I’ve seen several YouTube videos of you playing that tour in your post-scissor lift phase. In between most tracks, you talk and try to get the crowd into it. Is that something you worked into your performances when you started playing stadiums?
“That’s just who I am. And that was the thing with Jason. I came up to him and said, ‘Anything you do or don’t want me playing?’ He goes, ‘I want you to be you. That’s why you’re out here.’ He gave me a microphone.”
You can’t really point to somebody who came along doing exactly what you’re doing before you, but do you have any influences from the electronic field?
“Yeah. Z-Trip’s the perfect example. This guy’s played Coachella. He’s played Burning Man. He is, like, the original rock star DJ, who I’ve become very good friends with, like DJ Skribble and DJ Vice. Skribble, man, he was on MTV before anybody knew what a DJ was.”
The Country Club EP you put out last year has a mash-up of Carrie Underwood’s Two Black Cadillacs and Dolly Parton’s Jolene on it. Another mix I found on Soundcloud has both Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots and Eric Church’s These Boots. And we’ve already mentioned your mash-up of She’s Country and Country Grammar. In each of those cases, the songs have similar lyric hooks or themes – confronting cheaters, for instance. What do you look for in tracks that you’re going to pair up?
“I mean, honestly I’ll hear a track and I’m like, ‘This needs to go together.’ Like Pontoon by Little Big Town. I mixed it with Juvenile’s Back That Ass Up. This original song [Pontoon] was like, ‘Back this hitch into the water.’ All I heard was, ‘Back this bitch onto the water.’ You know what I mean? It just works, for whatever reason. It’s not forced. The songs were made to go together.
“I don’t want to be just some guy playing somebody else’s tracks. I want to [apply] some influence and let people know that I did a little to [the tracks] to make it a little somethin’ somethin’ for ya.”
Do artists approach you about producing remixes of their songs these days?
“Yeah. I’m friends with a lot of these people. You know, I can very easily make a two-track mix of something. But I want to make it right, I want to make it the best I can, so I would like to have their files [to work with].”
How do royalties work when you’re selling an EP as opposed to posting a country mix for free download online?
“ I’ll put it this way: I don’t make any money off of it. It’s just basically like them selling a record. That’s the same as them selling a single; they’re making all the profits off it. I’ll get, like, the producer royalty or something – I heard.”
[Laughs] “Theoretically, somebody’s got some producer royalties. But yeah, they still get paid – the writers, the original producers. I mean, the pie is cut up. After getting to know these people being in this industry, I stopped any free downloading period. If you ever see a mix of mine that’s a remix – Chris Young’s Aw Naw, for example – if you click on ‘buy this track’ on Soundcloud, it takes you to Chris’s album.”