Zac Brown Says ‘Jekyll + Hyde’ Inspired Him to Create More Diverse Songs
The Zac Brown Band's fourth studio album, Jekyll + Hyde, debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top Country Albums charts, but the record was decidedly more rock- and electronic-focused than the group's previous efforts. Prior to the project's release in April of 2015, Brown described the new music as going "deeper down the rabbit hole" -- and it sounds like he and his bandmates plan to continue on that journey.
"I've been making some more electronic music, which I really enjoy doing. I don't ever want to stop making country, and I don't want to stop making electronic music, either," Brown tells Rolling Stone Country. "We had something like a nine-week No. 1 with a rock song ["Heavy Is the Head"], and that's amazing to me. It just makes me want to create another batch of music just like Jekyll + Hyde."
However, Brown's decision to work in genres outside of country doesn't mean that he's planning to abandon his longtime fans. Even on Jekyll + Hyde, the band took some out-of-genre risks but kept the majority of the project true to their roots.
"If people like our older stuff, there's at least eight or nine songs on there -- a full record worth of songs -- that they can listen to," Brown says. "I hope people think of it that way rather than, 'This whole album isn't country, I'm giving it one star.'
"You can de-select the songs that you don't want to have on the record, but I hope we always put something out that has a lot of songs that the majority of people will love," he continues. "So I'm working on new electronic music, and we'll be writing the new Zac Brown Band record along the way."
Adds Brown, "We don't want to abandon any of the market we have now. We just want to gain new market. Maybe some people that only listen to electronic music will pick up my record and get turned on to some of the story songs, some of the more country-type stuff. It doesn't seem expected for us to do something like that, but I love electronic music. I spend a lot of my time listening to that and just trying to understand what makes it work -- what makes it move people the way it does and why they have some of the best-selling festivals in the world."
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