Austin Webb Gets ‘All Country on You’ With New Single and Lyric Video [Exclusive Premiere]
The track was written by the powerhouse writing team of Mark Irwin, Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins, who also collaborated on hits like Carrie Underwood’s 'Before He Cheats' and Tyler Farr’s 'Redneck Crazy.'
It takes a different approach to the tried-and-true topic of women-done-wrong, taking the perspective of a man who's learned the hard way not to cross a country girl: "Don’t tick her off, break her heart, tell her lies / Don’t feed her any lipstick alibis / Ain’t nothing she can’t see through / No telling what she might do / Maybe get half-drunk, half-wide and wanna fight / Keep yelling at ya, cussing at ya, all night / Hell-bent on tearing you something new / When she goes all country on you.”
The song has provided a big career boost for Webb, a relative newcomer who has previously charted with 'Slip on By.' Taste of Country caught up with him to talk about 'All Country on You,' his singer-songwriter roots, and how he's planning to infiltrate the Nashville system to bring more country to mainstream radio.
This is a really unique take on this topic. It's very clever in the wording. How did you find 'All Country on You,' and what was your initial reaction to it?
My publisher sent me the single. He first called me, and he knows I'm really into singer-songwriter, introspective songs, and he sent me the song, and he said, 'Austin, I think this is all about your life.' And I thought it was gonna be all introspective and sweet, and talk about harmony and love. [Laughs.] It was all about my ex-girlfriends in one song, and he was making fun of me. And I loved that.
When I heard it, the Carrie Underwood line hit me immediately, and I thought, 'Wow, what a cool way to describe a song like this, using Carrie Underwood.' I listened to it about five times in a row, and I loved the song for two big reasons. No. 1, it's not a bro-country song. I'm tired of bro-country songs. It doesn't have the same old s--t in a bro-country song, basically, that people are literally tired of, and a lot of people are talking about it.
It's got a fresh vibe, so contemporary fans will like it, because it sounds like it's on the radio. It sounds right now, it sounds contemporary. But traditional fans will like it because it's going away from the bro-country vibe that people are tired of, and it has a fresh take, a really cool idea, and it's still a female-empowering song. I can't not cut this song. I love it too much.
It doesn't have the same old s--t in a bro-country song, basically, that people are literally tired of, and a lot of people are talking about it.
It definitely takes what you think is a familiar theme and turns it in a different direction.
Thank you. That was the goal. People are either gonna love it, or they're gonna hate it. Thank God, people are loving it. I haven't had anything but good reaction so far. I'm just grateful I got it and a one-name artist didn't cut it yet.
How does that work? How do you compete for songs against more established artists, and how do you end up scoring that instead of them saying, 'We should really wait and get this to Tim McGraw'?
I usually combat that by writing all of my own songs. I've done that since I was nine. But I haven't been very good at it [Laughs.] I've been writing for a long time, and I'm proud of a few songs here and there, but what I care about is a great song, and it's really difficult as a newer artist in the eyes of country radio to get a hit-sounding song from big writers. But a lot of it's the right place at the right time, and the same guys that wrote that wrote 'Before He Cheats' and 'Redneck Crazy.' They're big writers.
I got it the day they wrote it. On the day the demo was done, I got the song and I immediately attached to it. At the time I was meeting with tons of publishers and getting pitched tons of songs, too. Basically I've been on a slow progression and people are starting to notice. I've been able to get into a few meetings here and there, and get other songs pitched to me. But like I said, I'm lucky to get 'em, and I don't care where they come from. All I care about's a song that sounds good on the radio.
You mentioned some of your more introspective singer-songwriter influences. As a writer, that stuff is just not where commercial country is right now. Is that a struggle for you, to try and settle that in your own mind -- your personal taste vs. contemporary trends?
Well, my goal -- I did the Americana circuit, I started touring when I was 15, and I'm 26 now. I did the Americana circuit of little bars and clubs and coffee shops, digging through peanuts to find a dollar, for the same crowd every day, basically, over and over in different parts of the country. And I can go that route, but I won't reach the amount of people that I want to reach.
I'm just not the kind of guy that can be content right now, playing in the same clubs for the same people over and over. I want to meet as many country music fans as possible, and for me to be able to put my art out on the radio, I have to go through a little while of what country radio is right now. I have to cut songs that I love, that I still believe in, that are still contemporary, 'cause if I came out of the box with some really sweet ballad about love and life, with some really great lyrics, people aren't gonna play it, because there's not a ton of people that know who I am.
That's my goal, is to slowly put country music back into the radio. I think it's headed that way.
Nobody's gonna play a risky song by a new artist. It's just gonna get lost. So what I have to do is infiltrate the system by going in and playing songs that are fun and lighthearted, that I like, and eventually, in about five years or so, God willing, I'll be able to release heavier songs that are real country music. That's my goal, is to slowly put country music back into the radio. I think it's headed that way.
I don't wear a wallet chain. I don't have any problem with it, I just don't get all that. I was born a country singer, and I don't get all this weird s--t that's going on.
It does seem like it's coming back around. We're definitely seeing more substance right now than in the recent past.
There's so many great artists coming out right now. I'm still a huge fan of Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line and all that stuff, but what's happening is, they have some really in-depth songs in their shows and their albums, like 'Dirt.' That was a really killer song, so it shows me that bro-country's just a thing for the time being, but everybody has depth to them, and everybody can put out good songs. It's just the time that we're living in, and it's moving fast. We've got people like Charlie Worsham, Kacey Musgraves, the Band Perry -- there's so much good music, it's crazy to me.
'All Country on You' has been doing very well at radio so far.
Yes sir. It was most-added on Mediabase the week it came out, and then most-added the second and third week as well. I was very grateful for that. It was very humbling, really. I've been working my ass off, and we've been having a ton of fun out there. Radio's been nothing but good to me, and I'm grateful for it.
This could be the one that breaks you.
We're hoping! Man, it's taken -- this is my fourth single, but everybody thinks it's my second single, because 'Slip on By' was the only one with any traction, that went past the Top 40. I was thrilled at that. I've been out -- last year I was out 320 days, and this year I told my label, 'Keep putting me out on a radio tour. I want to visit these stations five times, six times, whatever it takes.' First impressions aren't always the best, so I wanna keep visiting and keep going back, because it's important, and I want to have a song that truly represents where I'm headed in country music. I really think 'All Country on You' is the one to pick.
The fans are the main reason I do this. They're just so much better than anywhere in the world, any other genre.
With four singles in release now, are you building toward the release of a full album?
Yes. We've been talking with the label, we'll be releasing the album when a single gets high enough on the chart, and people get exposed to it -- I just want to sell it when people when people can buy it. [Laughs.] If I put it out now, I wouldn't get enough sales to pay for it, so the goal is, once enough people hear it, then we'll release it. And I think that'll happen with this single.
I don't know what the title's going to be, but I think it's going to be like a quilt. Each song has its own individual life to it, and sewn together, it makes one piece of art that makes sense. So separately each song makes sense, and together the songs make sense, but it's still not a conceptual album. It's a bunch of songs that I like, that make sense together.
Congratulations on the success you're having.
Thanks! I couldn't do it without the fans, and radio. The fans are the main reason I do this. They're just so much better than anywhere in the world, any other genre. They're so invested. There's no pretensions. They love it, man. They're always there, and they're always welcoming. That's what I love, and I just want to meet as many fans as I can, so I hope my label keeps pushing me out there. Whatever happens, I'm still gonna be a country singer, playing for country music fans. That's what I was born to do.
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