CharleS kELLEYWhile in the studio recording their sophomore album 'Need You Now,' due out in January, Lady Antebellum admit they were feeling the heat. But even more so, they were just happy to finally be laying down tracks for their second project.

"We definitely felt a little pressure, but more than anything, we've been writing for two years for this record, so it's just so exciting to finally be able to put some of those songs down on tape," Lady A's Charles Kelley tells The Boot. "We put a lot of work into this album, and we're feeling really proud of it. And hopefully, it's an improvement on the first album."

Recording their next disc was a two-prong effort, beginning earlier this year -- when they cut their No. 1 smash, 'Need You Now' -- and ending this fall.

"We cut seven or eight songs at the beginning of the year, and that's when we cut 'Need You Now,'" says Charles. "Then we went out and toured over the summer. Then we went back in and cut another seven or eight songs in October. From start to finish, the process takes a long time, each time -- for all three of us to sing. We all have go get in there and sing together, and then sing separately. So it takes a longer time to sing as a group than for most people. But it was probably close to a month each time, for each little section."

So, while laying down tracks, what tricks of the trade did Charles employ to keep his golden -- make that platinum -- vocal cords lubricated?

"I usually eat a lot of potato chips in the studio," he confesses with a laugh. "Because of the grease. When I'm singing, it helps me sing better for some reason, so we'll get some salty chips in there. I heard that trick from Celine Dion -- she does that. I think that's why I always gain 15 pounds when I'm recording an album! So that, and some hot tea ... and a lot of water."

Once their album drops in January, don't expect the reigning CMA Vocal Group to kick back and relax. They'll only be looking ahead, and working on what comes next.

"It's tough ... we're always thinking of the next step," Charles muses. "And we try not to get too caught up in the awards and stuff. But the bad part about that is, we're not able to revel in it as much." He sighs ... and then finishes strongly, "But there's so much work to be done right now. We've got an album coming out, and we're pretty much on to the future. And that's kind of where we've always been. Because we feel still like we've got a lot to prove, obviously."

Lady Antebellum is nominated for two Grammy awards -- Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and Best Country Song for 'I Run to You.' The Grammys will air live on CBS, Jan. 31, 2010.