When Tucker Beathard released his independent album Nobody’s Everything late last year, I knew it was the start of something that would be the start of something. He wasn’t new to me, and he certainly wasn’t new to his fans, but he was on the verge of bigger things.
So when he inked a major label deal with Warner Music Nashville in January 2019, it was a sign that whatever Beathard did next would be heard. I caught up with the singer-songwriter right after he released “Better Than Me,” the first official single off the upcoming major label album.
CMT.com: This song sounds like it came from a personal experience. Did you go through a break up, hoping she’d be handling it better than you?
Tucker Beathard: A lot of what I write comes from my tendency to put myself in other people’s shoes. So it’s not necessarily from a personal break up of mine, I just feel for people in those situations. I’m just a spokesperson for other people’s feelings. (Beathard wrote “Better Than Me” with Dan Isbell and Jonathan Singleton.)
And now that you’re literally taken your show on the road, and you’re playing this song on your Ride On tour, what’s the crowd response been like?
They are the diehard, day one followers. Everything considered, that I’m putting out my first real batch of music now and there’s been no real radio push, everyone who comes out to the shows is there because they follow me. And they know every song, whether I’ve released it or not. It’s awesome to see that support.
When you asked your fans on Twitter what songs they wanted to hear on the tour, it was all you. They weren’t asking for 90s cover songs or straight-up radio singles. Was that a surprise to you?
The songs they asked for, or the ones they yell out at the shows, are ones I forgot I even had in my song catalog. You can’t get any better than fans like that. The shows might not be glamorous and we might be traveling in a van and what not, but I think despite all that, I’m not afraid to grind and play for whoever shows up. When the tour is yours, they get to see the whole you. And you make make a connection with them. I’m a voice for those fans.
Will the major-label deal change anything for you, or for those day one fans?
For me, no deal was better than the wrong deal. So I had to take a step back and try to find the right one. Not just any deal, but the right deal. And Warner said they’d let me do my thing. I made this music when I had no deal, and so there were no blurred lines when it came to signing the deal. It was just, “This is who I am. Take it or leave it.”
Is your life now, at 24, what you pictured it would be?
Not at all. When I graduated from high school and dove 100 percent in to my music, I didn’t anticipate this journey. I don’t think you can. But I wouldn’t change it any other way. If it went according to my plan, there would’ve been a lot of holes in it. Sometimes I think God has to put His hand on the wheel do what He knows I need to do. I can’t think that big. I can’t see the future. I’ve never felt more prepared. I even told the label, “I’m glad I didn’t sign with y’all four years ago, because y’all are getting the better version of me now.” I had more of a vision this time, and they gave me 100 percent freedom. It’s been the perfect time for me to do this, because I know now that things happen for a reason.
Beathard’s next stop is in Macon on Friday (Mar. 1).