On the one-year anniversary of the deadly terrorist attacks at a theater in Paris, The Cadillac Three’s Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason and Kelby Ray played to a capacity crowd at the Empire Music Club in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The Tennessee trio is in the middle of another sold-out tour in Europe with fellow Nashville rockers Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown. And the thought of a similar tragedy happening at one of their concerts occasionally crosses their minds.
Before leaving overseas, the band said it’s important to not give those thoughts any power.
“You’re talking about what’s going on in the world,” Johnston said during our CMT.com interview. “Every now and then, it does cross my mind. You think about it especially when we play for these really large crowds and you can’t see everybody, or those sweaty club shows where there’s no clear exit. You try to not let it get to you because if you do that, obviously they win -- the crazies win.”
“We all try to be a little smarter about the decisions we make,” he added. “We’ve had some altercations where things get weird. You try to learn from those, and in this world with the way we are, it’s scary. But like I said, you can’t think like that. You have people who work with you who are supposed to think like that. But the three of us, we’re supposed to do what we do, let it ride and make it work. Otherwise, those idiots win.”
At the end of the day, they believe they’re doing their job as long as they’re making music that’s authentic to their experience.
“I don’t actually think we’ve ever really tried to write a hit,” Johnston said. “It’s the realness bringing people in. We’ll sing about fighting, growing up in a small town, spraying your name on a bridge or me missing my wife. I think fans are seeing the realness in a world where a lot of it’s fake.”
The Cadillac Three’s latest album Bury Me in My Boots was released on Aug. 5. The band's Black Roses Tour starts Jan. 19 in Memphis with Aubrie Sellers, Brent Cobb, Ray Wylie Hubbard and Quaker City Night Hawks opening select dates. Tickets for the new tour go on sale Friday (Nov. 18).
Here is a complete list of dates for the Black Roses Tour:
Jan. 19: Memphis, Tennessee
Jan. 20: Rosemont, Illinois
Jan. 21: Chicago
Jan. 22: Des Moines, Iowa
Jan. 26: Minneapolis
Jan. 27: Madison, Wisconsin
Jan. 28: Louisville, Kentucky
Feb. 2: Cincinnati
Feb. 4: Indianapolis
Feb. 8: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Feb. 9: Cleveland
Feb. 10: Philadelphia
Feb. 11: Silver Spring, Maryland
Feb. 16: Boston
Feb. 17: New York City
Feb. 18: Charlottesville, Virginia
Feb. 22: Atlanta
Feb. 23: New Orleans
Feb. 24: Dallas
Feb. 25: Houston
March 1: Omaha, Nebraska
March 2: Lawrence, Kansas
March 3: Denver
March 4: Salt Lake City
March 5: Boise, Idaho
March 8: Vancouver, British Columbia
March 9: Portland, Oregon
March 10: Seattle
March 12: San Francisco
March 16: San Diego, California
March 17: Sacramento, California