10 Questions with ... Dustin Lynch
November 30, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Broken Bow Records artist Dustin Lynch occupies a unique place in today's Country music. Thanks to his classic sensibilities, he's been heralded as the heir to George Strait's throne. Yet with one listen to his latest two-week #1 hit, "Where It's At," it's obvious the young Tennessee native knows how to combine his traditional influences with an edgy intensity that places him at the vanguard of today's contemporary Country scene. Lynch's Facebook fan page has grown by nearly ONE MILLION in the last year and his Twitter by 184%. He's soared to #1 on the MTV Music Meter, earned a #1 ringtone on CMT, two American Country Awards and one CMT Music Award nomination. This Fall, Lynch returned with his #1 Country sophomore album, "Where It's At," produced by Brett Beavers (Dierks Bentley), Luke Wooten (Brad Paisley) and Mickey Jack Cones (Jason Aldean), flag-shipped by the up-tempo, two-week #1 title track, which quickly became a summertime anthem and was named an iTunes Top 5 Hot Country Song. His current single, "Hell Of A Night," is racing up the charts and is on pace to be another success for the cowboy heartthrob.
1. Dustin, thank you for taking time to speak with All Access! Your latest single, "Hell of a Night" is climbing the charts currently, and "Where It's At (Yep, Yep)" has already gone to #1. How did writing for and putting together this sophomore project differ from your self-titled debut release, and what stood out about the two tracks you've selected as singles thus far?
The majority of the creative process for this album happened on the road on my bus, whether it was writing songs, listening to pitches from publishers, and even making mix tweaks once we started fine tuning the album. I think that's why there's a new energy level. We were out on the road with Keith Urban and LBT during this time and the crowds were ELECTRIC - it dubbed off on these songs for sure. What stood out about "Where It's At" and why I wanted it to be the first single is because musically it was new territory - a place I've not been - and signified this new chapter of music. "Hell of A Night" pushes even farther into that and really captures the level of energy we bring to our live show. It's a special song because, yes, it is tempo and, yes, it rocks, but the melody in the chorus is very strong and even sing-a-long. It's tough to get all three of those in one song. I truly believe it will take us to new levels.
2. Congratulations on taking "Where It's At (Yep, Yep)" to #1! That's a wonderful accomplishment, and a fabulous track. Where were you when you found out it would be your first #1, and can you describe that feeling?
Thanks! "Where It's At" was so much fun to be a part of. My friends at country radio got behind this song right away and were so supportive the whole ride! When I got official word we had hit Number 1 I was in Dallas TX - myself, band and crew had a night off between shows and we were out grabbing a drink after dinner. When the call came in we were already in place for a toast. I caught myself in a daze reflecting on what an incredible ride I've been blessed with thus far and how many people in Nashville and radio believe in me and what I'm doing. It's a wonderful feeling still.
3. You've co-written a great number of the tracks on this album, and there are rumors that you've already started writing for your third project. How has the inspiration for your writing evolved over the years and projects?
Yes I have! Inspiration for songs still come from the same places....real life stuff....but what has changed since album one to now is that I really love writing to a beat or some sort of track we piece together as we go. I'm away from Nashville so much it's really tough for me to find a day to go in and track/demo a song then find another day to sing that demo. It's just much easier to knock it all out on the bus. So most of my newer songs come from somewhere in the USA - a different town, a different flavor, a different energy in the air each day...ITS FUN!
4. Your parents insisted you get a college education before pursuing music, so you majored in Biology for Pre-Med. I feel like this says a big something about your personality. Have you always been driven, motivated, and a work horse?
There's no better feeling than setting a goal and years later reaching it. College definitely taught me what persistence and hard work is and can do. I wasn't by any means the brightest crayon in the box. My parents were big on teaching and making me practice a good work ethic in school and sports growing up. In Nashville all the success stories are hard workers and focused workers.
5. You've been touring extensively to promote this album, and you have shows booked through February 2015 already. We had the privilege of seeing you at the showcase for this new album, and you did some amazing covers as well as your own material. When you come in to a city for a show, what can the radio stations and fans expect from a Dustin Lynch performance?
They can expect every ounce of energy my band and I have to be left on the stage. We're gonna throw a party--that's a promise. As a band we take pride in creating an atmosphere that lets people dance and sing and throw a few back without being judged. My goal is to have someone leave and say two things: "Man I'm glad I went" and "I can't wait to do that again." I'm having so much fun playing this new album of songs.
6. Speaking of your shows, we can't avoid addressing the incident a few months back when you were nailed in the face with a full beer can mid-set. Is that the rowdiest show you've played, and if not, where and when was your rowdiest crowd?
Niceville, FL is the "beer can incident" show and yes that crowd was electric. People were crowd surfing and dancing all over. It was an amazing night. As far as rowdiest crowd ever they were an 8 out of 10.......one of our most responsive crowds this year was at Country Concert in Ft. Laramie, OH. That was an epic afternoon and night to be a part of.
7. You're also known for being supremely personable and connecting with your fans - both at shows and via social media. Your weekly Facebook engagements alone surpass over 5 million. Why do you feel it is important to utilize social media, and what other ways do you connect with your fans?
Social media is my direct connection to my fans. I love checking in and seeing what songs people are quoting or what parts of the show they are posting videos/pictures of. It's a great gauge, but also, I've learned there's a lot of song ideas floating around my friends/fans pages. People don't worry to filter what they're feeling or going thru so that's been fun to turn in to pieces of songs here and there as well. I still love the good old fashioned meet and greets before and after shows too. It's a way for me to say THANK YOU to everyone that is allowing me to live my dreams.
8. You are a Tennessee native, and a true Southern gentleman. Perhaps that - and your sweet dimples - helped you snag a place on People Country's "2014 Sexiest Men of Country" list AND Us Weekly's "Country's Sexiest Men of 2014" list. Clearly the ladies love you! What are the best and worst pick-up lines you've received during the meet-and-greets, and how do you respond?
HA!! The advances are always flattering. The most often used line is "hey cowboy I'll be your angel." I've heard it hundreds of times and of course everyone that says it thinks they're the most clever person on earth which cracks me up.
9. You've graduated from opening for acts like Keith Urban to headlining your own shows. What is the next step for you in touring, and what is your definition of success?
Our next step is what every step has always been with our shows along the way-- to put on the best show we can Every. Single. Time. 2015 is gonna be out of control! We start in February on the "That's My Kind Of Night" tour with Randy Houser and Luke Bryan. I'm really excited to be the first one out of the gate. The goal is to get people up and dancing and ready for Randy and Luke to tear it up. Success is tough to define in this business because I feel like it happens every day. I'm blessed to make music for a living. As for goals, we are going to continue to work hard with hopes of one day headlining our own shows in these major amphitheaters and arenas we are opening in right now.
10. You're preparing to approach your 30th birthday. Let's look ahead a bit at your next big milestone year. Where do you hope to be, both professionally and personally, by the time you hit 40?
I'd love to be still making music and headlining major venues and be a viable artist for country radio still. The last ten years have been so much fun professionally and personally.... and something tells me the next ten will be even better! :)
1. I'll say four words: "The Coffee Pot Rivalry." What does that mean to you?
"Friday Night Lights" - butterflies....chest paint...GO Tullahoma WILDCATS!!
2. You have 24 hours to take us anywhere and do anything. Where do we go to have "one hell of a night?"
We fly in to Dallas, eat at Joe T Garcia's, two-step at Billy Bob's (somebody's got to ride a bull), jump back on the plane and head to my favorite bar in the Bahamas (not giving that away) and then be pirates till the clock runs out.
3. Some have said "Your Daddy's Boots" is the best wedding song not currently on radio. You're a young, single guy. If you were to get married tomorrow, what song - besides one of your own - would you want to dance to at your wedding and why?
"Carried Away" by George Strait. It's such a well-written classic song....and a couple of my buddies wrote it! ;)