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Dierks Bentley: ‘What the Hell Did I Say’ Had Special Role in the Making of ‘Black’

Dierks Bentley What the Hell Did I Say new music 2017
Cooper Neill, Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Dierks Bentley has earned three consecutive No. 1 hits from his 2016 album Black. “What the Hell Did I Say,” his fourth — and most likely last — single from the record, is currently climbing the charts, and Bentley says the song helped him make the transition to creating his most recent studio album.

“Whenever you leave one project behind and move to the next one, I’m always looking for a song or an idea or a theme or a sound that’s going to make me excited to work on the next project. I heard that song, and I wasn’t really sure how it fit in anything, I just felt, ‘I love this song. It’s so good.’ And it was one of the first songs I heard,” Bentley explained to The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. “”Black” was really the song that became the cornerstone of the album, and the idea, but [“What the Hell Did I Say”] stuck around and made it.”

Bentley, whose previous releases from Black include “Somewhere on a Beach,” “Different for Girls” and the title track, admits he had a hard time narrowing down which songs would be singles because “there’s a lot of songs on the record that I really liked.”

“There’s a song called “Pick Up,” which I was kind of pushing for to be the next single, [and] “I’ll Be the Moon” with Maren Morris — I would have loved for that to be a single,” Bentley says. “[It’s] probably the best song on the record, really. But she’s got a thing out [“Craving You“] with [Thomas Rhett], and there has to be some [up]tempos at some point, because our show is built on those songs.”

Although Bentley knows “What the Hell Did I Say” will most likely be his last single from Black, the Arizona native concedes it will be at least this fall before he is ready to fully embrace working on what will be his ninth studio album.

“I’ve started writing songs, [but] I’m not really inspired. I just don’t know what to say. I go to write, and I don’t have a thing, so I just quit,” Bentley says. “I can’t do the summer. I can’t put my heart into the road in the summer and not only do it well but also really enjoy it when I’m working on a project at the same time.”

Black is available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes. A list of all of Bentley’s upcoming shows is available on his website.

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