We were lucky enough to be front and centre during the press conferences at the recent C2C Festival in London. Little Big Town stopped by to talk to the media about their love for UK audiences, ‘Pain Killer’, the success of ‘Girl Crush’, working with Jay Joyce, being inducted to the Grand Ole Opry, and their progress on their next record. You can read what went down below.
Think Country: How do your audiences over here compare to the US? Do you find a big change?
Phillip: The crowds here are incredible. I mean, they just inspire us so much and there’s so much enthusiasm and love and real passion for every song. It’s inspiring.
Kimberly: What we love about the crowds here is they not only know the songs that have been on the radio but they know the songs on the whole records, and in the States you get that sometimes but not always, but we always get that over here. It’s such a thrill when the crowd is singing along to the words of a deep cut on the album, it’s just such a thrill, we love that. You’re good fans over here!
UKcountrymusic.net: This is your fourth visit. Have you been blown away by the reception, especially when fans were singing back ‘Girl Crush’ with you at Shepherds Bush?
Karen: Yes, I mean ‘Girl Crush’ at the time we played Shepherds Bush [February 2015] wasn’t even a hit in the States, so to know that you guys knew it was special before anyone back home did, you know… so yeah, it’s been amazing and last night in Glasgow was the same feeling. Just hearing that crowd sing it back to us and tonight’s gonna be electric in that room; I can’t wait.
Roma Country Radio: How does [being inducted into the Opry] feel and has it changed the way you perform when you perform there now? Does it feel different?
Kimberly: Definitely. The first time we played on the Opry stage was in 1999, and we knew then that we wanted to make that our home. And so we didn’t make a secret of that, we let that out! (laughs) Anytime you wanna invite us, we’ll say yes! So they finally did, and yeah that was probably the greatest honour we’ve ever had bestowed upon us, and probably always will be. But it does feel different now; we have a mailbox there, we can go get mail! And walkin’ up and down the halls, it does feel… actually there’s just a little bit more pride as we walk the halls, and more a sense of I guess belonging.
Phillip: And family, it feels like a family. You know, the security guard knows your name, you walk in… it’s a really special institution.
For The Country Record: ‘Pain Killer’ was quite a sonically varied album. Was that deliberate experimentation or did it just end up that way?
Karen: Yeah we always set out to do something new… we gotta keep this fresh and inspired, and so it’s driven by songs and stories, and then we work with Jay Joyce and Jay is just a brilliant producer. There’s no boundary with Jay, we never discuss “We can’t do this” or “We shouldn’t do this,” it’s always like pushing it as far as we can, and then if we wanna pull it back a little bit that’s our choice. But with Jay, the ebb and flow, the ways songs come together and stories, it’s a joy to work with him. It’s kinda the yin and the yang together and it really works.
Entertainment Focus: Congratulations on the success of ‘Girl Crush’. Did you have any inkling how badly that could be misinterpreted before the controversy?
Jimi: I don’t think we ever really thought about it in that way. You know when you hear it for the first time that it is provocative, but I don’t think we ever thought of that in a negative way. We just knew from the moment, you know the girls were the first to hear the song, and when they brought it to Phillip and I and we listened to it, we were just blown away. It’s really hard to find an angle these days that hasn’t been heard before, but I thought the girls who wrote that song – they call themselves the Love Junkies – they just nailed it. I had never heard that perspective on jealousy. And we just, from the first time we heard it, it just felt like it was a special song. So glad we had the chance to hear it first.
For The Country Record: How far are you along with the next album? Because I know you’ve been playing a song called ‘The Beginning’ live.
Phillip: That was kind of a carry-over from ‘Pain Killer’, that never made the ‘Pain Killer’ record, but we were playing it out live a little bit. We’ve been listening to lots of songs, writing a lot in the recent months… we haven’t gotten into the studio quite yet with Jay, but –
Jimi: We’re getting close.
Phillip: We’re going in after this trip. Get back home and do that. So we’re getting real close.