I think if you're everyone's cup of tea, that probably means you're a little bit boring, or you're not pushing yourself. Creativity happens where it's dangerous and scary: where you're not comfortable.
I wouldn't ever do a radio edit because I feel like it would totally go against the point of 'Follow Your Arrow.' I just think you're going to like it or not like it.
I used to love, and I still do, Lee Ann Womack. And Alison Krauss. I mean, how many Grammys does she have? She's just remained solid and true and great, and I respect that.
Undeniably, I'm a country singer; I'm a country songwriter. But I feel like I make country music for people who like country music and for people who don't.
My parents aren't crazy conservative. They're actually pretty open-minded. But my grandparents are, and where I'm from, East Texas, is the Bible Belt.
Look at Loretta Lynn. Look at Jeannie C. Rily singing 'Harper Valley PTA' and Tammy Wynette singing about divorce. They were ahead of their times in a lot of ways.
A label's typical plan would be to put something out that's safer and get fans, and then push buttons, but my idea is to push buttons first, scare off the people who are gonna be scared off, and then the right people will like you for who you really are, and stay with you.
I feel like, big city or small town, you can relate to following your parents' footsteps or putting your own dreams on the back burner or vices that we get caught up in - that whole cycle. That's not just a small-town thing. That's a life thing.
My personal style is a big mix. A lot of it's pretty vintage. I love vintage looks. I'm obsessed with the mid '60s era, even '70s, it was a good era for clothes, hair, music, and cars.
I see my fans as music lovers. I really love that. There's no age group or demographic. It's people of all ages and backgrounds. Country people and non-country people. I wanted to make music across the board.
Certain kinds of people will always have an issue with my music. But that's fine; it's OK. I don't want to be the McDonald's of music. I don't want to not turn anyone off. If you were everybody's cup of tea, you'd probably be boring.
I always draw from things around me that people around me have gone through... The story that could be taken really literally is not from my life exactly. But bits and pieces are, and the sentiment behind it is.
I didn't necessarily grow up in a trailer park, but there is a brief part of that in my life. So I can make fun of it a little bit. I'm not too much of an outsider, where I'm just making fun of someone.
I had a blast on tour with Little Big Town. We got to play some beautiful rooms around the country - some really amazing old theaters. And it was just cool to see a band that's been together for so long.
I love Lee Ann Womack and John Prine. That's kind of my ideal cross point. If I can sing it like Lee Ann would and say it like John would, then I feel like I've gotten somewhere.
My fans are pretty spot-on with their gifts. This girl that was super into baking had made this entire batch of cookies - there were one with a dandelion on it, one with a trailer, and some had my face.
I'm thrilled that country music fans like my stuff, but so do a lot of people outside of country music, people who just love music. My goal is more to reach music lovers than to appeal to a genre. I love country music, and I'm proud to represent it, but I don't obsess over it as a category.
I love words. They're fun. I don't think any word can just be filler. There's no room for it. It's like a puzzle. Every song can be written a million times. How can you say it differently?
I write my songs and just play them, so there are not a whole lot of fireworks. As long as the music comes first, it's OK to have some fireworks. But not the other way around.
My parents have always had a great sense of humor. And I really appreciate good humor in songs, witty lyrics that sneak up on you and then you listen again, and say: 'That's so funny.' John Prine's songs have always had this really witty tone.