Brad Paisley on ‘Moonshine in the Trunk': ‘I Was Going for Fun in the Face of Reality’
In the past, Brad Paisley has used music to attack tough issues in a tongue-in-cheek way, but for his latest album, Moonshine in the Trunk, the singer says that he consciously chose to leave his seriousness at the door.
"I was going for fun in the face of reality," he tells AZCentral.com. "It's not about not acknowledging that there are things wrong in the world but acknowledging and then powering past it."
As an example, Paisley cites his newest single, "Crushin' It," which he says "is about [how] I'm not good at anything, or at least I don't feel good at anything right now."
"You know that feeling you get in the middle of the week of 'I can't do anything right' or 'It's not going my way?' But every week ends with a Friday, and that's where we excel, I think, at country music," Paisley explains. "I see people at the end of long weeks. That's when I have my therapy session with them. I stand there, looking out at them, and they're like, 'Can you help erase what my boss said to me on Wednesday?' That's our job. And it flavored a lot of the record that way."
Paisley says that he found it particularly important to focus on the positives on Moonshine in the Trunk because, with each album, he has to "judge the mood of where I'm at in my life and also, where is this country gonna be for the next two years?"
"I kind of guessed at the idea that things were leveling off a little more," he says. "Because a few years ago, everything was crashing around us economically ... And then you'd go to a concert on the weekend, and it would be like, 'Hey, everybody, so, I don't know if you've got any savings left, but enjoy this evening.' And it was a terrible feeling.
"... For everything that's going on, I felt like we were at a hopeful time in our country. I hope so, if that makes any sense," Paisley adds. "I'm sick of feeling like we're in a decline. Let's look at the good."
At this point in his career, Paisley has enough fame to call the shots when it comes to what direction he takes with each new project, but he says that he's been lucky to have that freedom since the beginning.
"They've just given me a lot of creative control historically ... In my case, I was always able to do what I want. I probably would have walked away if they hadn't let me just sort of be me," he says. "I had an idea going in what I wanted to be, and I was very lucky to be at a place where they just said, 'Yeah, you can do that.'"
Moonshine in the Trunk was released in August of 2014 and earned the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart, as well as the No. 2 spot on the all-genre Billboard 200; all three of the record's singles have reached the Top 20.
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