Lady Antebellum: ‘Heart Break’ Is the Trio’s Second Chapter
Lady Antebellum's newest album is the one they've always wanted to make, even though they didn't know it at the time. When the trio, made up of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, created Heart Break, which was released in June, the 13-track record illustrated the creative energies that flow within the threesome, and the reason why their self-imposed hiatus was vital, both to their careers and their own personal satisfaction.
"We all brought in a lot of inspiration from what we did with our time [off]," Scott told The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. "I think, for all of us, we became so passionate, so grateful for this journey that we’ve been on together for 10 years now. And, I think, just not wanting one song to be filler on this album -- we wanted every single song to be so personal, something we’ve been through or [are] in the middle of or what’s coming down the road.
"This album is like Chapter Two for us," she adds. "It’s the new beginning of the band. We’re 10 years in, and so we’re really proud of how transparent it is, how truly authentic it is to where we are."
With a long string of Top 20 hits, including the No. 1 singles "Need You Now," "Just a Kiss," "American Honey" and more, it would have been easy for Lady A to keep churning out hits as they have for the past decade and coast along for several more years. But the trio's members all agree that they are artists first, and they didn't want to keep releasing music if it wasn't personal and real to them.
"We didn’t want to chase after trends. That was one of the biggest things," explains Kelley. "We came back, and we were like, ‘Man, whatever we do, we have to be authentic, and it’s got to be great, and we’ve got to write as much as we can.’ And that was when Dave had the idea of getting ourselves out of our comfort zone, which was essentially getting ourselves out of the routine of home life for a little bit, and our spouses were so amazing for giving us that time."
During Lady Antebellum's break, Scott released her Grammy Awards-winning record Love Remains, while Kelley released a solo project, The Driver, and Haywood produced projects for a few acts. Having their own creative outlets is what made them so much stronger together when they reunited and ready to join forces once again.
"I think too, for me, it was an appreciation for what Lady Antebellum has become, and [what] we worked so hard to accomplish," notes Kelley. "I did some club dates -- I’ve always wanted to feel that feeling, that excitement of being in a club and doing this, and then the minute we got back to Lady Antebellum catering, I was so excited … I was like, ‘God, this is amazing.’ But I do think there was a level of appreciation -- that we all came back and we were like, ‘Alright, let’s do this thing. Let’s really show them how strong we can be and make some great music.'
"I think that was one thing about the last year, us being able to allow ourselves to do something we wanted to do," he adds. "If we can’t allow ourselves to chase some of these things, then we’re not going to be here for 30 years, because somebody’s always going to have something in the back of their head: ‘Oh, I really want to do this.’"
We might not always be the hottest thing in the world, but dadgummit, we’re the happiest we’ve ever been, and that’s really key.
Lady Antebellum kicked off their You Look Good World Tour in May, with Kelsea Ballerini and Brett Young joining them as their opening acts. While they cross the country together and share the stage each night, the three members reveal they also try to spend much of the day together as well.
"Every day kind of looks the same," Scott says. "We get up. We work out. We eat. We play ping pong. We put our little ones down, and then get show ready. It’s very much like, by about 7:30 or 8, we’re in the venue, all together with our band, warming up, hanging out and then hitting the stage. We always try to really connect."
Continues Kelley, "We eat lunch together. Right before, even with family time -- like, for me now, it’s such a new thing, having to go back to the bus, give Ward a bath with my wife, get him settled, put him down. He goes down about 7, and it’s like, ‘Alright, now I’ve got to flip that switch and turn into Mick Jagger for a second -- at least try to feel like Mick Jagger.' So you go in and make a drink, and we all hang out and talk and sing and listen to music, honestly."
Overall, Lady Antebellum have learned, especially in the last year, how to find contentment, with or without awards or accolades.
"We’ve learned how to balance it," Kelley insists. "We might not always be the hottest thing in the world, but dadgummit, we’re the happiest we’ve ever been, and that’s really key."
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