Eli Young Band Discuss Their Latest Album 10,000 Towns
Formed in Denton, Texas more than a dozen years back, the four longtime bandmates - lead vocalist Mike Eli, guitarist James Young, bassist Jon Jones, drummer Chris Thompson - have in recent years gained a new level of national visibility, thanks in large part to their platinum-selling hit songs "Even If It Breaks Your Heart" and their ACM-winning "Crazy Girl." Now they are set to take that success and reach even higher with 10,000 Towns, their fifth album overall and second for current label Republic Nashville.
And so far they're off to a great start, thanks to the No. 1 success they achieved with the album's lead single, "Drunk Last Night." "Sometimes you get a song, and you hear it and you just know, this has to be on the record," said Young, during an interview the band gave recently in Nashville with Radio.com. "And eventually we had a good feeling that would become the first single."
The album 10,000 Towns comes three years after their last release, Life At Best. A three-year gap may be a long time for their fans, but the bandmates were not in a huge hurry, because they wanted to make sure they got the songs - and the feeling of the record - right.
The album took about a year to record, which, as Jones explained, "allowed us to do some recording, step back, see what wasn't gelling, what was missing, and just kinda do it at a nice slow pace."
"We weren't afraid to take our time with it," echoed Young.
"It was a fun record to make," said Eli, "but we also knew it was an incredibly important record for our career."
Jones also explained that it was a lengthy process in part because the group "never stopped playing on the road." They've identified as a touring band throughout their entire career, and the last couple years have been no different. Even if, as they did in 2013, some of those dates were playing in stadiums with Kenny Chesney.
"Every chance we had, we were up on the stage watching Chesney command an audience," said Eli of that experience. "And he can command an audience, no matter how small or big. He knows how to speak to that person in the very back row." So as Eli explained, when they're on tour with someone of that caliber, he and his bandmates "try to be sponges, to soak it in."
And they bring that feeling into the studio as well. "Every time you go into a studio and hit that record button for a new project, you're always learning," said Young - or, he added smiling, "hopefully always learning. We feel like we are every time we go in there." more on this story
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