We back with Jason Aldean, the Artist of the Decade according to the Academy of Country Music, and one of the realest to ever strap on a guitar. Last month he came raging back with his ninth studio album, destined to be called 9 since his playing days and packed with the kind of dirt road rock we’ve come to love.
In honor of 9, we asked Aldean nine questions. From the songs he can’t wait to drive live to the earliest ones he learned to play on guitar, here are 9 answers from Jason Aldean.
1. What was the goal for 9?
“I don’t think we really went in with anything planned out ahead of time of what kind of album we were gonna make other than we just wanted to make a great one. Obviously that comes from finding the right songs, and I feel like we found songs on this album that kind of let us go in a lot of different directions.”
2. What will we see on tour in 2020?
“The tour coming in 2020 is called the ‘We Back’ Tour,” Aldean explains. “Obviously touring has been such a huge part of my career over the years and it’s something that I want to continue to go out – that’s what I enjoy the most. More than making albums and doing any of the other stuff that we do, playing live is what I enjoy the most.”
3. What song are you most excited to play live?
“One of them is called ‘Dirt We Were Raised On.’ We’ve had a chance to play a couple times at some of the smaller shows we’ve done but we haven’t really had a chance to play it out at one of the big shows yet, so I’m excited about that one.”
4. What is your favorite lyric on the album?
“I think ‘I got what I got.’ Just saying, do you ever wish you had anything else, relationship wise, do you ever wish you had this versus that, and you’re basically just saying when I got what I got – no, I don’t want anything else.”
5. What is the album you listened to as a kid that made you want to make music?
“Probably ‘Mountain Music’ by Alabama,” Jason recalls. “That was the first album that I ever remember owning that was my record.”
“To me that’s what made it so cool about playing in a band, was Alabama.”
6. What is the first song you learned to play on guitar?
“The first song I remember learning to play is still a little foggy because there’s a few that I feel like it could have been. I think I was trying to learn to play them all at the same time. One of them is ‘The Cowboy Rides Away’ by George Strait, one of them was ‘Silver Wings’ by Merle Haggard, ‘My Home's in Alabama’ by Alabama. I remember those three kinda being the ones that I really was trying to figure out.”
7. Tell us about your first award show experience.
“I had a record deal but I didn’t have a single out I don’t think,” says Aldean. “I remember sitting almost in the top of the arena. I was way up in the nosebleed section and I was like, ‘man even if my record doesn’t do well I’m gonna have to get a better seat next year cause I don’t think you can get any worse.’”
8. What is your most star struck moment?
“I think I was at the GRAMMYs. I went backstage for some reason and I was coming back out to go sit in my seat, and as I’m standing there I’m looking at two guys talking in front of me, and I look up and it’s Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen. They're talking right in front of me and I want to jump in and be like, ‘hey what’s up guys, I don’t know if you know me.’”
9. What’s the dream collaboration you haven’t made yet?
“There’s a lot of cool artists out there that I would love to work with,” describes Aldean. “Adele. Post Malone. I would love to do something with Post. I think what he’s doing right now is unbelievable.”