With a new CD, Hillbilly Deluxe
, out on Aug. 30, and a hit single, "Play Something Country," on the charts, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn are now on a 30-city arena tour. People's Michael McCall caught up with Brooks, 50, and Dunn, 52, in Brentwood, Tenn.
Which do you prefer—playing in a small club or a massive arena?
DUNN: We've always looked at an arena as just a bigger honky-tonk.
BROOKS: Guys go to bars to pick up girls or get drunk. You're just a living jukebox to them. There's nothing more intimate than 15,000 people in an arena who are focused on the stage.
Is it true that you guys often pull pranks on other country music stars?
BROOKS: Faith Hill
pulled something on one of our friends, so we bought an eel at a truck stop and it mysteriously ended up in her bed in her hotel. We've kind of regressed from there. Jo Dee Messina put balloons on our bus one time. So we hired a hot air balloon, put a sack over her head and sent her on her way. Just so happened she was scared of heights.
DUNN: It also so happened that the balloon crash-landed in a neighborhood in D.C. She was pissed, and that was good. You want to piss them off.
What should viewers look for when you host the CMAs on Nov. 15 this year?
DUNN: For us it's just an issue of basic survival. People know we're going to walk out there uncomfortable.
BROOKS: It's like watching someone who doesn't know how to skate. How long is it going to take him to fall on his butt? This is going to be good!