Dierks Bentley: Brave Enough for “Riser”

He Explains How Stars Lined Up for New Single

If you ask Dierks Bentley, his new single, “Riser,” is one everyone needs to hear.

And when you analyze the lyrics, here’s why:

The world is cold, mean, hard and tough. But a riser is someone who fights, survives, works, prays and gets out alive.

“‘Riser’ is one of those songs that everyone sings back,” Bentley told me about the song when he was in Chicago a few weeks ago. “But before I released it, I knew it would only happen if all the stars lined up. Which they did. Maybe I’m naïve, but I believe in great music.”

He said the usual cadence of releasing singles — tempo, ballad, tempo, ballad — didn’t matter to him as much as the message of the song. After his recent No. 1 heartbreaking slow song “Say You Do,” Bentley thought about releasing a party song, like ”Back Porch” or some new tunes.

“But I said, ‘I don’t want to throw tempo out there just to throw tempo out there. I want to put out a great song,” he explained. “‘Riser’ is just important, and I feel like I’d forever be kicking myself for not being brave enough to give it shot. We could do an easier song, but this one needs to be heard. It affects people going through tough times, People can find strength in it.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.
@alisonbonaguro