CRS In Action: 'When 3 Become 1: Lady Antebellum'
February 26, 2015 at 1:32 PM (PT)
CAPITOL NASHVILLE trio LADY ANTEBELLUM were featured on the CRS panel WHEN 3 BECOME 1: "LADY ANTEBELLUM," which took place TODAY (2/26). The trio discussed how they balance the talents and creativity of three individuals in an effort to create one song, one album, and ultimately one band.
HILLARY SCOTT started off the panel by giving some background on how they got together. She and CHARLES KELLEY were pursuing individual solo careers when they first met each other at a music venue in NASHVILLE. After writing together, and singing duets, the two noticed that something just "felt right" when they sang together. Bring in DAVE HAYWOOD, who was a very talented musician and a big part of the creative process, and you now have what we know today as LADY ANTEBELLUM.
KELLEY shared that the idea of the group allowed them all to be acknowledged equally for who they were musically, instead of one person being the "star." When they made the final decision to become a group, HAYWOOD told the audience that a big priority for them was to remember that no matter what happened, the three of them would always communicate with each other directly when a problem came up. They still use that method to this day, and encouraged radio programmers to remember that working as a team and listening to each other's ideas is always going to be better than thinking your idea alone is the best one.
Which led to two of their takeaway points:
1) The whole is bigger than the individual
2) Take the time to communicate, and make sure that listening is part of that communication.
They also shared that each person handles situations differently, and to keep that in mind if a problem ever arises. KELLEY described himself as the "loose cannon," HAYWOOD as the "processor," and SCOTT falling somewhere in-between both of those labels.
LADY A related this back to times when they've really had to fight for songs they believed in to make it as singles. They also talked about the times where they tried to "systematically" decide which songs off of their album would be "radio hits" instead of going with their gut. They made decisions out of fear, and shared that those were the songs that never ended up working for them.
"We can have some songs not work, as long as it was a bold decision and we weren't playing it safe," shared KELLEY; leading to two more takeaways:
3) What's at the heart of every decision you're making? Who are you and what does this say about us and are we wondering from the core of what we do?
4) Be aware of your environment. Don't make your decisions out of fear.
Another battle related to single choices that the trio brought up, was the battle that they sometimes go through with their label, CAPITOL NASHVILLE. They shared how sometimes they'll want a certain single choice that the label disagrees with, but that they also consider the fact that the label has the group's best interest in mind, too.
"Another example is 'Bartender.' We really wanted this song called 'Long Stretch Of Love,' shared KELLEY, "and who's to say it wouldn't have been a big hit and then 'Bartender,' but I will say that the label was saying 'this is the one, this is the one,' and they were right."
SCOTT added, "Even though you're going to have your own opinion of what would have worked better, we really try to get to the place where everyone feels like they're winning in a way, so that if does succeed, hopefully, we can all relish in that success together."
This shows their fifth takeaway point:
5) The outside voices are not necessarily the enemy
The trio wrapped up the panel by sharing how many changes to the group, such as marriages and babies, made them have to come up with new solutions. For example, in their case, a "baby bus" for SCOTT to have separately for her family and newborn. However, when HAYWOOD and his wife recently had a baby, that solution had to be changed to fit the needs for both new parents. This story led to their concluding takeaway:
6) Your solution today may change
"I think we took comfort in knowing that we would make a decision, and in three to six months it might change, and having to renegotiate things," shared SCOTT. "But talking about it every time is the takeaway," concluded HAYWOOD.