Kip Moore Opens Up About ‘Wild Ones': ‘I Like to Feel Some of the Imperfections’
Some artists' records are polished like a baby grand piano: They're glossy and tuned to perfection, and with every stroke of the ivories, the sound rings at the perfect decibel. That's not Kip Moore's new album -- and he's perfectly fine with it.
To Moore, the intuitive sounds and tiny imperfections of his sophomore project are real, and Wild Ones encapsulates who he is at the core: The country singer isn't perfect -- not that he never claimed to be -- but he is an artist who works tirelessly to hone his craft, and he'll stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
At a recent event, Moore told The Boot and other media outlets that he and his band are "constantly going against the grain."
"We feel like we might not be riding the same train as everybody else," he adds. "If you come to our show, it is a wild show from start to finish. That's what fans have grown to expect from us. It's a wild circus live ... there's a lot of highs and a lot of lows, and you feel it all on this record ... That's why I came up with [Wild Ones] as the title."
Many fans know that Moore's forthcoming record took more heart and motivation than the average album. After penning and recording an entire album, Moore's first single from the project, "Dirt Road," failed to take off, so he and his team took a deep, hard look at what they'd created, and then set forth on a new journey -- a new album.
There are a couple songs, "Heart's Desire" and "Lipstick," that made the cut and stayed a part of the second draft, Moore notes. He is also quick to point out that it wasn't an intentional scrapping of that first record; it happened organically.
"With the stall of the record that happened, I never stopped writing. I never got out of that creative space," Moore says, and with the birth of new songs came a whole new purpose and a brand-new record. It was an emotional breakthrough as well.
"I kind of started coming out of this darkness I had kind of been in for a long time, for a lot of different reasons," Moore continues. "Sometimes, I feel like I'm a bit of a tormented soul ... and the melodies were capturing more of the place I was at, the place I was coming out of."
Moore notes that Wild Ones holds haunting melodies ("Heart's Desire," "Magic"), as well as desperate and powerful songs like "Come and Get It," that capture how he was feeling as he played.
"It was almost like the record took on a whole other life, my writing took on a whole other life," he explains, "and there was no way that I was going to be able to wait 10 months and sit on the same project knowing it was going to be 10 months 'til I was actually going to be able to release a record."
It was almost like the record took on a whole other life, my writing took on a whole other life, and there was no way that I was going to be able to wait 10 months and sit on the same project.
Instead, Moore kept writing and recording, and as time went on, his sophomore project morphed into a whole new thing. It became something cohesive, and at that point, Moore recalls thinking, "This is what I want the record to be."
When fans listen to Wild Ones, they'll notice that it's missing something: AutoTune. Moore admits that he heard a song on the radio that had so much AutoTune happening that "it made me want to slam my hand into the dashboard." That response helped trigger his desire to make his record compelling and his best work, but not 100-percent perfect. The 35-year-old called his manager and said that he wanted to do the new record in one take.
"There's a lot of time where I might go a little flat, I might go a little sharp, you hear the breaths, there's slip-ups, and it's just not perfect. And I like it that way; I like to feel some of the imperfections," Moore confesses. "I don't necessarily think I would just go out of my way to have stuff not be perfect, but when it wasn't perfect, that was what I felt the most. I get tired of all the cutting and pasting."
On Moore's previous album, his freshman release, Up All Night, he took approximately 10 passes at each song, pulling from each take to craft the final cut. On Wild Ones, "it was two takes, tops," Moore says. And along with the more authentic feel of the album, the songs are also organic, says Moore, who describes his delivery and passion as the same but divulges that there's a certain intensity on this new record.
"I had time to live with the songs ... it was a more thought-out musical process," Moore says. "It has a bigger, more organic sound on this record. It's more like a movie to me."
Wild Ones' lead single, "I'm to Blame," is a nod to Moore's wild roots, an unapologetic anthem for staying true to who he is -- a free-spirited, willful guy who's not afraid to own up to who he is or what he's done. But the singer explains that the song that really embodies who he is as an artist, singer and writer is "That Was Us," the fifth track on the album.
"It's such a window into everything that embodies who I am ... I love the way the song was written. I love the vocal take on the song. I love what you feel during the song," he says.
And while there are songs that seem to be inspired by romance, Moore is quick to point out that he's not exactly a fairytale-believing type of guy. The melodic "Magic" is about the fact that, although he has "never believed in all that fairytale stuff," he'd like to feel that magic, and perhaps he will someday.
"I don't get serious with somebody until I feel like it's time to do that, until I feel like it's somebody I want to be serious with," Moore reflects. "I don't just get serious with anybody that I date, and that part of my life will happen when it's supposed to. I'm never looking for it; I'm never trying to force it. And who knows: It might be tomorrow. It might be when I'm 45."
For now, Moore's honing in on his music. And the 13 tracks on Wild Ones are proof that he's been feverishly working on the current love of his life.
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