Christie Goodwin, Getty Images
The Boot chatted with Lady A's Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley at their recent benefit performance in New York about success, songwriting (they've already begun penning a follow up to 'Need You Now') and why you should put that phone down at "a quarter after one."
How is your first headlining tour going so far?
Hillary: It's great. It's a lot more responsibility than I think you realize until you start embarking on it and making all these decisions. It makes us appreciate the people we've opened for over the years a lot more. You just have to think about every little thing from what people are eating to the set list. Everything. It runs the gamut.
'Need You Now' has been named the most-played song on jukeboxes this year, with more than 440,000 spins in bars and pubs, beating out Journey's 'Don't Stop Believing.'
Dave: What?! That's awesome.
Hillary: A lot of people drunk dial? That's amazing.
Charles: When we hear these things, it's pretty wild because we're so busy. You get caught up in doing what you do and you forget what that song's done. It's reached so many people. That's a pretty crazy little stat.
Do you have advice on how to get over that drunken after-midnight desire to call an ex?
Charles: 99 percent of the time, don't make it. [laughs]
Dave: You'll regret it in the morning. Don't do it.
Hillary: I'm kind of old-fashioned, so I think the guy should always be the one to call. The girl just answers ... Or doesn't answer.
Dave: Leave him wondering. Leave him drunk and wondering. [laughs]
British pop singer Adele told our sister site, Spinner, that she's really influenced by you guys. Her tour bus driver introduced your music to her.
Hillary: Oh my gosh! Well, first of all, she won Best New Artist at the Grammys, actually the year that we were nominated for that same award. I'm a huge fan of hers, she is spectacular. She covered Bob Dylan's song on her first album, 'Make You Feel My Love,' that is one of my favorite versions of that song I ever heard. That is a huge compliment. Thank you to her bus driver!
How far into the process of making a new album are you at this point?
Dave: We're writing. Literally, from before we finished the second record, we were writing new stuff. We've got a group of songs that we're going to start recording next year sometime. We'll finish out this year writing a bunch and probably go in with 30, 40, maybe even 50 songs to look at and then pick from those early next year and then start recording.
Is there one song that you're really excited about?
Charles: There's a few, but we're not gonna give them away just yet.
What is your songwriting process like?
Dave: If anything, it's really musical. We start a lot with melodies and instrumentation and trying to figure out good melodies for verses and choruses. We get to lyrics sometimes second, so we'll start humming a melody, finding something, and see where the music takes you as far as lyrics are and what you want to say and go from there. We love great melodies and great songs that have great hooks and melodies, so we start a little bit more on that side as opposed to other people that start more lyric-based. Sometimes we'll do it the other way.
Hillary, do Dave and Charles have to approve of the guys you date?
Hillary: Life's much easier when they do.
Charles: We don't have to. We're pretty obvious though when we don't.
Dave: Ultimately it's her call.
Hillary: It's extremely important to me. If anybody knows me, Charles and Dave do and have my best interests at heart. They're like the big brothers I never had. It definitely means the world what they think, and hopefully it's good.
What have been the best and worst aspects of fame?
Charles: I think the worst is your time is not so much your time anymore. Right now, it's also the stage of the career that we're at. We're at that stage where you have to go, go, go, go, go! There are times where we naturally get a little burned out and just want to have a few days to sit at home, watch TV and just relax and just check out. Your mind never really gets to check out.
The pro is at the end of the day, getting to wake up and do what you love. It's a small price to pay. With anything you do in life, there are days where you're worn out and you don't want to do it for a second. Honestly, we've been given the golden ticket here and so we're going to try to run with it and appreciate it and realize that it doesn't happen often.
One positive aspect has to be all the awards and nominations. How does it feel to be tied with Eminem for five American Music Awards?
Hillary: We're shocked. When we woke up to that text message it was like, 'Are you kidding me? We're just a trio from Nashville.' It's one of those things that you never really know what can happen. We're living proof that a little hard work and a lot of luck can get you somewhere. It's wild. We've been fans of him. I remember seeing the first video he ever put out on MTV on TRL.
Dave: This year, to sum it up, has been unbelievable and really unexpected for us. The AMA nominations are no exception. They blew us away. We feel very humbled from everything that has come our way this year.