"You can't ever get to a place to where you're complacent and you expect things to happen," Jay told The Boot Wednesday, at a party celebrating all of the songwriters who've penned Rascal Flatts' hits throughout the years. "We don't just expect to win awards, but after six to seven years of winning the Vocal Group award consecutively, you get to a place where you're grateful for it, but quite honestly you're human, so you go, 'Oh well, we have a few hits this year. We're going to go win the Vocal Group award.' And then you see somebody like Lady A come along and some of these great bands coming up behind us -- Zac Brown Band and people like that ... Anybody would be disappointed to have logged the kind of numbers that we've logged and not be recognized. Doesn't matter if you're the Flatts. Doesn't matter if you're Kenny Chesney, who got snubbed all those years. You would be lying if you said you weren't human and weren't disappointed to not be recognized."
The group didn't hide their feelings last November when they walked away empty-handed. But, they insist it's because of their tireless work, and not because they are jealous of any other artist's success. "It does get a little frustrating when we've been headlining for five or six years, and in the middle of a recession, we performed in front of over a million people last year," Gary adds. "Well if numbers don't matter, I guess they do to us maybe more than they do to other people. But that's a pretty big number and for us, that would qualify as Entertainer [of the Year]."
Just because the Flatts, who weren't nominated for CMA Entertainer of the Year, feel they might be worthy of the award Taylor Swift took home, they are still big fans her music. "I'm so proud and thrilled to see the success that someone like Taylor is having, and proud to be a small part of her success as well, with her being on the road with us," Jay says, referring to their 2008 Bob That Head tour that featured Taylor as the opening act. And though they might take a bit of her credit, they also give her props for one of their recent awards -- the American Music Award for Favorite Country Band, Duo or Group.
"They made a country music category this year at the American Music Awards, and not a band category to where we were thrown in with Maroon 5 and the Black Eyed Peas," Jay acknowledges. "I think pop music is getting a little tired of having everybody show up at these awards shows and having Taylor kick all their asses!"
The group, who also lost the Grammy this year to Lady Antebellum, has ominous words for their fellow artists in 2010. "We don't expect anything, but we're coming out swinging this year," Jay warns. "We're gonna punch some people in the nose and were gonna try and take back what we feel is rightfully ours, because we believe in ourselves that much."
Celebrating ten years in the music business this year, Rascal Flatts kick off the 2010 leg of their American Living Unstoppable tour on January 15, with Darius Rucker continuing to serve as their opening act.
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