Huge crowds, Huge energy, Huge weekend. Luke Bryan is having a blast on the road playing for you! Check out last week’s highlights below.
Dierks Bentley had a day off on Sunday, and he and a couple of his friends decided to head out on the lake to enjoy the beautiful day. He actually tweeted a photo and message to Little Big Town touting their hot single, “Pontoon.”
“Yo @LBTmusic we’re listenin to “pontoon” out on percy priest lake on the actual pontoon boat y’all used in the video!”
The following is a Q&A with Eric Church and the Village Voice about his participation in Metallica’s Orion Fest this weekend.
With Sinners Like Me and Carolina, Eric Church established himself as one of the most exciting young artists in the country music, mixing man-up rockers like “Lotta Boot Left to Fill” with mature, never-quite-melancholy reflections (“Those I’ve Loved,” “What I Almost Was”) on the different paths and people that open and close over the course of a lifetime. Last year’s Chief, meanwhile, proved to be his breakout, leading to a tour and a spot at this weekend’s Metallica-curated Orion Fest. In advance of that once-in-a-lifetime gig, the two of us talked over the phone about the music he heard growing up, his history of playing rock bars, and how it feels to be the only country act on the festival’s bill.
Hey Eric, how’s it going? I’m sure you’re excited for this weekend.
Man, I’m excited and I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m a little bit nervous about it. I’ve been to Metallica shows, and I’ve seen that. Being from another genre, I think it’s a crazy thing and a great thing that they’re doing this. It says a lot about them, involving other genres like they are is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard of. I’m just nervous to get out there and see what people think of us.
So what’s it mean to be the only country act picked for this?
Oh, it’s huge for me. The kind of music that I’ve always strived to make—and I think by and large most of the time we’ve done it—is not overly definable by what genre it is. We play a lot of places where I get people that come up and say, “I don’t really listen to country, but I like what you guys do.” I get that comment a lot, so I think for us to have somebody like Metallica, who are one of the hardest bands, maybe the hardest band in the history of heavy metal, to come out and say, “Hey, we want you to be the only representative of country,” is a great honor for us. You look at the rest of the lineup: Avenged Sevenfold, who I love, the Arctic Monkeys—there are some great bands who have nothing to do with and have probably never heard of anyone in my side of the world, so to be able to go over and do that is an honor.
What’s your plan of attack? Are you going to play as if it were a straightforward country crowd, or are you going to do something a little different for the new audience?
I think we’re going to do something a little different. Part of the reason that it somewhat makes sense for us to be the band they chose is that the way we came up was a little different. We didn’t play the traditional country clubs that everybody else out there played: Frankly, our music wasn’t very welcome there, and we just weren’t invited to play. So we would have to play the rock clubs, and there were many nights in the back of bars where everybody in there was tattooed and never heard of you, and there’s 12 of them at the bar drinking, and it’s up to us to make them care. Some nights we’d go a little harder than other nights, so it’s not foreign to me. We’re gonna try to do some stuff we haven’t done in a while, maybe some stuff that’s all in your face, stuff that we love doing but that we don’t have in our show right now. The great thing about is that you do have the Metallica guys who have come out and not blessed the performance but sent us the invitation.
I take it you listened to a lot of Metallica when you were younger?
I grew up in the ’80s, so that was when they were coming into their heyday. So they were everywhere. AC/DC was the same way, in every pickup truck or car you get in, it’s in the cassette player. I’m a fan of their music, but I’m also a fan of their path: They pretty much created their own spot, and I think they still own it. For all the time they’ve been doing it, is it about 25 years maybe?
Yeah that’s about right.
So for 25 years, you know? And they’re still the biggest band out there.
Lady Antebellum and VEVO take fans behind-the-scenes of the band’s “Wanted You More” video in the special clip below, which was filmed in Nashville last month. The group co-wrote “Wanted You More” with their band prior to one of their shows.
Jon Pardi was weaned on country music, thanks to his grandmother, but he did listen – and still does – to a variety of musical styles. Some of his all-time favorites include The Beatles, Tom Petty and Garth Brooks. In fact, when something bad recently happened to one of his idols, he was a little over-protective. “The Beatles were cool because they never ever the same. They always changed, and it was cool,” says Jon. “But Tom Petty by far, though, is one of my all-time favorites, like so much so that when I heard he lost all of his guitars, I was tweeting and facebooking – ‘Somebody find his guitars!’ And I’m so glad they found his guitars. ‘Who would steal his guitars?’ Back in high school, his 17th Greatest Hits, like that one that’s all red on the outside cover, we played that a lot in high school.”
Jon is currently making his way up the country charts with his debut single, “Missin’ You Crazy.”
AUDIO: When pressed, Jon Pardi revealed a few of his favorite artists.
Jon Pardi (a few favorite artists) OC: …Garth Brooks? :40
“Well, The Beatles were cool because they never ever the same. They always changed, and it was cool. But Tom Petty by far, though, is one of my all-time favorites, like so much so that when I heard he lost all of his guitars, I was tweeting and facebooking – ‘Somebody find his guitars!’ And I’m so glad they found his guitars. ‘Who would steal his guitars?’ Back in high school, his 17th Greatest Hits, like that one that’s all red on the outside cover, we played that a lot in high school…I mean, who doesn’t like Tom Petty? But there’s so many [that] I don’t like saying favorites, [but] Garth Brooks! I mean, who was a 9 year old, 7 year old kid back in the ‘90s who didn’t worship Garth Brooks?”
Luke Bryan stops by Ocean Way Studios this week to hand out hugs, encouragement and smiles to the ACM Lifting Lives campers.
Luke Bryan teams up with Joe Walsh on “Life’s Been Good” during the special installment of CMT Crossroads this weekend. “Joe made me feel comfortable right off the bat. And he obviously knows those scenarios when people are quite nervous around him, and I was pretty dang nervous about all of it,” says Luke. “In the recording process of the show, we ran it a couple of times, and the second take was really good because, you know, I was much more comfortable.”
CMT Crossroads: Joe Walsh & Friends, which also features appearances by Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, Hunter Hayes and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, premieres Saturday (June 23rd) at 11pm CT.
AUDIO: Luke Bryan talks about performing with Joe Walsh for the CMT TV special, CMT Crossroads: Joe Walsh & Friends.
Luke Bryan (Joe Walsh CMT) OC: …first pick. :34
“Joe Walsh is certainly a rock-n-roll American music legend, and his music just stands alone and his voice has such a uniqueness about it that you know it’s him right when you hear it whether it’s something new he’s recorded [or] certainly one of his legendary songs. If you would’ve told me that this opportunity to do this Crossroads could’ve ever been presented to me and they were gonna recommend that I do ‘Life’s Been Good,’ life has been good, because that would’ve been my first pick.”
AUDIO: Luke Bryan says he was a bit nervous around the legendary Joe Walsh during the taping of the CMT Crossroads special, but the rocker made him feel quite comfortable.
Luke Bryan (Joe Walsh CMT) 2 OC: …my career. :31
“You know, we came in and rehearsed, and Joe made me feel comfortable right off the bat. And he obviously knows those scenarios when people are quite nervous around him, and I was pretty dang nervous about all of it. And in the recording process of the show, we ran it a couple of times and the second take was really good because you know I was much more comfortable then…but just hearing him play the guitar and hearing the way he’s able to make the sounds come out of that guitar was pretty amazing, and it was definitely a highlight of my career.”
Keith Urban checks in from the backlot of The Voice Australia and runs into fellow coach, Joel Madden! Vote for Darren and #TeamKeith!
Eric Church’s critically-acclaimed album CHIEF has been certified Platinum by the RIAA. CHIEF, released last July, debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard Top 200 and Country album charts. The album’s third single “Springsteen,” co-written by Church, continues to hold the No. 1 spot on the country radio charts for the second consecutive week. Ironically 28 years ago on the same week that Church’s “Springsteen” went No. 1, Bruce Springsteen charted his first and only No. 1 on the pop charts with “Dancing in the Dark.”
Previous Church albums, Sinners Like Me and Carolina are both certified Gold by the RIAA.
CHIEF was hailed as one of the best album of 2011 by the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Rolling Stone and Spin Magazine, among others.
“On his third album, Church hits his stride, chronicling wild nights and epic hangovers with just the right amount of critical distance.” NPR’S Favorite Albums of 2011
“Church is a country singer a rock fan could love…” Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2011 (No. 19)
“…one of the year’s best country albums. Captivating.” Los Angeles Times
“Chief supplies a vibrant sonic alternative.” SPIN Magazine (Named No. 1 Country/Americana Album of 2011)
AUDIO: Eric Church talks about his own process of making a record.
Eric Church (process of making album) OC: …let us have it. :57
“I’m so reverent about the process of making records. I look at the records Waylon [Jennings] made and [Johnny] Cash made, and you could go back and AC/DC or [Led] Zeppelin, you can go through any format. I feel like I’m given a small window of opportunity to make a certain number of records and it’s my responsibility to them, and to the format, and to the reverence I have for it to make records that stand up and that you can put up on a shelf with them. I think it’s every artist’s responsibility. I think if you’re not making records that way you shouldn’t be making records. So, I get real, real, real crazy about…is the mix right, does this need to be more…just the tweaking part. And then the sequencing, I want you to start at the first song and take a journey to the end and never have any misses, and never go, ‘I wish this song was here,’ or ‘I felt that the record got to slow here.’ So I re-sequence it 15, 16, 17, 20 thousand times to where I’m finally going, ‘Ok, this is the record.’ And finally people have to intervene. They have to come in and go, ‘It’s done. It’s great, let us have it.’”
In DBTV Episode 68, Dierks Bentley celebrates Father’s Day by sharing a special performance of “My Last Name” from the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. Here’s to all the Fathers out there!