Jerrod Niemann Reveals Details About His New Album in the Works
Jerrod Niemann is once again tearing up the country singles chart with his latest hit, ‘One More Drinkin’ Song,’ off his ‘Judge Jerrod and the Hung Jury’ album, which hit stores in 2010. The album has produced two other hits, the chart-topping ‘Lover Lover’ and ‘What Do You Want,’ which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard country singles chart.
Since the album’s release, Niemann’s life has been thrown into the fast lane of success, and he has been touring non-stop, continuing to build a solid fan base along the way. Taste of Country recently caught up with the singer to discuss his current music and the new music he has in the works for his highly-anticipated sophomore album.
When you finished your debut album, did you always figure on ‘One More Drinkin’ Song’ being a single at some point?
Absolutely. The song is actually very special to me. I know it’s a fun, silly, summer song, but it kind of helped me get my record deal before Sony bought the album. I made the album, as you know, with my friends, so a few of my buddies at radio started playing ‘One More Drinkin’ Song’ two years ago … four or five stations. When I went to meet with Sony, it actually ended up charting like [No.] 60 on Billboard. They wanted to know where the airplay was coming from. It was from some of these stations that were just trying to help. ‘One More Drinkin’ Song’ did in fact help, but I didn’t think it would ever get another shot. I’m just glad that it did.
You just released the new video for ‘One More Drinkin’ Song.’ Can you talk about the shoot, which was filmed on Lower Broadway in downtown Nashville?
I thought it would be overwhelming because we had a lot going on, but it really wasn’t. It was a lot of fun. I threw out a couple of tweets before we all got together that just said, “Hey, we’re shooting a video if anybody wants to come hang out.” It was the first time we interacted with people who just showed up. I thought it was going to be tough if everybody didn’t want to cooperate or if we got a bunch of drunk, random people, because you know … anybody could come in there. Everybody was awesome though. It was a lot of fun. The Nashville Pedal Tavern gave us the little mechanisms that me, Jake Owen and Lee Brice are riding in the video. That was awesome. I want to high-five the individual that came up with that machine … you don’t really need any gas or anything; all you need is gassed friends [laughs]. Your horse power is your drunk friends because it runs by the pedaling. I think we should put all the drunks to work in the world.
Have you started work on your next album yet?
Yep, I’ve already started it. We’ve been working on that, and I’m very excited. I’ll tell you the one feeling or emotion that I didn’t realize I would feel or have because I’ve never experienced it before, is people actually listening to your music, and now you know there are people who have been kind enough to take their time and even hard earned money invested in what you’ve worked hard on. It makes you want to be better and work harder and come up with cooler stuff and write better songs. It makes me very inspired and excited to do it, and it makes you want to challenge yourself in a great way. I’m sticking with using the guys in the band to play on the album. They’re going to play on it again, and I feel like we all learned a lot from the first experience, so we’re just excited to get it done.
What did you learn from making the first album that you are doing differently on the new album?
On the first record, some of the guys in our band didn’t have a lot of experience in the studio because they had played on the road and live for a long time, so just the way to record and the time and logistics alone are improved. Also, when everything is just on your shoulders and you don’t have anybody to look up to besides your buddies, then you instantly get better on a lot of intangible points. It’s amazing the things your ear can hear whenever you really have to listen and rise to the occasion. To me it was just to listen to each other and also just to be creative and not over think things and just have fun. As a songwriter, I’ve been as hard on myself as I’ve always been, at least to get the song as strong as I think it can be lyrically and melodically. So to me it’s just to not get lazy as a songwriter.
Will the musical content be the same or different than what you have on your first album?
The first album is definitely a concept record. It wasn’t necessarily musically a concept record … it was just sort of the organized chaos that made it flow. This album, the instrumentation is what is going to be conceptual, other than just the actual structure of the album. It’s going to be really more groove oriented, just me talking about liver failure [laughs]! We challenged ourselves.
What is the biggest lesson learned through your years of working toward this dream?
All of this is a learning experience. You don’t ever know what is right or wrong … you can just be yourself and do your best. I know that sounds cliché. In the midst of all this you just trust the people you are writing with or recording with and stuff and what you’re passionate about. You just hope that they feel the same way because you’ve got a lot of people out there that are counting on it being good … not even just the fans, but your band, management, and a lot of people behind the scenes that really work hard to spread the music and get your name out there. They’re counting on you because it trickles all the way around. If you’ve got a horrible song then a lot of people’s careers could be ending with you. So there’s a lot to it. You want to make great music, there’s just a lot today … a whole organization.
Just this year alone, you’ve gone from your co-headlining tour with Lee Brice to the Brad Paisley tour. Talk about the two experiences and what you’ve learned from them.
Well, my liver is still with crutches, but it’s finally walking again. We had a good time with Lee. It was exciting just to hang out, you know? You don’t really get to see friends on the road much. I mean everybody on my bus is a friend of mine — that’s a fact for sure — but friends that you knew years ago when you first moved to Nashville like Lee, Jamey [Johnson] and Randy [Houser] — I just don’t get to see them very often. Also, I am truly a fan of all those guys. I’m really supportive of their music and believe in them. So to watch Lee play every night and to hang out with him and write songs was a great time. The best part was just hanging out and also there are some songs that are going to end up on the next album so that’s exciting.
I can sum up the Brad Paisley tour very easily just because of my small amount of time with Blake Shelton and Brad: I learned what to do onstage from Brad and what not to do backstage from Blake [laughs]!