Stealing Angels Talk Romance, Live Shows and ‘Little Blue Sky’
Tayla Lynn, Jennifer Wayne and Caroline Cutbirth -- better known around Nashville as country trio Stealing Angels -- have been making music and memories together for the past few years. The path they have made in country music thus far is just as impressive as their roots. Each member of the trio descends from American icons, including country great Loretta Lynn, film legend John Wayne and American folk hero Daniel Boone. But it's their music that is making them known on a whole other level.
Since the formation of the group, Stealing Angels have been touring across the country non-stop, opening for the likes of Lady Antebellum, Tim McGraw, Ronnie Dunn and Trace Adkins, among others. The girls recently wrapped work on their self-titled debut album on Skyville Records, which is slated for release some time next year. For the highly-anticipated album, Stealing Angels worked with famed producer Paul Worley, who is the brain behind some of the hottest music in Nashville, including Lady A, Martina McBride and the Dixie Chicks.
During a recent break from the road, the girls of Stealing Angels sat down with Taste of Country to discuss the new music, life on the road and their love lives.
What can your fans expect to hear on your upcoming album?
Caroline Cutbirth: Our album is so versatile. All three of us sing lead, and we came together as a trio as solo artists first. I think we bring a little bit of our own style to it, but yet it’s all combined. To me, each song is different.
Jennifer Wayne: Caroline is a little bit more pop-country, and Tayla is a little bit more alt-country. [Tayla’s] voice is really cool and Lucinda Williams-ish/Loretta.
Tayla Lynn: Jen is a little more throw-back. She’s a little more like Patsy Cline, so you get a little taste of all of that on the record.
Cutbirth: But it is blended. There’s a common thread through it all. Paul did a great job of mixing it all together. We’ve been playing so many live shows, that we really have developed a sound with just the three of us. It’s really cool.
Wayne: We feel like it kind of takes you through a journey.
Cutbirth: Yeah … hopefully it’s a positive one [laughs]!
What is something that you learned about yourselves or about the business throughout the process of making this record that came unexpected?
Lynn: We thought getting signed was the hard part, but getting a song up the chart is like a whole other world. I had no idea.
Wayne: I thought you moved to Nashville, got a record deal and then you made it. No way [laughs]! That is just like the start of it because you have to start all over again.
Cutbirth: Getting a record deal, believe it or not, is almost the easiest part, and then getting a song up the charts … that’s just a whole other ball game. Radio is a whole other world … it’s just crazy out there.
Lynn: It’s a pretty complex situation.
Cutbirth: So many people have got to be on board and push this song up, you know?
You mentioned playing live. How have the crowds been reacting to the new tunes?
Cutbirth: ‘He Better Be Dead’ -- our first single -- I think that’s why we picked it because people went nuts over it, and I think that’s a big reason why we wanted to pick it. It was just so fun and so in-your-face and so different. Then, of course, ‘Lightning in a Bottle' -- Tayla does all sorts of crazy dance moves and acrobatics on it, so that’s fun.
Lynn: You can judge what songs work and what don’t with a live audience. Paul Worley told us the other day: Nothing shows like lack of enthusiasm. We like [our fans] to be enthusiastic.
Wayne: We’ve been playing together for a while now -- five years. We’ve figured out what songs work live and what people do react to, so I think we’ve been pretty lucky with that.
Talk about your live shows some. It's a pretty energetic show from what we understand.
Cutbirth: We like to have fun [laughs]!
Lynn: We get jacked up up there!
Wayne: If there is a rafter, Tayla will find it [laughs]!
Cutbirth: Having an audience that’s into it just makes the show one hundred thousand times better. When you have an audience who’s into it hardcore, it’s amazing. It’s the best feeling on earth.
What was the inspiration behind writing your current single, ‘Little Blue Sky’ (written along with Keith and Adrienne Follese)?
Wayne: We were watching that movie ‘My Sister’s Keeper.’
Lynn: It was so sad!
Wayne: It was about a little girl who had cancer, and she ends up dying from cancer. At the end of the movie, her sister and mom were looking up at the sky. The little girl was like, “It’s OK. I know she’s up there, and she’s my piece of little blue sky.” We were like, "Oh my gosh. That is so sweet!" Of course we were all crying and everything. So we just kind of wrote about whatever your “little piece of blue sky” is … it could be your husband or your dogs or your nieces and nephews …
Lynn: Children, parents, sister …
Wayne: It’s a love song, but it doesn’t have to be just about your significant other. It’s a good message.
Will you be shooting a video for the song?
Lynn: Yes! And we have a great video in mind, but we won’t give that away. We’re not going to give that away because we want you all to watch it [when it’s done]!
And I’m sure the song has extra special meaning for you, Tayla, since becoming engaged this summer.
Lynn: That is so true! I think it is hilarious! I’m going to bring it back to Caroline and Jen for a second ... when we first got together, Jen and I were not in very functional relationships. Caroline had just gotten into this new love with her boyfriend, Michael, who she’s been with for over three years now. So Jen and I were always wanting to write these heartbreak songs. I wanted to write kill songs …
Cutbirth: ‘He Better Be Dead’ [laughs]!
Lynn: … and Jen wanted to write heartbreak songs. Caroline was like, “Why can’t we ever write anything positive?!” Years later, after all the torment, I’m like, “Yes! ‘Little Blue Sky!’ This girl’s got your back!”
Cutbirth: Tayla has turned from the most diehard, in-your-face, exactly what she said -- no love songs -- to the sappiest of us all.
Lynn: I love it! I’m so in love.
Have you set the date for the big day?
Lynn: We’re getting married in Italy in April. It’s so exciting. I have the best fiancé in the world. Caroline has the best boyfriend, and we have a few applications out for Jen. I am personally going to be interviewing them.
Do you girls always get each others approval on the guys you date?
Cutbirth: If you date one, you date us all. It’s the truth.
Lynn: And we’ll approve of just about anybody.
Cutbirth: [laughing] That is true!
Wayne: I do usually bring them straight in to have them meet them right away, but now I’m going to change it. I’m going to take my time with it before I bring them into the circle.
Lynn: Not only does she bring them right in for us to meet, but then she brings them to mama.
Wayne: My mom already invited one to Thanksgiving [laughs]!