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Love and Theft Ink Deal With RCA Records

Love and Theft
Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Country music duo Love and Theft have officially found a new home in Nashville. Members Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson have inked a deal with Sony Music Nashville’s RCA Records, joining the roster alongside Jake Owen, Sara Evans, Danny Gokey and Chris Young.

“Eric and I are super stoked about the future,” Liles tells Taste of Country. “God has blessed us a lot. He has given us faith and kept us encouraged because a lot of people would have given up. We are so grateful to have so many people who believe in us. We’re going to make Sony and RCA proud … I believe that. We’re going to work our tails off for them.”

Love and Theft has faced many ups and downs over the past few years, including losing their deal with Lyric Street Records and former guitarist/vocalist, Brian Bandas, parting ways with the then trio. But through it all, Liles and Gunderson kept their heads up and knew something good would come out of their string of bad luck.

“Sony sees our vision … they really do,” says Liles. “This is the most excited I’ve been in a long time. We’ve been through a lot of stuff, that’s why me and Eric aren’t scared anymore. With labels closing on us, Brian quitting, and all these other things that we’ve been through, it’s been pretty nuts. The fact that we’re over it all now and things are moving forward is a really good feeling. At times, it’s been an emotional roller-coaster. We’ve really kept each other encouraged. Our fans have kept us really encouraged, too. We love making music, and we love the music we’re making.”

Love and Theft
Courtesy of Stephen Barker Liles

Love and Theft have been in the studio for the past several months working on new music and working with their new producer, Josh Leo, on a sound that will be a new and fresh sound for their loyal fans.

“We sound a little different now,” notes Liles. “With our new producer, we’re able to sound more like what we sound like live. That’s a really important thing. As much as we loved our old record, ‘World Wide Open,’ it didn’t sound like what we sound like live. That’s hard to do sometimes. That [album] was fun and everything, but this new stuff is really way more up our alley. It was produced and recorded the way our influences recorded — Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley and all those guys. We sang with the band live in the studio. We never got to do that before. The fact that we got to do that was like really fun. We’re hoping everybody receives the new sound pretty well. It’s really a lot more like the Eagles, like we were hoping.”

Love and Theft are anxious to get the new music out for their fans, but in the meantime, Barker’s self-penned tune, ‘Try to Make It Anyway,’ which he wrote about Taylor Swift, is available for purchase on iTunes. Love and Theft anticipate having a new single out on radio by the end of November.

“We felt like Sony would be a good home for us from the very beginning,” Liles says. “That’s why we stuck with it and waited it out because we believe that they believe in us, and they know our history and our passion. They know our vision for what we believe we can be. We didn’t even beat around the bush with any [other labels] because we knew that Sony would be our best home. We believe they can take us places that we want to go. They are passionate about us and our music, and that’s hard to find.”

Read Taste of Country’s Exclusive Interview With Love and Theft

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