Country duo Everette joke they almost named themselves Double Denim. The men, who have played together for 16 years, showed up on the Zoom call wearing coordinating blue jean outfits. Brent Rupard and Anthony Olympia slid into the comfortable banter of friends, which is different than the sometimes stilted or competitive interactions of people who just play music together.
"This has happened more than once," Rupard laughed. "This is not the first time we've double denimed it up."
The men who hail from Bullitt County, Kentucky, are jet-lagged. After making their Grand Ole Opry debut a few weeks ago, they hopped on a plane to Europe, where they played several shows as part of the C2C: Country to Country country music festival. The men are only home for a few days with their families before hitting the road with Brothers Osborne.
When they do, they'll have new music to play.
Everette recently released their new song "Gonna Be a Problem," the follow-up to their acoustic duet with Dan Tyminski "Man of Constant Sorrow" that became a viral hit. Written by Rupard, Olympia, Ryan Tyndell and Bryan Simpson, "Gonna Be a Problem" is a guitar-driven up-tempo about anticipating the preoccupation that can come with new love.
Unlike many of the duo's songs sparked by a guitar riff, "Gonna Be a Problem" started on piano.
"It was kind of The Who chords from 'Teenage Wasteland,' and it was kind of like a modern thing," Olympia said. "I didn't know if it would really work for us, but just to put us in a different place. Brent started singing … and I got a title 'Gonna Be a Problem.' The song just sort of exploded from there. It took us Everette-izing it because when we were messing around with different sounds - pianos and synthesizers - it could have been like a Phil Collins song or something. Once you put some six-string guitars on there, it definitely feels like us."
The lyrical content is also highly relatable – regardless of where they live or what stage of life listeners are in. Rupard called it a "theatrical, slightly romanticized version of reality."
"You're like, 'Man, this person right here, they just crossed my path, and my path is about to go somewhere else,'" he continued. "'I don't know what's about to happen, but my world's gonna change. We were just in London telling that story, and there's just no barriers with that story. I feel like a lot of people have experienced that feeling."
The men wrote it then didn't record "Gonna Be a Problem" for years. They thought their good friend Jordan Davis would put the song out, and they were thrilled. As songwriters, they found another artist wanting to cut one of their songs exhilarating. Everette added the song to their live show anyway, and when they went on tour with Davis, he heard them sing it.
"We got to talking and drinking some tequila after the show backstage and he was like, 'Man, that's an Everette song," Rupard said. "We were like, 'Man, I think you're right. I think we're gonna cut this song.'"
Davis loved the song so much he asked if he could sing on it with them. The "Buy Dirt" artist hopped on background vocals.
"I'm so happy with the way it turned out," Rupard said. "The reception we're getting from it so far has just been amazing. It gets stuck in my head. I mean, we wrote it, and it gets stuck in my head. I guess that's a positive thing."
Everette is looking forward to playing "Gonna Be a Problem" in front of Brothers Osborne's crowd next week. The reigning ACM and CMA Duo of the Year have been at the top of Everette's wish list of tour partners for a long time.
"It's just like, 'Boom, it's happening now," Olympia said. "We can't handle any more good news. It's just been so much good news this year."
The uptick has been a long time coming for the friends. They were in the United Kingdom and poised to play C2C in 2020 when the pandemic hit, and they had to fly home before they ever stepped on stage. Then, like much of the rest of the music business, they spent almost two years of their professional lives on pause. When the world started to regain some normalcy, Everette was ready.
"The rug was just swiped from underneath of us," Rupard said. "We've been continuing to work and just the anticipation, as soon as the doors were open to do it, us, our team, our label, everybody was just like, 'Let's go.' I'm not super surprised that this year is happening the way it is. We're just trying to ride it until it bucks us off."