The country superstar showcases his diverse musical sensibility
I’m always trying to figure out where country music is heading, and this record (Center Point Road) has that perfect balance of pop-leaning progressive and the songwriting side, which is the truest side. If you record in a genre, then you are recording in a box and that’s not how music was supposed to be made. There are a lot of things on here that are pop and hip-hop influenced.
I never in a million years thought I’d be writing records like I am now. After my first record, there weren’t many songs that were personal about me, because I didn’t know that it was OK to do that—it really wasn’t until about “Die a Happy Man,” [that I did] and I was still nervous to put that song out. But when I saw what it did, it really opened a lot of doors to say, “Hey, maybe if I do write personally then this will really resonate with a lot of people out there.”
I think the thing to do in country music these days is to have a gigantic video screen, a bunch of lights, and then play a bunch of your music videos behind your songs. But I’ve noticed a lot of fans start to just watch the music video rather than watching the show. So we’re not going to do video screens—period—this year. We’re going to make the biggest light show anybody’s ever seen. We’ll make it like an event, and like every song has its own unique experience to it.
September 14 at United Center
1901 W. Madison, Chicago
Tickets: $59.75–$104.75, ticketmaster.com