For the past couple of years, Kip Moore has spent most of his time on the road, building one of country music’s most loyal audiences show by show and plotting what would become his sophomore album, Wild Ones. He was a road warrior, living out of a tour bus with his bandmates and playing more than 200 shows per year. For a songwriter who’d grown up in a quiet pocket of southern Georgia, performing to crowds across the world — crowds that knew every word to his best-selling debut album, Up All Night — felt like a dream come true.
Somewhere along the way, though, the highway became a lonely place. The routine was always the same: pull into town, play a show, pack up and leave. There was no stability, no comfort. Things weren’t much easier at home in Nashville, where Moore —whose first album had sent three songs to the top of the country charts, including “Beer Money” and “Hey Pretty Girl” —found himself receiving plenty of unsolicited advice from people who wanted to keep the hits coming…at any cost.
“Once you start having a little bit of success,” he says, “all of a sudden, there’s a lot of opinions about who you should be, what you should be doing, how it should be marketed. A lot of those opinions are great, but Wild Ones was influenced by me saying, ‘This is just who I am. I’m not gonna do what other people are doing. I’m not chasing a trend. I’m gonna do the kind of music I wanna do, and the kind of music I think my fans wanna hear, and that’s the end of the story.'”
From amphitheater tours with Dierks Bentley to his own headlining tours across America, Moore has spent the last three years learning what, exactly, his fans want to hear. He’s a genuine road warrior, armed with a live show that mixes the bombast and wild desperation of Bruce Springsteen with the rootsy stomp of Merle Haggard. It’s a sound built on space and swagger. A sound that bangs as hard as it twangs. A sound caught somewhere between blue-collar country music and stadium-sized rock & roll. And that’s the sound that Moore’s fans, who’ve already catapulted him to PLATINUM-selling heights, want to hear.
When it came time to create new music for his second album, Wild Ones, Moore didn’t have to look very far for inspiration. He just took a look around, taking stock of the world as it flew by his bus window at highway speed.
“Everything that’s taken place over the last two years —this traveling circus, these shows, the band, the toll that the road can take on you but also the exuberance it can bring —it all inspired the record,” he explains. “It’s a record about what we’ve gone through, and I wanted the music to match the intensity of what we do every night onstage. We never go through the motions, no matter how tired and exhausted we are.”
Moore wrote or co-wrote all of Wild Ones‘ thirteen tracks, often teaming up with songwriters like Dan Couch or Weston Davis. More than a few songs were born on the road, where Moore found himself coming up with new ones during soundchecks, inside backstage dressing rooms, and in his bunk at night. He’d arrange the songs, too, coming up with bass parts, guitar licks and drum patterns in addition to the melodies. Sometimes, he’d write some lyrics, scrap them, then write a completely different set. The emphasis wasn’t on creating the largest catalog of songs in the shortest time possible; it was on funneling the feeling of a Kip Moore concert into a single album, no matter how much time it took.
Driven forward by electric guitars and gang vocals, “Lipstick” is the album’s most heartfelt tribute to the road, with each verse rattling off a list of the favorite cities Moore and his bandmates have played in the past. Other songs, like “That Was Us,” take a look backward, sketching a picture of the archetypal small-town Saturday nights that filled Moore’s teenage years in Georgia. “Magic,” anchored by one of the anthemic, open-armed choruses of Moore’s career, is loud and lovely, and “Comeback Kid” packs its punch the opposite way: by dialing back the volume and delivering quiet praise to the underdog in all of us.
Befitting an album that was largely inspired by —and written on — the road, Moore recorded Wild Ones during quick breaks in his touring schedule. He’d book one or two days of studio time, then hit the road for three months, then return to Nashville and book more sessions. Gradually, the album started to take shape. Brett James, his longtime friend and ally, co-produced the project.
“We created a lot of space in this record,” Moore says proudly. “It’s not a bunch of people playing all over the place. We tracked a lot of the record with just a three-piece band. If you go to most Nashville recording sessions, there’s gonna be six or seven people in the room. But we recorded this one with less people, just to allow the fans to actually listen to what’s going on. It makes everything sound bigger.”
“Big.” Perhaps that’s the best description for Wild Ones, a super-sized record inspired by the grit, grind, and glamour of the live shows that have helped make Moore a country favorite. For Moore, going big was the only option.
“I’ve always felt like the guy whose cards are stacked against him,” he says. “I’ve always been the underdog, but I also say, ‘You can count me out for a minute, but don’t think I’ll stay down for very long.’”
Kip Moore is reflecting on his recent extended break, premiering the insightful lyric video for his new single, “More Girls Like You” exclusively on Travel & Leisure today. Offering an unfiltered look into his trip to Costa Rica, Moore shares scenes of local life, surfing and enjoying impromptu jam sessions, with stunning surroundings playing as an instrumental backdrop.
“I love to travel and really embrace the surrounding culture wherever I am,” said Moore. “I never have much of a plan when I go, just the destination and am always open to meeting people and having memorable experiences. My best friend PJ is an amazing videographer and photographer, and he was able to document a lot of this trip and we thought it would be an interesting way to show that other side of my life when I’m not on the road and touring non-stop. I’ll be back on the road playing shows soon, but I may have a few more stops in the works before then.”
2017 is picking up momentum fast for Moore, with “More Girls Like You” debuting as most added at country radio last week, as well as the most added of his career to date. Co-written by Moore, the single is also receiving praise from critics such as Taste Of Country who notes the track “doubles down on a heavy, thumping formula he relied on to create one of the best country albums of 2015” and Entertainment Weekly declaring he “has made a name for himself weaving vignettes of Southern, blue-collar life and love into rollicking country anthems.”
As he “consistently serves up clever roots-rock riffs and rhythms” (Associated Press), the release of “More Girls Like You” follows the critical acclaim that surrounded Moore’s UNDERGROUND EP, a five-track collection that “strikes the defiant tone that’s been a part of his artistry” (Rolling Stone) as well as his sophomore album WILD ONES heralded as “an impressively singular release from Music Row” by The Guardian. Moore first turned heads with his debut album UP ALL NIGHT which was certified GOLD by the RIAA and spawned three No. One hit singles including GOLD certified “Beer Money,” PLATINUM certified “Hey Pretty Girl,” and the DOUBLE PLATINUM breakout hit “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck. For more information visit, visit kipmoore.net.
Kip Moore is back from his much-needed break. After his Me & My Kind Tour stop in Chicago December 10th, he took time off the road for basically the first time since he started his musical journey.
“I just said I was going to take a little break. I never meant that I was going to go away for a long, long time, but I mean I had only had more than seven of eight days off for about six years. I mean, that was the maximum I had in between tours. So, when you’re doing 200 shows a year for six years straight, you know, a week just doesn’t quite cut it,” says Kip. “And, three months off is a pretty long time for me. You know, I didn’t know exactly know how long I was gonna take, but I pretty much had finished the record before I left and so I was able to completely disconnect from it. And, I went to Maui first, then went to Costa Rica, then went to Park City, and now I’m back. Now I’m ready to go.”
Kip, who’s making his way up the country charts with “More Girls Like You,” returns to the road Friday (March 3rd) in Plant City, Florida.
Kip Moore (his extended vacation) OC: …ready to go :39
“I just said I was going to take a little break. I never meant that I was going to go away for a long, long time, but I mean I had only had more than seven of eight days off for about six years. I mean, that was the maximum I had in between tours. So, when you’re doing 200 shows a year for six years straight, you know, a week just doesn’t quite cut it. And, three months off is a pretty long time for me. You know, I didn’t know exactly know how long I was gonna take, but I pretty much had finished the record before I left and so I was able to completely disconnect from it. And, I went to Maui first, then went to Costa Rica, then went to Park City, and now I’m back. Now I’m ready to go.”
Kip Moore has released his new single, “More Girls Like You,” as the lead single off his next upcoming project. The song, available at iTunes today, was co-produced and co-written by Moore alongside Steven Olsen, Josh Miller and David Garcia.
“I’ve never been that guy looking for a relationship and solitude has never scared me,” said Moore. “I’ve never bought into the societal pressure of following the A, B and C steps of life, but I still look forward to the family chapter. This song is about meeting that someone you find so amazing inside and out, that you can only pray the kids you have together are just as amazing as she is. That’s the kind of woman I hope to end up with.”
A tireless road warrior and perpetual songwriter, Moore took an extended vacation after years on the road and shared some of his experiences and details behind the new single with Entertainment Weekly and PEOPLE, as well as the reason behind releasing his five-song EP, Underground.
Last October, after years of heavy touring and with plans to take the first extended break in his career, Kip released Underground. “That was to be like, ‘Hey, I appreciate you guys waiting on the record, I know I take forever,’” he says.
You can catch Kip as he performs the classic “I Second That Emotion” as part of the PBS special, Smokey Robinson: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, tonight (February 10th) at 9pm ET.
For more information visit www.kipmoore.net.