Brantley Gilbert Talks New Single, Willie Nelson’s Country Throwdown Tour and His Mom, Who’s His Idol
If you don’t know Brantley Gilbert‘s name yet, rest assured that you already know a few of his songs. The Georgia native penned both Jason Aldean‘s ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ and ‘My Kinda Party,’ and you’ll get to hear what else he can do when he hits the road with Willie Nelson on the Country Throwdown Tour this summer. Taste of Country caught up with the polite southern singer-songwriter, who dished on his new single, ‘Country Must Be Country Wide‘ — a co-write with Colt Ford — and the deluxe edition of his 2010 ‘Halfway to Heaven’ record, which is expected to be released soon. With Mother’s Day on his mind, Gilbert also shared that his mom is his No. 1 inspiration.
Your single, ‘Country Must Be Country Wide,’ dropped to radio recently. How has it been received so far?
It hit No. 40 on the Billboard charts [the day it was released]. We’re pretty excited about that. It’s a good feeling.
Is it true that a bad car accident is what got you into pursuing country music as a career? Can you tell us the story behind that?
It’s what made me go all out on it, yes. I flipped six times, got ejected out of the back glass, shouldn’t have lived through it and did. It was a doozy.
What is it about you that’s musical — why did you want to get started in music in the first place?
It’s not just music. To me, it’s songwriting more than anything. A lot of people say it’s expression, but to me it’s more than that. If I’m ever having a good time, I’ll write about it so I’ll remember it. [Laughs] If I’m down about something or having problems with something, I can write it down and get it out.
And you wrote two of Jason Aldean’s biggest hits, which is amazing. How does it feel to see your songs do so well?
It’s still a little bit surreal. I think I’m still in shock a little bit.
What is your songwriting process like? What influences your ideas?
You know what, anything during the day can influence me. I mean, I can be staring at the wall and get one [laughs].
We hear that your music has gotten you a pretty dedicated fan following!
I like to think so.
What is your favorite part of performing live?
Actually, my favorite part is seeing everybody sing songs back to me that mean a lot to me. Just seeing the support and smiling faces, making people happy and having a good time.
You’re headed out on the Country Throwdown Tour with Willie Nelson next month. What are you most looking forward to about that?
Well, I’m going out with Willie Nelson! And Jamey Johnson. I mean, he’s [Willie Nelson] a legend. I think that alone in itself is enough to be excited about!
What inspires you in your life?
Oh, I would say my mother. She’s definitely my main inspiration.
What do you think has been your biggest accomplishment as an artist so far in your career?
I think sitting in this room talking to you!
And you’re working on new music right now, is that right?
Well, we’re working on four more songs to add to the ‘Halfway to Heaven’ record, and we’re going to release a deluxe edition of that record hopefully pretty soon. As soon as possible.
Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
Hopefully doing the same thing I’m doing now.
Watch the Brantley Gilbert ‘My Kinda Crazy’ Video