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Wednesday, December 13th
The Hot Sweat
Hana Pestle
Lady Antebellum has reached a great deal of success before releasing their debut album. They have opened for major country music artists such as Martina McBride. Their first single “Love Don’t Live Here” is a top 20 country music hit. To top it off, they are nominated for the CMT awards as best new group. Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelley sure have a bright future ahead of them. Their debut album, Lady Antebellum, will be released April 15. Vocalist Charles Kelley talked to us about the band’s past, present, and future. 

Cris: Why did you decide to leave your solo career and make that transition into country music with Lady Antebellum?
Charles:  Well I think we I got back into music I was with my brother [Josh Kelley] and he is obviously a pop artist. We started writing in a pop direction. Growing up I used to play cover bands – country, pop, soul, just everything. I was trying to find my niche. It took  me a good year of writing with him to find where my sound really was.

How did Lady Antebellum get started?
Dave and I moved to Nashville about 3 years ago. We ran into Hillary downtown one night – she actually recognized me from my earlier stuff on myspace. She walked up to me and we hit it off. We decided to get together and write some songs. Next thing you know, we started this group and it all happened from there.

So the band has achieved tremendous success with the single “Love Don’t Live Here.”
What should people expect from the album?
I’m really proud of it. There’s only one song in this album that we actually didn’t write. It’s a real personal project. I guess that if people only know us from the first single, the might not realize that Hillary sings lead equally as much as I do. We trade vocals, a lot of duets and solo stuff too. We like to mix it up a lot when it comes to who sings- whatever fits the songs best at the time. So yeah, I am really proud of it. It’s a lot of our lives in it.

Lady Antebellum has mostly grown because of touring. I mean, you guys really got your name out there through opening for major country artists. How important is touring to you as a band?
I love touring. For me, I like to let people know that our music is not something fabricated in a studio. We can actually go out there and translate it from the album. We take a lot of pride on that. Also being able to open up for all these big artists and introducing ourselves to their fanbase is huge for us. A lot the shows we are doing, like the Martina McBride tour, we are basically introducing ourselves to audiences who might not know about us and what we do. We have to prove it to them that we can sing live and that we’re great performers. I just love to do it.

You mentioned that your songs are really personal. Do you like to play them live because you can connect with the audience in a level that the CD cannot reach?
Definitely. There are certain songs like “All We Ever Need” that I love to sing live. It is such a personal song I get lost in it every time. It is definitely a lot of fun to do that.

Lady Antebellum plays in both small, club stages and larger venues. Do you feel in any way that you have to readjust your live show to make people connect with your music more?
I mean, we definitely have to change the way we move around. Larger stages are obviously bigger and we have to perform in a different way to connect with a bigger audience. But overall, we just play with the same intensity. We love doing both kinds of shows.

Lady Antebellum is nominated for a couple of CMT awards. How does it feel to reach such success without even having your first album out?
It is pretty surreal. We are still a pretty premature band so to get that kind of recognition is crazy. Kind of funny in a way to see the people we are up against. If we get it, great.  I would definitely receive it with open arms. But if not, we have the rest of our careers ahead of us to be successful.

What do you want your fans to take away from the music?
We don’t really write the songs with anyone in mind. We don’t try to market ourselves so people will like us to please anyone. We just write what we feel. Our songs are very personal. We just hope that maybe someone will hear our songs and go “cool, I’m not the only one that has felt that way.” It’s cool to have people relate to our personal experiences through our songs.

What are some of your long term goals as a band?
I don’t really have any long term goals. I like to take it a day at a time. I guess I would want us to not sell out. I love the sound we have achieved now and I would hate to lose that.  It’s very organic and raw. So as long as we stay grounded and on track I’ll be happy. I don’t care if we play to a million people or a small club, as long as we stay true to ourselves.


Spencer AbbottCristina Carrazzais a staff writer at Musiqtone. You can reach her at cristinacarrazza@musiqtone.com





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