Click the bullet after each quote to visit the source.
I was in Portland, ME last night and had a big wad of Red Man chew in my mouth, as Earl Dibbles, Jr. during the show. A girl in the front row said she wanted that dip, so I dislodged it from my mouth and handed it to her. And then she put it in her mouth. ●
— Granger Smith to Country Aircheck.
We’re supposed to be alive. I was just thinking about how important it is for us to not get stuck in where we’ve been, in these things that have broken our hearts. It’s important to deal with them and move through them and keep going, because there’s a reason why it didn’t kill us. I love the line, ‘Wheels are gonna rust if they don’t turn enough.’ Just go. Even if you’re just going a little bit. Just move. ●
— Ashley Monroe, age 29.
Q: What are the struggles of being a touring musician for you and your family? How do you make it work?
A: Well, we don’t really have any struggles. We’re Christians, so we’re not struggling people. ●
— Chris Janson, also age 29. Interesting definition of Christianity.
Every song I’ve written in the last couple of years, I was always thinking of who’s recording now, or who’s looking for songs, or what I could do to write for somebody else and get another ‘Truck Yeah.’ […] I can tell you right now that I’m never gonna make records I have to sit around and think about forever. I want to have fun with this stuff. ●
— Chris Janson again.
I’m addicted, completely. I’ve had six today. Slamming ’em. It ain’t even lunchtime. They don’t do a thing for me. I just love the taste. I could quit if I wanted to. I just don’t want to. That sounds like a good song title. ●
— Chris Janson on Mountain Dew.
… Brad was just being funny, making up stuff as he was driving and trying not to be bored. I think he actually said the first couple lines of the song and went, ‘Said nobody!’ expecting us to be like ‘That’s the dumbest thing ever,’ but we were like ‘That’s pretty cool, man.’ ●
— Matthew Ramsey on Old Dominion’s “Said Nobody” and how, apparently, literally everything is suitable song material.
Whatever we listened to growing up, it funnels its way into what we do. We’re just trying to write whatever we think is cool. We don’t try to put it into any particular genre. ●
— Of course you don’t. Old Dominion’s Whit Sellers.
The things that are going to be in all my records, for as long as I’m making them, are going to go back to who I am and where I’m from and the lifestyle that I live and come from — and I don’t know how I could ever get any of that close enough to pop to be considered a pop act. ●
— Sam Hunt on being country.
I understand human nature enough to know that we’re designed to change and evolve. But you’ve got to be particular about the things of worth that should be held on to. We’re hanging on to this real musical expression that seems to be trying to get lost in all this growth. ●
— Time Jumpers fiddler Joe Spivey.
The record is live. It’s not a polished record; it’s not supposed to be. Every time [Stapleton] opens his mouth, you get the truth. There’s nothing edited, it’s not made with a computer… it’s made with four or five musicians in a room. ●
— Dave Cobb on Traveller.
I think she’s made a sly and potent artistic decision in framing her social critiques with the stark moral clarity of kids’ tales. (Even “Merry Go ’Round,” probably her bleakest song, riffs on a couple of nursery rhymes.) The simplicity is wickedly effective: These issues really aren’t all that complicated, she seems to be implying. Even a kid could figure them out, so why can’t you? ●
— Slate’s Nate Chinen on Kacey Musgraves’ “children’s music for grown-ups.”
The cool thing is that the people who are making the most noise and getting the most poll points are non-politicians. I hope the whole race turns into non-politicians. It would fix the whole thing if you get somebody who doesn’t have a political bone in their body. […] With a business person who knows the difference between right and wrong, instead of right and left, we’d have a chance to go forward. ●
— Toby Keith on the presidential race.
I do that a lot, actually. I don’t understand when people don’t do that. It happens with a lot of topics — I hear people write stuff and it’s just wrong. Rappers do that a lot. They sing about guns and they don’t get the shit right, and it’s annoying, especially today, when all you have to do is Google something. ●
— Corb Lund on fact-checking his lyrical references to make sure they’ll ring true.
I think he was just on the rebound, in my opinion. She don’t like me, but I have nothing against her. I appreciate her taking care of him all these years, because I know he’s a handful. […] It was a love that will never be again. That was it for me. I’ve never been married or anything, I guess because I always did love him, and that’s never gonna change. ●
— Tanya Tucker, seeming a little dismissive of how Glen Campbell ended up with Kim, his wife of 33 years.
She’s like a beautiful guitar that’s got beautiful strings, and when they’re strummed they sing these notes, but if you lean it up against the amp it starts feeding back. If you lean Taylor up against her audience—and she’s singing and they’re screaming—it’s a complete circuit. It’s like a feedback loop. ●
— Steven Tyler on Taylor Swift.
“Don’t even put an epitaph on my tombstone,” she said with a laugh. “Just put out a boombox and a note that says, ‘Just press play.'” ●
— Jennifer Nettles on making (solo) music that reflects her true self.
I feel like country music has lost, for me at least, what I love so much about what I grew up on like the music of Patsy Cline, Hank Williams and Merle Haggard. There was just an honesty about what they wrote about their lives. Everybody wasn’t saying the same thing and sounding the same. I can’t tell the difference between many artists these days. For me, I still like older country music and the great stories it tells. ●
— LeAnn Rimes.
It was much more casual. There wasn’t as much co-writing. When I first came here, co-written songs were probably maybe somewhere between 40 and 50 percent. Now, it’s roughly 90, 95 percent. … And those songs (in the past), when they’re co-written, are two people, sometimes three, and now there are hits out there that have six or more people, which is kind of hard for me to imagine. I’d like to be in a room when that’s going on, just to see how it’s done. ●
— Bobby Braddock on songwriting then and now.
I know people who have real problems— people who can’t pay their bills, people who have sick kids or sick family members. I was going to sit here and complain about this, the pressure of ‘I’m having success, what do I do now?’ That’s bullshit. It’s bullshit. You keep writing and you keep working. ●
— You won’t find Jason Isbell complaining about his creative life.