Jason Aldean is one of the biggest singers in country music, and he's coming to Omaha very soon.
After launching his tour last night in Illinois, Aldean called me to talk about the tour's kickoff and his upcoming record.
It was a good conversation, and a wild and crazy Omaha crowd will be ready to see him at the CenturyLink Center.
Kevin Coffey: Your tour kicked off last night?
Jason Aldean: Yeah, the first night was last night.
KC: How was it?
JA: It was good man. We’ve been off the road for two or three months. A lot of it was getting back in the saddle, you know?
There’s some things you gotta dial in a little bit bit. But for the most part, it was great.
KC: Are you excited to be back out there again?
JA: I’m one of those people where I like having a little time off, but after too long, it’s nice to get back out there.
KC: So what's different this time around?
JA: It’s a whole new set... a whole new look to the tour. We changed up everything from last year.
It’s a different deal. That’s sort of the idea: Change it up every year so you’re not feeling like you’re going out with the same tour every (time).
KC: What about the setlist?
JA: Yeah. We put in some songs that we haven’t played in awhile.
That’s a shot in the arm for us, too. We like to change some of that stuff up. It makes it not so same-old-same-old for us, too.
KC: There are a lot of big country acts on the road right now: You, Luke Bryan, Garth Brooks, Kenny Chesney. What do you think that says about country music?
JA: Hopefully that’s something that fans dig. The fact that there’s that many acts in country that are able to go and tour on this level, that’s a cool thing. It’s cool to be a part of that. For fans, it gives them a chance for them to see their favorite acts.
You're lucky if you're in one of those cities, too. A lot of the people that live in the secondary markets, we don’t hit those places but once every few years.
KC: What are you doing after this tour is over?
JA: We're working on a new album. We’re gonna have that album being launched later this year, probably in the summer. We'll have a new single coming out in the next couple months.
We’re not gonna take much of a break off. We'll take some time to promote the album, but then we'll be back at it.
KC: How much of it is left?
JA: For the most part. We still have to go in and cut a few more songs. We’ve cut 10 or 11 for this record so far.
KC: Will we be lucky enough to hear any new tunes on the tour or will you save them?
JA: I’ll save that. Honestly, we haven’t worked on it other than recording in the studio. Closer to the time when the album comes out, we’ll add a few songs to the show.
KC: You've always pushed in a bit different direction than what's on country radio. Are you doing that again?
JA: The thing is, I don’t know that all that stuff was ever done intentionally. It was just us going in the studio and doing our thing, and it just sort of happened that way. I've never gone into the studio with the intention of "I’m gonna cut this record or that record." We find the songs we like and let them develop and sort of happen.
And that’s how they turn out. It’s the same thing we’re doing on this album.
There's definitely some stuff we’re doing on the record that's a little different. There’s always new technology that comes out. We’re always playing around with new gear. It just kinda comes out that way.
KC: Is that what happened with the last record? You had some drum loops and other interesting things you usually don't hear in country.
JA: That record, with "Burnin' It Down," set the tone for the rest of the record. We had a lot more of those things in there than we typically use. I think the thing was that the songs still were country songs. "Burnin' It Down" was a little on the pop side, but the rest of the record, the songs are still country.
We didn’t get away from that and go in a pop direction. That's not what I would want to do anyway.
KC: You're a big rock fan. Have you ever wanted to drop in a cover of a band like Guns N Roses?
JA: We’ve done it in the past. We've had Bon Jovi songs and Guns N Roses and Kid Rock. It used to be that we had to. We’d have to do those things, but now we have enough of our own songs.
But yeah, we still pull those out every now and then for fun.
KC: What about GNR? Would you go see their reunion if you have the time?
JA: I’d love to go check them out! Hopefully they can keep it together until the tour starts. I love those guys. They were obviously one of the best rock bands ever, and them doing a reunion tour is probably long overdue.
KC: Thanks for talking to me today. People here in Omaha are excited to get back to town.
JA: Thanks, Kevin. We’re looking forward to getting back over there. We’ll cross our fingers for some warm weather.