Music interview: Lady Antebellum

Lady Antebellum.
Lady Antebellum.
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Lady Antebellum, aka Dave Haywood, Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley, are one of America’s biggest country music acts of recent years.

Dave Haywood talks about the band’s Grammy-winning success, the pressure of following up one of their biggest hits, and his thoughts on TV hit Nashville.

Tell us about your most recent album, Golden. 
It’s one that we put a lot into. We write so many songs for these albums – we’ve probably written 40 or 50 songs over the course of being on the road; it’s sometimes difficult to write on the road, but we love it, so we stay pretty busy while we’re touring, writing songs during the day and playing songs at night.

After international hit ‘Need You Now’, was there a lot of pressure to come up with something as equally appealing? 
Need You Now did a lot of things for our career, I mean all great stuff that opened a lot of doors. I guess the only negative from that song was some of the pressure that it did put upon us to try and create something like that again.

That moment happened without us trying to do anything, other than write a song that we really were into. So we always try to keep that motto for all of our song writing: “Let’s just write what we love”. We feel confident that if we chase after the music we love writing, creating, recording, touring and playing live, those will be the ones that win in the end.

How do you and the band keep your feet on the ground? 
We’ve been very fortunate. It’s funny. We kinda just look at each other during these awards shows and laugh to each other. Like, “Why would they pick us? Three ordinary kids from Tennessee who love writing music together”. That’s the way we’ve always viewed ourselves; we try not to have a big head about anything.

We’re grateful that people would recognise our music and honour it in certain ways, but for us, more importantly, we love when people relate to it. When people like it and enjoy what we do, that’s success for us.

Elements of tv hit Nashville could be chapters from the Lady Antebellum story – how realistic is the show? There are definitely parts of it that are pretty accurate. Every episode they have a lot of drama around relationships, big deals and things.

The truth of the matter is, you’re trying to get a big record deal, you’re working with the record label. All those kinds of things are pretty dead on and fun to watch... and sometimes a little uncomfortable to watch too.

Spiral Stairs. Picture: Steven Simko

Gig review: Spiral Stairs at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds