quaid is finally releasing his debut album, Out of the Box, on Nov. 30, with renowned producer T Bone Burnett.
"I was talking about how I wanted to really make a record, something I’d never done," Quaid told the Tennessean, recalling his conversation with Burnett, whose numerous music credits include O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Crazy Heart, among others. "T Bone set us up over at Village Recording in LA, loaned us his engineer, Mike Piersante, and we just began. Put down 25 tracks, which we’ve whittled down to the Sharks’ first record."
Quaid certainly isn't the only actor to delve into making music, with Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland and many more also enjoying performing with a band, but he says it's because the two careers are surprisingly similar.
"Writing songs is kind of like working on a character in a movie," Quaid explained. "You do a lot of pondering and thinking. Once you actually get the musical theme of what you’re doing, it becomes like putting the pieces of a character together."
The 64-year-old, who has both A Dog's Journey and Midway coming out next year, is finally at a place where he can focus on his passions, and not just his career.
"I’m at that point in my film career where I’m not playing the lead roles anymore," noted Quaid. "I’m the guy that comes in for two weeks, really hits it hard, and then I’m out of there ... I’m loving acting more than ever, because I don’t have to have everything on my shoulders there. I have the freedom and the ability to be able to pick and choose and do things that I want."
Perhaps if Quaid hadn't taken on the role of Arthur Millard, the abusive father to singer Bart Millard, in I Can Only Imagine, he might not have been brave enough to delve into music in the first place.
"I learn from everything that I do, from every character because I'm interested in people," Quaid told PopCulture.com of the redemptive role. "I would just say I'm very inspired walking away. This is what I took from this role."
The actor knows fans might come to his shows because of his fame, but he isn't bothered by that fact in the least.
"Come and see the movie star, and hopefully you’ll stay for the music," he said. "We're there to entertain...We just want everybody to have a good time."
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