On Jan. 26, Jason Aldean released the first single, “You Make It Easy,” from his upcoming eighth studio album, Rearview Town, which will drop on April 13.
The bluesy ballad was co-penned by Morgan Wallen, Jordan Schmidt and Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard.
Jason stopped by the Nash campus to talk about his new single, album and High Noon Neon Tour.
Here are our 10 takeaways . . . in Jason’s own words.
1. I Do
“‘You Make it Easy’ is a ballad sort of thing, but it’s kind of bluesy and cool. I think a lot of times when we release ballads, they’re not typically like a love song, per se. It’s usually more of a heartache kind of song. And this one’s not like that. To me, it’s just a really great, well-written song and it is . . . I tell people. I’m like, ‘This may be the wedding song of the year.’ I don’t know, but it’s still really cool. I don’t consider it mushy and that kind of stuff because I typically steer away from those kind of songs, but this one was really cool. Like I said, it has a little bit of a blues feel to it, which I thought was really cool. And if we’re going to do a song like this, I think this was the way to go.”
2. Guys in Trucks
“Tyler Hubbard and BK [Brian Kelley], them guys from Florida Georgia Line, that’s where I got the song. And I typically call those guys when we’re making a record just to see what they’re writing, see if they got anything that may work for me, and a lot of times they’ll just send stuff. But Tyler came over to my house one day and we were just riding around in the truck and listening to songs. He played me a bunch of songs. He goes, ‘Yeah, and this is one thing we wrote the other day. We wrote this Friday.’ Like it was nothing, you know? And threw it in, and I just fell in love with the song right there, and I asked them, ‘Are you guys not going to cut this?’ And he’s like, ‘I don’t know. We don’t go in the studio for a while.’ I’m like, “Well I’m going in in two weeks, so I want to cut it.’ And he let us have it.”
3. Deja Vu
“I think more than anything, you just don’t want to feel like you’re doing the same thing every time around. For me, this is our eighth album, and it’s kind of hard to reinvent yourself with every record. To me, it’s finding songs that sort of allow me to do something a little different, step outside of maybe some of the other stuff that we’ve done. And I feel like I’m smart enough to know a hit when I hear it too, you know what I mean? And so, when I hear a song like ‘You Make It Easy,’ and it allows me to be a little different. It’s still me, but it’s not something people have really heard a lot of from me. Maybe it was an album cut that was buried in a record somewhere that had a little bit of a vibe like this or something, but it’s not something we’ve done a lot. So to be able to do that, kind of change it up a little bit, I always think of it that way, too.”
4. Mix It Up
“I think [the album] is going to sound a little familiar, but it’s not going to be the same. I think that obviously what got me to this point was recording the kind of music I like, and over the years we created our thing . . . the way I’ve tried to describe this record is, on a lot of the albums before . . . you hear like a heavy rock influence, and on some it may be a little bit more of an R&B or hip-hop or whatever. And you’ve seen those scattered on a lot of the different records, and I think on this album, we kind of took all those and put them into one record.”
5. Coolest Ever
“I always hate when people put out a new album and they try to convince everybody it’s the best thing they’ve ever done, because I just feel like you do that every time out. Obviously, you want your new album to always be the best thing you’ve ever done, so it feels a little cliché to say that, but I’ll say that this record, to me, I feel like from a song standpoint and vibe standpoint of the record, I feel like is one of the coolest records we’ve done. Who knows if it’s the best or whatever, or if it’s going to sell more than the others or whatever, but I feel like vibe-wise it’s probably the coolest thing we’ve done.”
6. Dark Places
“I do think [this album] is a little bit of a different direction for us as far as the first single goes. Now once you get into the record, I mean, there’s going to be those big sort of fist-pumpers and just some of the real, old-school country. I mean, it’s all mixed in there, you know? And that’s what I think is really cool. I think the album kind of goes into some darker type places, and then it comes back out and it goes old-school country. It’s got some hip-hop stuff and some R&B stuff.”
7. Female Duet
“It’s got a little duet action on there, too, so yeah. It’s a girl. That’s all I’m saying. You know, I love working with other artists, man. And so, any time I get a chance to do that, or I hear something that I think would be cool to have somebody on, I love to do that. We got one on this record that I think is really cool, and I think is going to be one of the highlights of the record.”
8. Arena Rockers
“There’s a couple that I think are on there that have a possibility to be [anthems]. There’s a song on there called ‘Set it Off’ that’s kind of a fist-pumper cool thing. And then, we just recorded one actually last week called ‘Getting Warmed Up,’ that I think is another one of those. And they’re both big tempo things, arena rockers that I think will go over well out there.”
9. Write Stuff
“I actually did write some for this record, and the problem with me writing is my producer gets really frustrated with me a lot of times because I’ll write stuff, and I’m my own worst critic. I’ll listen to songs and I’ll end up cutting somebody else’s stuff just because I’m hard on my own songs, you know? I wrote a lot with Neil Thrasher. I don’t think people realize this, but Neil Thrasher, who’s a big songwriter here in town, he’s probably been as big a part of creating my sound as anybody, just from the songs we’ve had over the years. And he’s written ‘Night Train’ and ‘Tattoos on This Town’ and ‘Fly Over States.’ But Neil’s been great. So obviously he was one of the guys that I wrote with a lot for this record, and we still have some stuff that we wrote sort of in the can that we can go back and pull from at some point.”
10. Vegas Strong
“Our High Noon Neon Tour kicks off in May, and we’re gonna go out there and do what we do, man. And I think the only way you can honor people when something like [the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting] happens is to go out and do what it is you do. I think if you lay down and you go, ‘Well, I don’t want to tour anymore. I don’t want to do this, or I don’t want to do that.’ I don’t think that’s honoring people. I think that’s letting the bad guy win. So for me, it’s going out and doing business as usual. And like I said, it’ll always be in the back of my mind. It’ll be something that I always remember. I don’t know if you ever get over that.”