Lady Antebellum: Good Support System, Finding Balance Kept Them Going Through Tough Seasons
As they worked toward their newest album, 2019's Ocean, Lady Antebellum were going through a tumultuous period: The trio, who have been a group for almost a decade and a half, dealt with some rocky personal issues and a label shakeup, signing to Big Machine in 2018 after releasing their six previous albums with Capitol Nashville.
During this time, Lady A struggled to find their footing as a band. Throughout the uncertainty, however, the group says they never really considered breaking up, because they had a strong support system of people who could put things in perspective.
"We definitely had a couple of moments [where it was difficult to keep going as a band]," the group's Charles Kelley admits. "But that's the one thing: We've surrounded ourselves with such good people ... no one was gonna let us give up on this."
In fact, Kelley remembers one particular person who helped steady him, and Lady Antebellum, through the personal struggles. "Cassie, my wife -- she told everybody, 'This is Charles. He's having his little moment. But we need to help him get through this,'" the singer recalls. "If they hadn't been like that, if y'all had been a little more like, 'Eh, screw him,' who knows where we would have been."
"Other people [were] looking [at our band] and saying, 'This is special. Remember this ...'" agrees Hillary Scott. "It's so beautiful how our community and our team and our friends and family just rallied around us through that, and hoped for us."
In retrospect, Kelley adds, going through a period in which he thought he could possibly lose his band has afforded him a large measure of clarity. "It changed so much about me, about my trajectory and our trajectory. Now, I feel like we've just opened up this door of, 'Let's just never let anything fester again,'" he continues.
The bandmates agree that they have a solid foundation as a trio, and that the difficult times underscored for them how important it is to maintain honest, open communication with each other. Dave Haywood adds that a big part of making it through that difficult season was about re-examining the group's work-life balance.
"I know there's never a perfect balance, and we'd love to play tours that are 200 shows and all over the world, but we just have to pick and choose nowadays," he relates. "That's kind of our greatest struggle, is that we've gotta hit 50 cities and we've gotta bring our families and we've gotta find that balance so we're all happy and healthy."
More than ever, Haywood says, Lady A have an appreciation for maintaining their band's longevity. "This thing can last as long as we want it to," he points out.
"We have what we think is an amazing thing going," Haywood adds, "and it's just us finding out how each of us fits into the family."
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