OFFSTAGE: Brad Paisley on the Brilliance and Ambiguity of Pop

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

I have a one-track mind about music. And that one track is playing country, over and over. But I know guys like Brad Paisley are more open-minded than that. So last weekend, when I caught up with him after his ACM Awards rehearsal, we talked about what makes both big genres — country and pop – -so likable. “What I love about a great pop song is that what I think it means may not be what someone else thinks it means,” he said. “It’s a marriage of a lot of different things — the brilliance of maybe a certain lyric, but also the ambiguity of a verse.” As for country music, “The thing that makes a country song great is absolute relatability of a story, being real life and telling a story. There’s nothing like a country song that’s crafted in its own way, like a little novel. Which they are.” Paisley also admitted the whole pop vs. country discussion is how he came up with his own hit song a couple years ago. “There are different things that make different types of songs great,” he said. “That’s exactly what brought on ’This Is Country Music.’