When Lady Antebellum burst onto the country scene in the fall of 2007, no one could have predicted the fact that in two short years the trio’s star would shoot into the stratosphere with a little album titled Need You Now. Lady A’s sophomore disc brought them cross-over recognition and a slew of Grammys earlier this year.
Amidst the success of Need You Now, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood headed back into the recording studio to craft their highly anticipated follow-up Own the Night. The 12-track project features “Just a Kiss,” a song that has already topped the country singles chart for two weeks and is making huge waves in the worlds of pop and adult contemporary, and Lady A’s current country chart-climber “We Owned the Night.”
With the album making its debut at number one on the Billboard 200 sales chart and their second headlining tour on the horizon, Lady A is already poised to fully embrace the concept that is the heart of Own the Night.
On the eve of embarking on what looks to be a very busy fall, we caught up with the award-winning group in Nashville to chat about the pressures of success, creating their new album and their upcoming first appearance on Saturday Night Live, as well as Hillary’s engagement to musician Chris Tyrell.
You just came off one of the biggest albums of last year with Need You Now. Going into making this new record Own the Night, did the pressure of living up to Need You Now ever get to you? Or, were you able to shut that out and focus creatively?
Dave: We did our best to try not to let some of that pressure change the way we did this record. We’ve said it before, but you know that album kind of came about with no expectations. We were just in there making music. Our producer Paul Worley was great about helping us just capture those songs the way that they were written.
We’re obviously very thankful for stuff like the Grammys and any of those awards and accolades from the Need You Now record, but we didn’t let that change the way we went about this one.
You call “We Owned the Night” the cornerstone of the album. It’s the title of your tour this fall and latest single. Could you tell me a little bit about writing that one and how it factored into the project?
Hillary: The boys wrote that with [hit songwriter] Dallas Davidson. We just felt like it was a great song to perform live. It just felt very “live” from the very beginning. When I heard it for the first time, I loved it. Then when we got into the studio and recorded that song, it inspired me to the point of going and grabbing a legal pad and start sketching out the stage and just thinking about our live show.