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Your last new music was released in 2014 and Between Stages comes out in October. We love the brand-new sound and the edginess to it. What has changed in your life between then and now. Is there a big difference in writing now?
The band has really grown as artists and musicians since I took over the role of lead singer in 2014. We have a whole new team of writers, including our producer, Dave Tough, who helps to create this new and edgier sound. Dave and I tend to do all the writing, along with bringing in other trusted writers on every song.
Was Between Stages born in Nashville or on the road?
The song was born on the road. Literally. I co-wrote the song with Justin Busch in Newport Beach, CA. I had recently gone through a bad break up and he asked me how I was handling it. I jokingly said “I’m doing ok. I only think about her when I’m not on stage.” We just ran with that idea, and the song ended up taking on a double meaning.
What made you want to work with producer, Dave Tough?
I’ve known Dave since we were kids. We both grew up in Springfield, MO, and had played a battle of the bands together in high school. I had been following his career while I was living in CA. When I made the decision to move to Nashville, Dave was the first person I called. I went to his studio and sang a few songs for him. We had our first co-write, and the rest is sort of history.
What song past or now do you want to be known for in ten years?
That’s a tough question. I would probably say “Apple Pie Moonshine” because I remember writing it and thinking it really had a new and different sound from other songs that were coming out at the time. Plus the whole Dukes of Hazard and Smokey & the Bandit theme was a really fun idea to write.
New song “Apple Pie Moonshine,” is one of our favorites. Are you a moonshine fan or ever tried making it?
I am definitely a fan of good moonshine. I’ve tried several different types. I currently have a bottle of salted caramel moonshine, but I’d have to say my favorite is just straight up regular moonshine. I’ve never attempted to make it, but I would love to give it a shot.
On your single, “Smoke Signals,” it talks about a Weber grill. What is your idea of perfect grilling happiness?
I have a Weber Grill as well as a Big Green Egg. I love nice summer days, having friends over, drinking cold beers while we throw stuff on the grill. I tend to grill year round. I’ll even be out on the deck grilling with snow on the ground.
Charcoal or gas grill?
Charcoal all the way!
What grilling recipe is your absolute favorite?
I love grilling corn on the cob and brussel sprouts, but my favorite thing to grill is tri-tip. I put it on my smoker, and then finish it off on the Big Green Egg.
What excites you most about the Nashville music scene right now?
It’s been interesting to see the music scene change over the past several years. The city has grown so much in such a short amount of time. I like that a lot of the artist we’ve been fortunate enough to tour with are now opening up their own honky-tonks in town. They all seem to have good local talent.
Can you remember your first trip to Nashville?
It was sometime when I was kid. I can’t really remember the date. I went there with a friend and his folks. It was an entirely different city back then, but I remember thinking how exciting it would be to live here and sing professionally.
Any favorite Nashville restaurants?
I have several restaurants I like and frequent, but my new favorite place is Charcoal Cowboys BBQ on Nolensville Rd.
After playing a late show, what is your go-to food?
When we’re out on the road touring we usually end up at a Waffle House. There’s always one right off the interstate, and they’re open 24 hours so that’s convenient.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why?
Off the top of my head I would say Monster Energy Drink. I drink them all the time. They are big sponsors for several well-known artists. Additionally, a good friend of mine works for Monster.
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