Lady Antebellum have become known for their UK and European popularity and thus have made a point of touring over here regularly. In fact, it was right before their album launch show at London’s Brooklyn Bowl that C2C announced their 2015 line-up for the festival, with the country-pop trio at the helm. They closed the festival in the Capital City earlier this month, but prior to that sat down for a press conference with the UK’s media, co-ordinated by Richard Wooten and audio courtesy of Chris Country Radio. Below is a full transcription of what went down.
Rob (2Country Radio): When other country artists are still very nervous about coming to the UK, putting their music outside of the US, you seem to added the UK as a regular tour stop. What is the draw? Because you keep coming back. What is it all about?
Hillary: The fans. The fact that the fans continue to show up every time we’re able to be here, the loyalty… they know ins and outs of the whole album. Not just the songs that are getting played on the radio. It’s just… they’re amazing. We do meet and greets before our shows and every person that comes up has a personal story that they share about how our music has impacted them, which is just the most heart-warming compliment. We just love it over here, we really do. It feels like a second home.
Dave: We’ve come I guess to London, I feel like five or six times and done so many great spots… Started at Shepherds Bush, and done Union Chapel, a few others in there.
Charles: And Hyde Park! This is the bucket list.
Dave: And to end up with a sold-out crowd at the O2 is truly a dream come true, I mean this is one you tell the Grandkids about. It’s a really huge moment for us and we don’t take it for granted at all.
Sam (ukCOUNTRYmusic.net): You guys played the C2C launch back in October, and with it being quite a small venue it still felt like you were rocking a stadium. What can we expect with this being one of your bigger shows?
Charles: Tonight? Oh God – definitely a lot of high energy! I’ll tell you, if this is anything like last night – I think our show last night in Dublin was one of our favorites we’ve had in, I don’t know how long.
Charles: So much energy, and the crowd kind of allowed us to take them wherever. We felt like going on… I think we’re gonna bring that, some of the stuff that worked last night to the show tonight. There’ll be a few little surprises, but it’s definitely – I think, as we’ve evolved – anybody who’s seen us from maybe five, six years ago, will notice a much more high-energy show from us these days than maybe what we’re [sic] known for in the past.
Fantastic Country On The Radio: You guys have made so many great music videos. I think one of my favorites is ‘Need You Now’ and the new ‘Bartender’. Which has been your most favorite to make so far?
Charles: I would go ahead and say that one right now. The one that Kate Upton was in!
Charles: That was ‘Bartender’. Yeah, Kate Upton… we asked her, and I don’t know why she said yes but she said yes! It was the first time Dave and I have shown up really early. (laughter)
Hillary: Yeah, my favorite purely because it was so much fun to watch, honestly Charles and Dave in cop uniforms, running around like crazy people – was ‘Downtown’. It was a really fun, fun shoot, and I actually ended up meeting – who’s now one of my best friends – Beth Behrs from the show ‘2 Broke Girls’. She was my sidekick in the video, and so that was my favorite.
Richard: ‘Long Stretch of Love’ is doing very well on the radio here, but that’s not a video yet.
Hillary: Not yet.
Charles: It’s actually going to be our single too, that literally just came out in the States. That is probably our favorite song on the record.
Hillary: That’s why we kicked off the tour with it.
Charles: We’ve been kind of wanting to put that single out since the very beginning and I’m glad that it’s finally out. It definitely represents I think where we are as a band and where we are from a live show perspective. It’s in your face, you know it’s a butt-kicker.
Richard: And ‘Lie With Me’ was very popular, that was a UK-unique single I think it was.
Hillary: Yes it was.
French Press: We don’t have a lot of country music in France, but with songs like ‘Need You Now’ you opened doors for people who didn’t listen to country music before. So do you think you are country music ambassadors?
Hillary: We would take that as an absolute compliment. We love being able to travel all over the world away from where we grew up, and perform these songs. ‘Need You Now’ was that song for us, it truly opened up the door to the world for us. So to be able to travel to all these places is amazing, and we will always be so grateful to country music, to how we’ve gotten to this point. I think our heart and our soul is in country music, and to be able to see how it’s transcending borders and going all over the world is awesome. It’s awesome to be a part of that!
Dave: Yeah, it feels like such an exciting moment, especially with last night and all the other acts that have been playing. The CMA Songwriters Series, all these acts that are playing during the day too. I just feel like country music is completely global now, and it’s really exciting to see that. I think people are really diving into these songs, diving into these artists, and I think… the songs are real. Anyone that you’ve seen here the past few days, I think we all try to sing about what we know, and what we go through and what we live, and I think that’s what’s translating around the world and it’s amazing to see. We feel the energy of that, you know. Travelling around the world – we did play in Paris a couple of years ago, and coming up to Australia soon you really feel that great response from everybody around the world for this format.
Richard: And you’ve widened your pool of songwriters that you use, you’ve used some new ones haven’t you, for this record.
Hillary: We have, yeah.
Charles: All kinds of different writers. Well I think for us going into our fifth record, we knew it was time to mix it up, I mean I think people usually – I think of all the bands I’m a big fan of, and usually I own their first two or three records and then I kinda start zoning out. As an artist that’s a tough thing, so you really wanna fight to keep the interest. We really did try to mix it up on this record, try some new things – I mean gosh on the last record with a song called ‘Compass’, we even found a song that was a couple of Swedes – they had done a track – what do they call themselves? Stargate? And they had done a track that some guys in LA had written to, and of course we heard it and we turned it into a country song. I think again, it shows you how music is music and these whole genre-defining things I think sometimes keep people from maybe jumping in and checking out something like country music, and they’d probably enjoy it.
Richard: I think it is wide open. The great thing with you is the songs you seem to choose, the lyrics people can relate to over here.
Hillary: Thank you!
Charles: I appreciate that. Well last night we performed a song off the record called ‘One Great Mystery’, and we wrote that with a guy called Josh Kear – who we wrote ‘Need You Now’ with – and it’s songs like that… that’s where we are in our lives, you know we’re all happily married, Dave and Hillary each have a new kid. Not together! (laughter)
Hillary: That would start a rumor. (laughs)
Charles: But it is, I mean you start thinking about a lot of those things, and what got you here. It’s definitely a lot of nostalgic stuff, but…
Hillary: Well we think about, like just us as a band, if each one of us had made a different turn, we would have never ended up here, you know? If Charles hadn’t called Dave to move up to Nashville, and if I hadn’t walked into that bar –
Charles: And hit on me.
Hillary: And – complimented you! (laughs)
Charles: I hit on her.
Hillary: We wouldn’t be here! And that’s what that song is about. It’s just, fate.
Richard: And talking about little people – some of the people here know your mother.
Hillary: Yes! Yes, my mom Linda Davis. Yes, she’s keeping my little girl right now but she toured over here with Reba and Kenny Rogers…
French Press 2: Out of all the artists playing this weekend, you are the only ones who are famous in France. How did you feel when you came to France? Did you like the warmth from French people, would you like to come back?
Hillary: Absolutely. We were in Paris for a couple of days, we did a couple of different – I think we did a radio performance and got to meet some of the people at radio. We would love to come back, we will go anywhere! Anywhere – I mean if the fans are there, and they wanna come watch us perform, I mean we would absolutely love to be there. I would love to – we went to Nice a couple years ago before we had a show in Switzerland, so to be right on the coast was amazing. Just to see so many of these places.
Charles: France is such a romantic place, my wife came with me and we love food and restaurants and such – it was really fun for us –
Hillary: And wine! (laughs)
Charles: Enjoyed the wine and all of it, even caught a little burlesque show, which was… (the other two laugh) was great!
Jean (Up Country Magazine): I don’t think that C2C would actually be going now if it weren’t for yourselves.
Charles: Oh wow. Appreciate it.
Jean: Because a few years ago, you asked a young person do they like country music, and they’d say no. But then you’d say we’re all off to Lady Antebellum, and they’d say brilliant! And you’ve done that, and I think that’s great!
Hillary: Awww, well you know thank you so much for saying that. There’s a lot of artists that are starting to really invest their time here, which I think is the smartest you could ever do. When we were playing Hyde Park actually, we had the opportunity to meet one of our heroes – Bruce Springsteen. He said if you invest your time here, you will never regret it, and you can come back for years and years and years, and we took that to heart. And are telling our friends back in the States to do the same thing! We just appreciate the love and we feel such a warm reception – and the team we have around us, our record label, everyone who works at the record label here, and back in the States, our management – it’s all working to make this go. We have a lot of people to thank.
Richard: And you’re passing it on, because you toured here and your support act was someone called Kacey something…
Hillary: Kacey Musgraves, yep! (laughter)
Kasey (Hitting All The Right Notes): You’ve released various albums here, with great press. Which album do you feel has had the best response?
Charles: Oh, well of course it’s ‘Need You Now’. That song has been amazing. But I think it was like what Hillary touched on earlier – even last night for instance, we played half of our new record and they were singing along – half the audience was singing along to these songs that just came out. I think that there’s just a huge respect for the craft of making a record over here, which I love, it’s not just about the singles it’s about the record as a whole. The journey that it takes you through. So of course ‘Need You Now’, that’s the record that has sold the most for us everywhere, so it probably always gets the biggest response, but it really means a lot when you hear everybody singing these new records as well.