Lady Antebellum Discuss ‘747’: ‘We Need to Evolve’
"One thing we've learned -- and it's been proven to us over the past couple of years -- is that when we do take chances, the fans have responded really well," Charles Kelley tells Rolling Stone Country. "We'd fallen into a very similar style, that mid-tempo thing with some melancholy to it. With this record, we wanted to try different things and make it really in your face."
He adds, "We need to evolve. Recently, the songs that have been the biggest successes have been left-of-center for us."
'747' turns out to be a change in sound for the band, replacing their tried-and-true ballad style with more electric guitar-driven country dance songs.
"We always knew we could reel ourselves back in, so why not just go for it and explore every avenue, every option, while we're in the studio? We can always pull back," Hillary Scott says. "A lot of times, we went that extra mile and didn't have to pull back because we got there and realized, 'Oh, this is totally another part of who we are. This is awesome.'"
The band worked on the album during breaks from being on the road over the past year, with many of the songs written in Dave Haywood's home studio using a full band rather than just a guitar or piano.
"We usually just write with an acoustic guitar or a piano, but when you do that, it's probably gonna end up in a similar spot as some other songs. That's just the nature of those instruments," Haywood says. "This time, by creating some fully prepared tracks with drums and bass and guitars, we could push ourselves to write in a live mindset. An upbeat mindset."