They say art imitates life, and Brantley Gilbert is applying that prophecy to his new album, The Devil Don’t Sleep, which is set to drop Friday, Jan. 27. The new album will reflect Brantley’s life experiences over the past couple of years since the release of his last album, 2014’s Just As I Am.
“All of my records are chapters of my life. I feel like I need to live in between records to be able to write about it,” Brantley tells Nash Country Daily of the three-year wait between albums. “Of course, we’ll circle back to the catalog, and there may be songs that I started way back in the day that fit this chapter better than they did another one. You end up finishing those ideas and they fit.”
With hit songs like “Country Must Be Country Wide,” “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” “Bottoms Up” and “The Weekend”—the lead single from his upcoming album—Brantley maintains a certain party-boy-rocker style, a sound that fans have come to expect from the Georgia native.
“We’re staying in that vein,” adds Brantley about his fourth studio album. “I always go back and listen to all my old records and listen through my whole entire catalog—even before I start writing a new record—because a lot of times, like I said, you’ll find some unfinished ideas that may have not fit the last chapter but fit it now. I think it’s important for me to hear The Modern Day Prodigal Son [Brantley’s debut album from 2009] before I start working on new stuff. I’m sure many of us have been in a position where you’ve liked an album that a band’s come out with and you get really into it and then they release something after it and you’re like, ‘What is this?’ I don’t dig that at all, so I want to try to avoid that. Plus, I think the style that I was writing in—it’s almost a way of staking ground as well for me. I still live at home [in Georgia] for that reason too, to be around the people and places that I started writing about.”
But don’t pigeonhole the “One Hell of an Amen” singer. There is more to Brantley musically than meets the eye.
“As a writer, I’ve been able to grow and try new things, things that are outside the box. I’ve said it several times, that as long as there is a box, I’m all right because I know where I stand and that’s right on the other side of that line. I’ve always been kind of musically bipolar, like a little bit of everything. Being able to bring those influences into my writing is awesome. It’s a lot of fun for me. It keeps it fresh, and it keeps me growing as a writer and a musician. [The Devil Don’t Sleep] is another chapter of my life, and we’re really stoked about this. I don’t know if I’ve ever done [an album] that is as back and forth as this one is. It covers a lot of ground as far as just making the genre versatile. It just does a little bit of everything—yings and yangs a lot in the weirdest way. It’s awesome. I’m stoked about it.”
Brantley will be hitting the road for The Devil Don’t Sleep Tour, with opening acts Tucker Beathard and Luke Combs, which kicks off on Feb. 2 in Reading, Pa., with stops in Kansas City, Baton Rouge and Sioux City.
“It’s going down. We’re ready,” said Brantley of the tour.
Photo by Dusty Barker/BMLG