Jason Aldean Stays True to His Musical Roots on ‘9,’ Even If His Style Doesn’t Fit Country Trends
Jason Aldean's fans have come to know and love him for his signature, rock-inflected musical style. The singer says there's much more of that on his new album, 9, even if a heavier sound isn't necessarily what's in vogue in country music right now. In fact, Aldean adds, that's all the better.
"It's what I think sounds cool, you know what I mean? If no one's doing it, good, 'cause we are and kind of always have," he told The Boot and other outlets at a recent press event. "It's always been a huge part of my sound and a big influence on me growing up. If we went in to make an album and didn't have some of that on there, I would feel like we had something missing on the record."
Aldean hopes he can be a part of keeping music with a rock edge alive, though he admits that the style is getting scarcer. "I will say, there's not a lot of great rock bands anymore. I hope it comes back around and there starts to be some really cool bands," he continues. "There were obviously some cool ones in the '80s, but then, even all the way up to the early 2000s, there were some really cool bands out there, and it feels like it's fizzled out a little bit. Everything is a little bit more electronic and pop-oriented, and you don't have those big guitar sounds.
"But man, that's such a key piece of the way we record that I couldn't imagine not doing it like that," the singer adds.
Aldean took a similarly independent-minded approach to the format of the album itself, which is out Friday (Nov. 22). In a time when many of his peers are cutting down on the length of their records, or even moving away from the album format altogether, he packed 16 tracks onto his project.
"I like making full-length albums," Aldean asserts. "I know things are changing as far as that goes, and album sales are not what they used to be, for anybody. It's all kind of going to streaming now, and singles-driven, a little bit."
However, as a fan, Aldean still loves to listen to a full-length record, front to back -- and so that's how he made his own project. "I feel like it's hard to get a vibe from an artist if you're only hearing five, six song from them. It was hard enough for me narrow it down to 16 songs -- much less five or six!" he continues with a laugh.
"I'm gonna make records as long as I can make 'em. If it gets to a point where it's just not the way things are going anymore, then we'll reassess it," he adds. "But I still enjoy that process, and creating music. And if people are gonna go and buy an album, I want it to be worth their while. It's gonna have a lot of songs on it. So I'm gonna do that until I get told I can't."
Fortunately, Aldean goes on to say, he's never really felt much pressure from his team to change the way he makes music. "As far as my record company goes, I always give them a lot of credit for sort of just giving us the keys to the car," he points out. "We go cut the record and when we're done, we give it to them, and it is what it is."
The singer has never been a big fan of following musical trends in any sense. Even if he tried to, he points out, he doesn't think it would work.
"I just feel like it goes back to, if I'm not cutting it like that, it's not really me," he relates. "I would much rather cut my music the way I wanna cut it than go try to chase something that's a fad right now and have it not work. Because then I'd be p--sed at myself because I was chasing something that I shouldn't really have been chasing in the first place."
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