Jerrod Niemann Interview: Singer Gets His Buzz Back With Marriage, New Video + Tour
Jerrod Niemann is a busy man these days.
On top of getting married, he has just released a video for his latest single, 'Buzz Back Girl,' and kicked off his Get Your Buzz Back Tour. But if Niemann is feeling stressed from juggling his personal and professional lives, the laid-back singer certainly didn't give any sign of it when he spoke to Taste of Country at the end of October.
He credits his new bride, Morgan Petek, for helping him stay centered. "To be honest, I was one of those guys who never thought I would probably ever get married," Niemann shares. "Not because I was too cool, but because I didn't think anybody would want to put up with me that long! It's only been a couple of weeks, but I've got to say, there's just something, a peacefulness to it."
"I don't want to be a cliche, like 'You complete me,'" he adds, "but there is just this feeling that you're on a team now. You get to face everything together, and it just makes it a little easier. She's going to school, and I'm on the road a lot, and it's great, 'cause when we get together we have that time that we need to make up for. You don't really get bored, 'cause you're always missing one another."
To be honest, I was one of those guys who never thought I would probably ever get married.
Niemann's video for 'Buzz Back Girl' features some unique visual effects. The singer laughingly admits he had no idea what the finished product would look like when he was actually filming it.
"[Director] Eric Welch has done the last few videos, and he wanted to do this projection screen idea," the singer reveals. "It was really cool to get in there. You've just got to trust him and do what he asks, and then you start seeing it come together, like, 'Wow, that's cool.' And the more and more we work together, like with anybody, you kind of start getting a vibe and clicking."
The process involved shooting Niemann's parts against a black background, then using a projector to project his likeness onto guitars and girls and various other elements of the clip. One scene in which Niemann is singing multiple vocal parts simultaneously proved particularly interesting to convey visually.
"[Welch] just said, 'Hey, are you singing all of those harmony parts? Just sing each of them once.' So I would just sing each part, and then rewind it and do it again, and he just cut it up and put them all together in a collage. It was pretty cool," Niemann recalls.
The singer knew he wanted to cut the feel-good song the first time he heard it. As it turned out, it was written by a close friend of his.
"My record label had sent me 'Buzz Back Girl,' and I hit play, and the first note, I could tell it's Lee [Brice] singing. So I called him, and I said, 'Man, what's up with this song?'" he says.
"He said, 'I have one on my new album that I feel like is similar, so I'm not gonna record it,'" Niemann continues. "So I said, 'Well man, I'll record it, if you don't mind.' I just liked it because I love a song that makes you tap your foot, plus I do a lot of partying songs, but I don't have any hangover cure songs. So what I like about this is, I went out last night, and now you wake up and instead of going and drinking or whatever, you just cuddle up to the one you love and get your day going, and get your buzz back. It's sort of a love song disguised by a drinking song."
'Buzz Back Girl' features a very contemporary approach to production, including what sounds like scratching -- a production element that's mostly associated with rap. Though Niemann is all for experimentation, he cautions he wouldn't want to take it quite that far.
Everybody keeps experimenting more and more every year, and then it's not as much fun for me. So I kinda feel like, well, if everybody's doing that, then I'm gonna do something else.
"It sounds like scratching, and that's what it emulates, but it's just a pick on a guitar string," he says. "If it was real scratching -- that's a whole other conversation -- but I would never put legitimate scratching in, but yet it sounds like it. It's a thing that in my mind, I can be content with, because it's not real scratching."
But while Niemann's latest work has been experimental, he may take a different approach to his next project. "On this next record, I think I'm gonna peel back some of the layers off the onion and see if I can get back to some of the basics," he says. "Everybody keeps experimenting more and more every year, and then it's not as much fun for me. So I kinda feel like, well, if everybody's doing that, then I'm gonna do something else."
Niemann kicked off his Get Your Buzz Back Tour on Oct. 24 in Myrtle Beach. The road trek runs through Dec. 6, wrapping up in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "It's not about saying, 'Hey, come get trashed with us,'" he says of the tour's name. "It's saying hey, come have some fun and get your buzz back, get your everyday life off your mind."
"That's our job," the country singer asserts. "When people are kind enough to spend their hard-earned money to let us play them some tunes, the least we can do is try to get everything off their mind for 90 minutes to two hours, and help them get their metaphorical or their literal buzz back, depending on their preferences."
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