"I'm just so fed up with political correctness," said Rock, who is "proudly" supporting Republican candidate Mitt Romney. He joined vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan at a Michigan rally in August and more recently performed at the Republican National Convention. "People are so angry at each other for their viewpoints. You know, yeah, I'm a little right-wing, I'm gonna vote for Mitt Romney, but that's where my politics end, speaking to people who listen to my music, you know?"
The country-infused rocker went on to add that differing views should not drive a wedge between people, but rather be celebrated: "But if you're not [going to vote for Romney], it's OK, we can still have a conversation and be friends and maybe enlighten each other on some views. I think thinking differently is what made this country great."
Rock also talked about his new record, Rebel Soul, which is due November 19th and finds the musician going back to the brash rockers that are his strength after 2010's slightly more subdued, Rick Rubin-assisted Born Free.
"I set out to make a greatest hits record, but with all new songs," Rock said. "After the last record that I did, which was pretty poignant and spoke about things that were going on in Detroit with the economic downturn, this was like, I just want to get back and make a fun Kid Rock record. Whatever it feels like that day in the studio, write those songs, whether they're hip-hop or rock & roll or country, just have fun with it."
Not that Rock doesn't edge toward serious subject matter. He just does it his own way: First single "Let's Ride," he says, was written for active U.S. troops, though he refers to it not as a tribute but "an anthem, something for the guys to get pumped up to when they've got to go out and do these horrendous jobs."
"I was almost thinking of maybe what a commander would say to the group as they have to go out and go into one of these situations," says Rock, who's made several trips to perform for troops in the Middle East. "And a lot of the guys who work for me now are all guys who have done several tours, so I was able to get a lot of insight. I tried to write what these guys would want to hear."
Of course there's plenty of boozing and cruising on the record as well. Rock recalls how the track "Cucci Galore," which he wrote during the Born Free sessions, ended up on the new record: "So Zac Brown, the country singer, was at my house with his band, early on, and there were some girls there, and I'm playing this song, and they're going, 'Man, this song's great, you gotta put this out!'" Rock remembers. "And Rick never wanted me to put it on a record, so I e-mailed him and I'm like, 'Dude, I don't know what you're talking about. Zac Brown's here and he's telling me I should put out this 'Cucci Galore' song, and there's girls dancing on my coffee table right now, out of their minds on it.' And Rick texts me back, 'Them hoes is so drunk they'd probably dance to "Taps."' So, of course, I put it on the record."