Luke Bryan & Media At His Home

| August 8, 2015

Luke 7-28-15 2It’s not every day that you get a chance to visit the home of the Entertainer of the Year.  But a group of Nashville writers and radio people got that opportunity a couple weeks ago.  The occasion was to preview songs from Luke Bryan’s new album Kill The Lights.  He’s obviously very proud of the music, and wanted us to hear it in a casual setting, and nothing could be more casual than Luke’s new farm.  First of all, it’s on about 120 acres on some beautiful land south of Nashville.  It’s a bit off the beaten path, but not SO far off that it’s a long ride.  As you can expect, there are a couple of gates involved between the neighborhood and his place.  It’s at the end of the road.  Right now, there’s a farm house on the land, a man cave, and the main house, which is still under construction.  There are several lakes on the property, and several smaller farm buildings.  One has his Buck Commander logo painted on the wall.  Luke held the listening party in his man cave, and it was filled with deer heads and other hunting memorabilia.  We had a chance to ask him questions about the album, and here’s what he said:Luke 7-28-15 3

How have you grown since the last album? As far as growth, I always feel like I learn new things. I couldn’t be prouder of my singing. The main thing is staying naïve is a good thing. Life makes subject matter change naturally. As my elements around me change, you’ll hear that in my music. I want to keep the youthfulness and fun going as long as I can, but there’s also a lot of serious stuff as well, so you’ll hear that too.

Talk about picking the songs: I am at a wonderful place where people send me great songs for my albums. So for this album, my producer is getting songs, I’m writing and meeting with songwriters, they all send me songs, so the ones that move you, you know the second you hear it you’ll record it. So I’m thankful to get so many songs and then try to put them on the album.

My thing is, I want my concerts to take you on an experience, and I want my albums to do the same. I love for all of them to be singles. There’s something for the guys, there are some romantic songs, and I’ve never done that, so I’m trying to do something for everybody.

You’re a fan of 90s country, how that plays a part in this album? I think Drink A Beer will go down as my most important time, because it made it possible for me to do other things. When I think about Tim McGraw, an uptempo is a tricky thing. They can be ditties, but they’re important in the show. You won’t have a multi-album career without doing all styles of music. I do Kick The Dust Up for a reason, it’s fun and energetic, but we’ll also swap a gear and try something else, and hope it’ll be impactful and be a hit. We’re enjoying where we can take this album, and it’ll be fun to look back at it a few years from now.Luke 7-28-15

How do you decide which songs will be singles? It’s be hard for me not to single “Huntin’ and Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day.” It may not be a #1, but I know there’s a segment who will freak out and enjoy it. I love how that song came out and how it tells my story. We didn’t know what was going to happen with Drink A Beer. That was a gamble. When people buy the album, I’ll look at social media and see which ones they’re talking about. Fan response will tell us what people are gravitating to.

Who do you listen to most as you pick songs? With my support group, anybody who rides in my truck, I play songs for them, and after that, I can feel good about what I’ve compiled. I have a lot more time now to record songs, and get the performance the best it can be. I know if I sing great, lean on my core writers, life will be good.

Talk about the song “Fast:” This year, Caroline would come out on the road, but now she’s spending more time with the kids. It’s amazing to see your kids growing, and this song is a representation of how I’d want to say that. I can’t imagine it not being a big song for me. I know it’s making people slow down and reflect.

The album has a dance groove. Was it intentional? I don’t think it’s intentional. With me it’s about starting an album, you want the first few songs to be strong. That way they might buy it. But I’ve singled the #12 track on an album because people liked it. But if you can have fun with the first 5 songs, that’s great. But I don’t think people listen to albums straight through from start to finish. Typically, we feel the strongest songs are in the front, but then the songwriters are unhappy to be #12.

Home Alone Tonight: When I heard this song, I knew immediately I had to do it. I didn’t know who to sing it with. I thought about Taylor Swift. Then I was at a CMA Board Meeting, I saw Karen, and realized she was the one. I spoke to her then, I sent it to her, and she loved it. Now it’s a commitment, because we’ll do it on award shows, they’ll do it with Little Big Town, so it’s more than just singing it one time. It’s Caroline’s favorite song, and if I can sing a song with another woman, and she loves it, we’ve knocked it out of the park.

There’s a song called Little Boys Grow Up & Dogs Grow Older: I wrote that with Tony Lane, who is a timeless writer. This could be a song of the year. I told him the idea. My dad had a dog named Bandit. A lot kids, their first knowledge of death is with a pet. I told that to Tony, I told him my ideas, and he sent me an email of his interpretation of my story. It was an unusual way of writing a song, like an autobiography. We made changes in the studio too. Make no mistake, Tony took an idea from my head and formulated a song from it. I might even put it on my next album.

 

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