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Exclusive Interview: Josh Owens From Moonshiners

Josh Owens, the infamous wild man from the Discovery Network’s hit television show Moonshiners, is celebrating his 45th birthday this weekend at the first annual Birthday Bash and Outlaw Revival.

Headlined by entertainment from Struggle Jennings and featuring celebrity meet and greets, the all-day event takes place Saturday, August 20, at the East Tennessee Distillery in Piney Flats, TN.

Rock Confidential caught up with Owens to talk about his family’s moonshine legacy, his obsession with all things fast, the never-ending love for his furry companion Cutie Pie, and being the rock star with no guitar!

I’ve gotta say a happy early birthday, man. It sounds like you’re going to have one hell of a celebration this weekend.

I hope so, man. I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve only had one other real birthday party besides cake or something at the house with my folks. I’ve never had a big blowout before. I hope it’s epic.

This is the very first Outlaw Revival, right?

Yes. This is the very first one. I want to turn it into an annual event and have a bunch of giant bands come. I really want this thing to explode. We’re going to have a lot of good food, bands, Moonshiners and celebrities. I want it to be an annual event. It may not happen in the same place every year. I’d like to do one in Virginia. The location is not set in stone.

Struggle Jennings is the headliner this year. Who else will be performing?

I’ve got a bunch of killer bands. Struggle Jennings, Kentucky Music Mafia, Dirty Grass Soul, Thomas Gabriel – which is Johnny Cash’s grandson. I’ve got some local bands like Jeff Anderson, my buddy Brandon Hart, and quite a few bands coming. Henry and Kenny Law from the Moonshiners show will be there, Butterbean, Red Dog, Marge In Charge, Nick Grimes from The Walking Dead. John Boy’s BBQ will be there. He’s bringing some pulled pork and some killer ribs. I’m just really looking forward to hanging out with everybody and partying to tell you the truth. I don’t really want to do the meet and greet thing, I’m still the same dude I’ve always been. I just want everybody to come and enjoy themselves.

Your wild personality and the crazy string of bad luck throughout all the seasons of Moonshiners has definitely made you a fan favorite.

I don’t know if I’m a fan favorite or not, I’m just Josh doing my thing. I’ve been making a lot of friends and traveling the world working on a lot of TV shows. I always wanted to be a rock star and right now I’m a rock star with no guitar. It’s been crazy. But I’ve been working hard to give back, too. If someone has cancer or if a kid is sick or someone’s house burns down – I’ll do anything I can. I can’t give everybody money or save the world, but I’ll do whatever I can.

Moonshiners has allowed you to do all kinds of other things and make a brand for yourself.

One thing about me, if I die tomorrow nobody can say Josh Owens hasn’t lived. I always wanted to be a rock star. I always wanted to be a race car driver. I always wanted to be a motorcycle racer. When I got a little older I wanted to be a moonshiner. I was fascinated and didn’t know how deep it ran in my veins because my family never talked about it. Moonshining runs in my veins all the way back to England and Scotland. They brought it to America. My uncle Amos Owens was a famous moonshiner. Google him. It will say he was the most famous moonshiner in North Carolina history. Moonshining led me to be the guy you see now. I’m racing cars and motorcycles, hunting and fishing, and traveling the world doing meet and greets. When I’m looking forward and striving to do better, I’ll think “Man, I’m never gonna get there.” Then I’ll be relaxing, scrolling through Facebook and seeing all these photos and it hits me. Man, I’ve done it. I’m doing it. I’m really doing everything I’ve wanted to do with my life. I feel like God is really blessing me. I tell everybody I’m a rock star with no guitar. I’ve always wanted to play rock music, but my way of giving back is making moonshine and just doin’ my thing.

You’ve tapped into the family legacy and I know that makes you feel good, too.

Being able to carry that on means so much to me. The legacy, the heritage. To be the guy that I am right now is really amazing. I’m just an old country boy getting to do what I wanted to do. God’s really blessed me.

Let’s talk music. Who are some of your favorite bands?

Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, Ratt, Metallica. Bark At The Moon was the first album I ever had. I liked all the hair bands. I used to love Skid Row a lot back in the day. I could go on and on and on. I listen to anything from the Rolling Stones to the Doors to Cody Jinks. I’m all over the place. Waylon Jennings is my hero. I just got to do a Waylon Jennings tribute video with his grandson. I got to tell Waylon “Happy Birthday in Heaven” from his family. That was amazing to me. I can’t put it into words, really. It was a big honor for me to do that.

What was your first concert?

Cinderella, Bulletboys and Winger. That was at the BI-LO Center in Greenville, South Carolina on the Long Cold Winter tour.

When you have a couple of days to get away, where in the area do you like to go?

I’d have to say Virginia is on my list for several reasons. I make a lot of moonshine in Virginia. It’s beautiful there and I’ve got a lot of friends there because I’ve been filming there for three or four years straight now. I go up a couple of times a month and I’m sometimes there for the whole month. I’m in between Greenville, South Carolina and Virginia. That’s keeping me real busy. As far as traveling for a vacation, I really like Charleston a lot. I used to live down there. I love it. I love South Dakota because it’s so beautiful and I’m usually at Sturgis. I like going to Kentucky and Illinois for my hunting trips.

Tell me about your new coffee that honors the legendary dog Cutie Pie.

It’s called “Cutie Pie’s Hair Of The Dog.” Cutie Pie was my compadre, my best friend. She wasn’t like a dog. I could talk to her. She understood what I said. She’d roll her damn eyeballs at you – for real. Towards the end, when she started wearing down, she’d roll her eyes all time. She would look at you for 20 minutes, but as soon as you’d pull out a camera she would turn her head and look the other direction. It was like she was saying, “Dad, I’m over it.” I quit doing that to her and she just disappeared from the scene. A friend of mine came in started helping me take care of her. I never put her back on camera. She was over it and not in good health and I wasn’t going to do her that way. God, I miss her so bad. This is my way of paying homage to her. I didn’t want her legacy to die.

What’s going on with your racing team?

I’m all about racing. My folks would never buy me a dirt bike growing up because they were afraid I would kill myself. I’m a maniac. If they would have I would have probably been a paid rider as a kid. I was like a duck in water when it came to being on a motorcycle. As I got a little older I got a job at a gas station pumping gas. I saved up my money and bought me a dirt bike. I was like 14 years old and it was a Honda XR350R. That’s an adult motorcycle. It whipped my ass! But, it made me the rider I am today. I learned how to ride that big ole motorcycle all over the place. When I got a real dirt bike with good suspension, a real motor and it was lighter weight, I was hell on wheels, son! Within two months of getting a Kawasaki KX250 brand new off the showroom floor, I was racing. My first race, I blew the motorcycle up. One of the screws came out and drained the water out of the bottom end of the motor and blew the motor up. I got it fixed and won the next race. I dominated and won the championship. I dominated the next season. I won two North Carolina state championships. My third season, when I went into the pro class, I blew my knee out. That was the end of my dirt bike racing days. I got into street bikes and I’ve been racing Harleys. I race antique board track bikes. Hundred year old Harley-Davidson’s with no brakes. That’s how I got my No Brakes brand. I’ve got dirt cars, asphalt cars, street stock. I’ve got a ’62 Chevy II Nova. We’re having a brand new engine put in it right now. It was a pretty competitive car before I got started. I bought it ready to go. I took it to a race this season and tore the clutch out of it and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. That landed me a transmission sponsor. G-Force Transmissions just sponsored me. We’re gonna run the last three or four races of the Southeast Gassers Association this year. I’m all about going fast, I don’t care what it is. There’s just something about being able to go faster than the other guy. Or having bigger balls and having what it takes to win. I love it.

On a serious note, I know you’re concerned about the recent flooding that devastated Kentucky.

We’re selling a bunch of Kentucky Strong shirts. All the proceeds from those shirts goes to the flood victims. I’m just trying to help out and give back.

Help celebrate Josh’s birthday this weekend – more information is available at OutlawRevival.com.





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