Wade Bowen Talks ‘Saturday Night,’ New Album and Plans for 2012
Wade Bowen is no stranger to the music scene. Bowen got his start in country music by coming up the Texas country/red dirt path. Now, with his hot new single, ‘Saturday Night,’ Bowen is gearing up for the release of his first album with new label home Sea Gayle/BNA Records. The new collection of tunes is Bowen’s seventh album to date, but it’s this selection of songs in which the singer-songwriter has found happiness in music. Taste of Country recently visited with Bowen to discuss his music, life on the road and what keeps it all fresh in his heart after many years in the business.
Your new single, ‘Saturday Night,’ just hit radio. How has the feedback been so far from your fans when you play it live every night?
We’ve been playing it for probably six months, I guess. It’s been going over really well. I kind of ride the edge of country and rock ‘n’ roll, but my words are heavy in country music. I love the fact that this song is as country to me as it gets. I just love the feel of it … It has the two-step kind of thing, it has the heartbreak emotion, it has the feel of going out and partying on Saturday night. Even the melody and the arrangement itself has a twist.
What can we expect this go around with the next album?
I think this album has energy and it has dynamics, way more than any of the independent stuff that I’ve done in the past. As a songwriter, I feel like I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I think that comes across in the energy that’s captured on this record. I’m very proud of my band and proud of what we do out live, being the fact that we play 200 shows a year. I think that is captured really well, more than anything else I’ve ever done, on this record.
You mentioned you’ve been doing this for 14 years now. How have you evolved as a songwriter and/or artist during that time since making that first album 10 years ago?
I’ve always tried to grow, and I hope I never stop growing – that’s the goal for me as an artist and as a songwriter. I’ve just really tried over the last three years, since being with Sea Gayle Publishing and writing with them and getting the opportunity to sit in a room with better songwriters and being around better musicians over the years — just everything. It’s really helped me grow. I’m a sponge. I like to really soak it all in and try to learn from every little thing that comes around. I feel like I’ve done a really good job over those years, especially the last two [years]. I’m just trying to get better in anything I do. It’s really cool because I think it all works out.
Right now, it’s been 14 years and people say, “Why would you do a major label deal now?” I’ve just never had the opportunity before [laughs]! Now that I finally do, I’m jumping on it because it’s exciting and it’s fun. I think everything I’ve done for those 14 years is definitely going to help me and prepare me for all of this that is yet to come.
You’re obviously a very passionate songwriter, as you write all your own material. Is that something that is important to you to pen all your songs that go on each of your albums?
I love to write. That’s probably the biggest reason why I’m in this [business], because I love to write songs. I feel like, as an artist, it’s my requirement to write songs and say something … have something to say. That’s really why I go into the studio and make an album … because I do have things that I like to say and I like to write songs. So I really want that to come across.
What kind of advice would you give to a young, aspiring singer-songwriter trying to break into the business today?
I would say if you’re interested in making money, you’re not making the right decision [laughs]! No, I would say the biggest thing is not giving up. That’s really it. Everyone has their own timetable as far as what their success is going to be, and it’s all relative. I think the biggest thing is to not give up … to stick it out and keep learning and just try to be a sponge about everything, always. Every second of every day you can learn something.
Do you have any big tour plans in the works for 2012?
Not as of now. We’re ending the year strong and doing our normal touring. We’re trying to work on some stuff for next year, but as of now, we’re just kind of finish the year strong. Then we’ll go into our Steamboat Music Fest [in Steamboat, Colo. on Jan. 5-10, 2012] that we do every year. We’ll be celebrating 10 years in a row out there next year. That’s pretty crazy! We’re just doing our normal thing as of now, and I’m just working like crazy, seven days a week, to get people familiar with me around the rest of the country and try to get this song played. It’s a lot of fun … I’m having a blast!