Donn Jones, AP
"I wrote too many songs," Dierks shares with The Republic. "I wrote 70. I wrote a lot. There's 64 that are never going to see the light of day. That's 64 days that I can't get back."
The 36-year-old actually thought he had recorded enough tunes for his new album, but after playing them night after night with his fans, he realized he was heading in the wrong direction. To make matters worse, he had to break the news to his label, Capitol Records, that he was back at square one.
"I was like, 'Sorry. Can we write that off as pre-production?'" he recalls. "I'll pay for it."
Thankfully, the head of his label, Mike Dungan, was supportive of Dierks heading back into the studio, but insisted he finish his album in a short amount of time. Undeterred, the singer-songwriter began searching in earnest for the right songs, even if they weren't ones he wrote.
"To me, it's kind of like a hockey game," he notes. "We want to get that win. I'm not sure how we get it, but we want to walk off that stage feeling like, 'Yeah!'"
Clearly, the new batch worked. In addition to topping the album charts, the title track, which is also the first single, is in the Top 5 and still climbing. 'Home,' which is one of six songs on the album that Dierks co-wrote, was admittedly a challenge to finish.
"[It was] like, 'Wow, we're definitely gonna bite off a big one here,'" Dierks says, recalling the writing sessions for 'Home.' "This is a tough song to finish the right way that isn't polarizing, isn't chest-beating, [but] is relatable to everybody. It's such a diverse country, and you want something that reaches out to everybody. At the end of the day, when we were writing the song, once we started getting into it -- you want this to be inspiring and hopeful, but also address the realities of what's going on."
Dierks is currently in the middle of the 2012 leg of his Country & Cold Cans tour, with the Eli Young Band, Will Hoge and Cadillac Black splitting opening act duties. Keep track of his concert schedule here.
Watch Dierks Talk About 'Home'