Now that he’s conquered the U.S., country singer Garth Brooks has his sights set on the rest of the world. The Liberty recording artist will launch his first European tour with a gig in Dublin, Ireland, on March 30. With dates planned for stops in London, Germany, Spain, Japan and Australia, Brooks is expected to be on tour internationally through June.
As part of the worldwide marketing campaign for Brooks, the singer will also appear Friday on the PBS series “Talking With David Frost.” In the interview, which will air in the U.S. before being fed by satellite overseas, Brooks blasts both record companies in Nashville for signing on to the next big thing and artists who lack commitment to the country music genre. He also criticized the feature film industry for not having enough stories that reflect “real life,” something he hopes to correct through his film projects.
While a handful of other country artists have successfully toured abroad, overseas promoters have long been interested in a Brooks tour but have been unable to get a commitment from the artist.
In 1992 Brooks was contemplating taking an extended break from touring, finally deciding to continue performing after an eight-month hiatus that ended early last year.
Although overseas sales of Brooks discs pale by comparison to his U.S. levels , his sales tally in the international markets, even without touring, has been in the mid-to-high five figures. Execs at EMI Records — the inter-national arm of Brooks’ label — expect sales of the singer’s albums, particularly his latest , “In Pieces,” to increase substantially once he tours the region.
In addition to a U.K. performance set for April 10 at the 12,000-seat National Exhibition Center in West Midlands, Birmingham, Brooks will play the next night at Wembley Arena (12,500 seats).
In the Frost interview, Brooks attacks artists and record labels who are mining Music City gold without the requisite sincerity.
“They’re signing anybody that’s ever twanged before in their life,” Brooks said. “The ones that are here for the money, I’d just as soon they’d pack up and go home.”
Brooks also said he hoped to bring more real-life experiences into feature films through his budding film career.
“It’s something I still think movies have a problem with,” Brooks said. “I’ve always been the guy that’s in the movie house that probably didn’t enjoy the last half of the movie ’cause somewhere in the middle of it the whole turning point of it would never happen in real life.”
Brooks recently signed a first-look deal with Disney.