"Straight-up fun." That's how Charles Kelley described the music Lady Antebellum will be making next.
Bandmate Dave Haywood elaborated.
"Ten months a year, this is what we do. We play live," he told me right before the trio took the arena stage in Chicago on Feb. 26. "And, sure, we always want to be storytellers, but then sometimes, we'll be like, 'Let's do a song about being on the road.' Then we think, 'But our fans aren't on the road, so that's not a relatable subject.' What we love and crave is just being relatable."
I started thinking that what Haywood meant is that if live music is the band's first love, maybe a live album would be somewhere in their near future. Instead, Hillary Scott explained they are just on the lookout for a sound that will translate well live, so next up for the band will be the kind of straight-up fun Kelley told me about.
"This next record will have six or seven butt-kickers," Kelley said. "Some heartbreak songs and ballads, too, but we are talking about making our most upbeat record yet."
And he agrees with Haywood that the songs need to be ones their fans can relate to.
"We're not gonna chase a current trend because it's working if we know that our fans would kind of think it's not us," he said. "So we're not gonna do whatever that trend is ... because no one would believe it. They would know we were full of crap.
"We can sense the energy at our shows, and that takes you into the next chapter. It will be music that will surprise everyone."