With just a few days left before the release of Dierks Bentley’s new album, Riser, the singer has partnered with CMT to bring fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes preview of the project.
A 30-minute version of the new film documentary, Dierks Bentley: Riser , premieres Saturday (Feb. 22) at 2 p.m. ET/PT.
“It wasn’t one of those things where you just shot over a two, three, four-day period,” Bentley told CMT Hot 20 Countdown . “It was [director Wes Edwards] really trailing me for a long period of time and catching me at all the different phases of what I do. From the road, the van, the music and the fans, to making breakfast, dropping my kids off at school, flying airplanes to gigs, he was there to capture all of it. And most importantly, he was there for the birth of our son, so there’s some of that footage.”
When he saw the final product, Bentley said he was surprised at how revealing it turned out.
“For me to watch it, I’m watching it with one hand over my eye,” he admitted. “I don’t like my speaking voice, you know? I’m fine singing, but hearing myself talk or be on TV … I’m not really comfortable with that, in general. Then to see this really private footage is tough, and you kind of question why are we doing this. But in the end, it’s about really capturing a moment in time.
“I would have nothing without my fans, and they’re the reason I’ve had any chance to live this at all. So if you think it’s a story worth telling — which I think it was — you’ve got to get it on tape and give your fans a little something extra to watch. And we really went all the way in and didn’t hold anything back.”
In what Bentley calls his most personal body of work yet, his new album highlights some extraordinary moments but also explores the darker side of the singer’s life.
“When I first started making this record, my dad had just passed away, so that’s kind of where I was coming from,” he said. “’Bourbon in Kentucky’ was the first single that went to radio, and it was definitely a little darker than some of the lighter stuff being played last summer. But, you know, I’m really proud that we put that out first and we went for that song. I’ve never been one to shy away from doing things a little bit differently.
“Then throughout the course of making the record, things happen,” Bentley continued. “On the road with Miranda Lambert, it was so fun. That was such a cathartic tour for me that brought a lot of joy back into my life. Then my son was born at the end of the record process, so the story of the album changed as these different events happened in my life. By the end, I think I ended up with a record that’s just really reflective of who I am.”
Riser will be released Tuesday (Feb. 25).
For more from CMT’s interview with Bentley, tune in to CMT Hot 20 Countdown Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. ET/PT.