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So you added songs after testing the waters at country radio with Bourbon In Kentucky.
“Yeah. Back Porch wouldn’t have been [on album], and Drunk On A Plane might not have been… They provide a nice little pressure relief from some of the more life-driven songs.”
Did Sounds Of Summer and Back Porch bump other material from the original tracklist?
“There’s a song called Summer On Fire, which is another kind of kickass summertime song. Sound Of Summer kinda replaced that. I just dug the groove. I know it’s not saying anything new, but the guys that wrote it, I just think they did a good job at capturing what summer feels like to me – being out there on the bus and seeing America drive by, small towns, tractors, coolers in trucks and the tailgate scene. I just like the way it feels.
“It’s hard listening to a song like Here On Earth, or even Riser, when… you don’t give the listener a release afterwards. It’s hard for me not to sequence the record in a way that mimics the live show: ‘OK, you’ve gone through Here On Earth. Here is Drunk On A Plane. Throw the listener a bone.”
Pretty Girls is another drinking song on there, but it’s got more insecurity than swagger to it, because of the minor key and the fact that the guys never actually get up the gumption to make a move.
“The songs I really love have that tension, whether it’s lyrically just between the verses and the choruses, or between the lyrics and the music. There has to be some sort of tension. What’s great about that song is, you see the title Pretty Girls (Drinkin’ Tall Boys): ‘Oh, we know exactly what this is going to be about.’ And it’s really this groovier, darker ‘There’s just nothing to do in this town’ kind of thing. It’s not like everyone’s up on tailgates partying.”