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'I have something to say': Kiefer Sutherland makes Stampede debut

Last Updated Jul 9, 2019 at 1:39 pm MST

(Twitter: @RealKiefer)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Most will know him from his famous television roles, but Kiefer Sutherland is adding another title to his name: musician.

The 54-year-old is making his debut at the Calgary Stampede, headlining the Nashville North Stage on Monday night.

Sutherland said that music has always been a part of his life, but he really started writing music in his thirties. When he went to record it started as him recording songs for publishing houses, to see if there were other artists out there that would want to record. Jude Cole produced those tracks and Sutherland said that he convinced him to publish a record, something he’s grateful for.

“I have loved the touring, and musically I feel like I have something to say,” Sutherland said. “At this point in my life, if someone is going to make fun of it, and I can’t handle that, that’s on me.”

Musically, Sutherland said that he had a number of influences, but when it comes to songwriting he tends to lean more towards lyrics that he can connect with.

“Merle Haggard is a perfect example of that, with a song as simple as ‘Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down’, but it paints pictures for me that I could see or feel.”

Sutherland said that for him, he feels like he can talk about things such as love, or losing a loved one and connect with an audience, but he also can also talk about things like just hanging out and having fun at a bar.

However, his connection to the Calgary Stampede doesn’t just include his performance at Nashville North. What most don’t know, is Sutherland competed in rodeo back in the day.

He says that he started acting when he was 15 years old and in his twenties, he wanted to try something different and add something new to his resume which led him to team calf roping.

“It was so good for me to have something to focus my energy on, and it allowed me to fill my well up so that when I went back to acting I had something new to add,” Sutherland said.

He describes his experience in rodeo as challenging, exciting, nerve-racking and most importantly fun, adding that he met some amazing people through that experience.

“I really wish that I could have been able to rodeo here, that would have been a dream of mine come true, so being asked to perform here I’ll take it.”

From the corral to the stage to the screen

Sutherland seems to have done it all and continues to tackle engaging and complex roles, including, most recently, the character of Tom Kirkman on the Netflix show ‘Designated Survivor’.

While the TV drama is about a man who becomes the President of the United States overnight, Sutherland said that what is happening on the political landscape doesn’t affect his portrayal of the character.

Sutherland said ‘Designated Survivor’ is a show that focuses on his character being thrust into the presidency and follows this man who has a moral contract with himself, watching how he’s tested with everything that comes with that.

“That being said, the show will mirror what will be happening in the world, whether it is the right-wing nationalist movement that happening in areas of western Europe that you would have never imagined that possible, and the same for things happening in the United States.”

A fun fact about Sutherland’s character choice for Tom Kirkman: the glasses he wears on the show are similar to the ones his grandfather, former Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas, wore.

Sutherland said he found the closest ones he could and they were his way to say ‘hello to him, and I’m thinking of him.’