#CMchat Exclusive Interview: Lady Antebellum

On June 9, Lady Antebellum releases their sixth studio album, Heart Break. It’s the first for the CMA-Award winners since their much-publicized 2015 break  – which really wasn’t with all three members continuing to be musically active. The trio’s Charles Kelley says he thinks it was a good thing to stop for a minute and breathe after close to a decade of recording and touring.

“I think for us, it was more of a break from creating music together,” he told CMChat. “We wanted to get inspired lyrically. More than anything, there wasn’t a deadline of saying ‘We just got off tour. We need to make this record in the next three or four months, so we can put it out, then go back on tour again.”

So, when you see the title cut of the album and the spelling of break, you might be thinking the band is sending a message, right? Kelley smiles and says all systems are go for the trio, currently in the midst of a world tour to promote the record.

“Obviously, after we had written that song, we had found some parallels because as a group, we felt like we had taken a ‘Heart Break’ from each other. But, I think on its own, the song is just about a serial dater that just hops in one relationship after the other, and thinks ‘Maybe I just need to take some time for myself.”

The band teamed with Busbee in the studio for the record. Dave Haywood said it was a good fit, as the producer challenged them in a way that made them dig a little deeper.

“One of the things I loved most about working with him was him saying ‘If all three of you don’t love a song, let’s not put It on the record.’ Let’s not put a song on the record because someone thinks it’s a hit, you guys need to believe in it and love every single track. We wanted to make sure that every song could be a single, something that all three of us could get totally behind.”

How has the band changed musically over the past decade? Scott said,

“I think the core of who we are as writers and people is one hundred percent the same. That’s one of the coolest things about going through this journey – when we were all living together in Florida and then California, we’re the same kids who started out. We just have more roles now, more responsibility, and more years on us.”

And, that responsibility lends itself to their very dedicated team, which has been behind them from the beginning.

“I think it’s not only a testament of the bond we have, and we’ve been able to hold that dear and keep it a priority, and for us to be solid both personally and professionally this whole time, but it also makes me think about about how people have helped to propel us for all of this – our label, our management, everybody who has been a part of this, and that’s a huge milestone in any career – to get to a point where someone will say that you’ve inspired them, and have been one of their musical influences. I think that’s one of the epitomes of compliments.”

One track from Heart Break that definitely is a barometer of where the band is currently is “Good Time To Be Alive” of which Kelley said

“We wrote this song down at the beach, right around the election. It felt like our country is very divided, and still does. But, there’s always going to be those things that we have to deal with as human beings. I just believe that it finds a way to work through it, and it still feels like a good time to be alive.”

Scott agrees, saying that “You’ve got to peel it back and realize that we’re all here right now for a reason, and it’s what we do with it, but it’s also enjoying it, and we’re all here together. For the live show, it’s

“You’ve got to peel it back and realize that we’re all here right now for a reason, and it’s what we do with it, but it’s also enjoying it, and we’re all here together. For the live show, it’s that perfect lighter in the air moment where we’re all here together experiencing this, having a great time. Let’s make it count.”

Author: Chuck Dauphin

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