Toby Keith More Than a Dozen Songs Deep Into New Album
His current gold-selling collection, 'Clancy's Tavern,' may still be churning out hits, but as soon as his current Top 10 single, 'Beers Ago,' runs its course, Toby Keith will already have his new album prepped, as he has "14 or 15 things" already recorded for his 17th studio album.
"It's the same stuff I usually do," Keith tells Billboard of his forthcoming project. "It's my world. It's really difficult to put my finger on what I write about because I don't really sit down and try to force anything. I only sit down and write when I have a good idea, and it can be about anything so there's never really a theme or a preconceived idea of what I want the album to sound like. I write all year and then I go in, and I always over-cut."
While Keith is prepared with plenty of songs in the queue, he's not really sure which ones to roll out for the new album. "I don't really know what 10 or 11 (songs) are going to make the album yet," admits Keith. "I just go in and get a good vocal on everything and then I'll start seeing which three or four gravitate to the top and I'll start building the core of my album right there, and then I'll fill in what I don't have."
One song has already become a clear favorite of the new album, with Keith speculating it as a future release. "Everybody heard it in the studio and was like, 'You've got to release that at some point,'" he says of a track called 'I Like That Drink Beer.' The Oklahoma native also hopes to include a song for his golfing fans.
"[It] kind of puts everything into perspective for all the golfers in the world," says the singer. "It lets you know if you're not on TV, you're not a very good golfer. I've played it about four or five times in public and got rave reviews on it."
Though Keith is focused on the future, he also looks back in appreciation of the commercial achievements of 'Clancy's Tavern' -- more specifically, the platinum-selling crossover success of 'Red Solo Cup.'
"I've done things like that before and they've gotten big with my audience but not big in the world," Keith notes. "This was one of those deals where it just went to that next level, and you can't foresee that; if you could, then everyone would be successful like that."
"Somebody came up to me at the CMT Awards and said, 'I doubt if you added all the winners up tonight they got as many hits total as ('Red Solo Cup'), and I laughed because I don't know how close to the truth that is, but it may just be, you know?" the singer adds, referring to the 20 million online video views.
With the release of the new album, Keith also hopes to celebrate 20 successful years in the industry with a gift to his fans. "We're thinking about doing something to commemorate it, tour-wise," says Keith. "But we still haven't put a time on anything concrete yet."
Until the anniversary rolls around in 2013, fans can catch Keith this year on his headlining Live in Overdrive Tour, with dates scheduled through the end of September.