Jordan B Peterson / YouTube
During a nearly two-hour podcast interview with Dr. Jordan B. Peterson, Oliver Anthony shared what he believed to be his call to action now that he’s become a popular public figure.
“I’ve had people say that I’m a fence sitter and that I need to have some call to action. And I guess, like, if there’s anything I’d respond to that with, (it’s) a Pharisee asked Jesus ‘teacher which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ And Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is, Love your neighbor as yourself,” Anthony said during the podcast. “If we could learn to make that our priority, it would resolve a lot of the conflits that have become way over complicated.”
Peterson started off the conversation by letting Anthony know that he’s been listening to and collecting country music vinyls since he was a kid and that he’s built a big collection of country western music. He added he’s also built a large collection of songs and created a Spotify playlist that he and his wife often listen to as they go on road trips across the country.
After getting to know one another, Peterson went on to ask Anthony a few questions: “You have a genuineness of voice that has obviously struck a cord and so while I’m curious about that, first of all, I’m really curious about how you’re doing because you’ve been the center of a media firestorm here in the last couple weeks and that must be shocking to you. What’s that been like? And what is it about your song that you think it did right that contributed to it going viral?”
Anthony told Peterson that the way he has skyrocketed, there have been accusations that he has been propped up and that he’s actually an industry plant. Anthony clarified that the song was recorded on a Saturday, uploaded on a Tuesday, and by Thursday, “we were on a rollercoaster ride.”
Anthony then refocused on answering the question of how he was doing and he said with a smiling laugh, “Surprisingly, very calm.” He added that there are a lot of made-up things running around the internet about him that are not true. Like him agreeing to sing at the Super Bowl or attending a rave called Burning Man. He laughed saying that he’s getting all kinds of hate messages from people who think these things are true but he clarified that they were just things people on the internet made up.
Above it all, Anthony says he’s doing well because he’s just not taking it all so seriously. He’s focusing on that he’s blessed with the opportunity to be here (on the podcast with Peterson and with popular figures like Joe Rogan.)
Peterson asked, “I read today that you had an $8 million contract offer that you turned down. I’m wondering if that’s true? If it’s true, why you did it? What your alternative plans are? And if you have a real devout vision for what it would be like to keep doing what you’re doing but also be successful?
Anthony answered, “Music is important to me. Like, these songs that I wrote, I wrote for me. And inadvertently it has helped a lot of other people. Not just ‘Rich Men North Of Richmond’ but ‘I’ve Got To Get Sober.’ That’s one I just recorded on my Andriod phone and if you look through the comments and emails I’ve gotten…I had a gentleman the other day tell me his brother had commited suicide, he had been struggling with drugs for years, and this was a big gruff guy that looked like he could kill me with two fingers. And we hugged each other and as he cried he told me this (that his songs helped him) and that’s what’s improtant to me.”
Anthony went on to say that people are so desperate to restore some element of humanity back into their lives that we’ve somehow lost. He doesn’t want to turn what he’s done into some sort of Enterprise where everything is about beating the algorithm, making money, and being at the top of the chart.
“Yes, I did,” he said. “I have turned down a lot of offers. I have had millions of dollars thrown at me. I’ve had everything thrown at me the last couple weeks. I guess the reason why I want to stay on my own path is because I’d like to inspire other musicians to do the same thing I did. To not worry about going through a record lable or worry about trying to find a big booking agency but just focus more on creating whatever it is you feel compelled to create and just get it out there and not worry about everything esle.”
Anthony answered, “I don’t know what I want my music to turn into but it may manifest itself into some form of a non-profit or a ministery than more of me just going out (to play shows). I don’t want to just go yell my songs at every stadium for the rest of my life. I want this to turn into something that’s more meaningful that that, if that makes any sense.”
There were all kinds of amazing things Anthony said in this podcast. But overall, he says he just wants to have the freedom to do whatever he finds is necessary and impact people the way that he has so far been able to do with the music he’s released.
The interview is absolutely incredible and mindblowing. To hear about the many things that are happening in Anthony’s life, from the lives he’s impacted, to the people he’s meeting, and to the upcoming songs that he’s writing and preparing to release soon, this is one podcast you’re going to want to hear! Go ahead now and click play on the video below to listen to the full interview.