Darius Rucker Says He and Hootie Bandmates Still ‘Talk All the Time’ and Will ‘Probably’ Make Another Record (Exclusive)

Darius Rucker in 2023
Darius Rucker.Picture:

Jim Wright

There’s a narrative Darius Rucker and his Hootie & the Blowfish bandmates inform time and again and once more every time they hang around. The group was set to see the Ramones play a present, however after a day of ingesting, Rucker was handed out, and had each intention of staying that method.

Enter guitarist Mark Bryan. “I simply bear in mind Mark beating me foolish to make me get up and saying, ‘You’re going to the Ramones,’” Rucker recollects on this week’s concern of PEOPLE. “And to today, it’s the very best present I’ve ever seen.”

Hootie’s ‘90s heyday could have come and gone, however that simple camaraderie between Rucker, Bryan, and bandmates Dean Felber and Jim Sonefeld has remained within the years since, whilst Rucker, 57, has pursued a solo profession in nation music (His new album, Carolyn’s Boy, is out now).

“We’re nonetheless associates. We nonetheless speak on a regular basis. We go to soccer video games collectively,” he says. “What we’ve as associates transcends [fame] as a result of we went by a lot collectively that even when we are saying tomorrow, Hootie & the Blowfish isn’t going to play once more, I feel the 4 of us would nonetheless be associates.”

Hootie & the Blowfish
Hootie & the Blowfish on the 1996 Grammy Awards.


The quartet first crossed paths in 1986 as college students on the College of South Carolina, the place they named their group after the nicknames of two associates.

For years, they toiled in obscurity, enjoying frat events for $30 a gig, till 1994, when their debut album Cracked Rear View broke by to the mainstream (The album stays one of many best-selling albums of all time, and earned the group two Grammys on the 1996 ceremony).

“[My Hootie bandmates and I] are nonetheless a bunch of dorks. Fame and cash have made it extra enjoyable to be a dork, however we’re nonetheless these 4 geeks operating all around the nation who don’t take ourselves too severely,” Rucker says of the group’s everyman attraction. “We have been all the time the blokes subsequent door— everybody checked out us and went, ‘I may hang around with these guys.’”

Even so, the “Beers and Sunshine” singer says that critics typically left the musicians feeling as if that they had “to show one thing” to naysayers.

Hootie & the Blowfish: bassist Dean Felber, drummer Jim Sonefeld, lead singer Darius Rucker, lead guitarist Mark Bryan on December 27, 1994
Hootie & the Blowfish (L-R Dean Felber, Jim Sonefeld, Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan) carry out on The Tonight Present with Jay Leno in 1994.

Alice S. Corridor/NBCU Picture Financial institution/NBCUniversal through Getty

“That was robust to undergo,” he says. “We bought all these data, we performed all these reveals, and right here we’re, nonetheless having to show ourselves. But it surely made us stronger. It made success even sweeter.”

After releasing a gentle stream of albums within the ‘90s and early 2000s, Hootie took a break after their fifth album, In search of Fortunate, in 2005, as Rucker discovered success as a solo nation artist. In 2019, the group reunited for a reunion tour and a brand new album titled Imperfect Circle.

So, will they be teaming up as soon as extra sooner or later for one more Hootie album?

“On the finish of the day, we actually like one another. I don’t know if we’ll ever make a report once more. I’m certain we’ll play reveals once more. I’m certain Mark’s going to wish to make a report once more, so we in all probability will,” Rucker says. “I’m not going to say we’re not going to make a report once more. I simply know no person’s calling me up proper now and saying, ‘Let’s make a report.’”

For extra on Darius Rucker, decide up the most recent concern of PEOPLE, on newsstands in every single place Friday.

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