Women in Music 2016

Lady Antebellum Are Already Working on Their Next Album -- But This Time, They're Taking it Slow

Mike Pont/Getty Images
Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott, and Dave Haywood of the band Lady Antebellum perform in concert at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on May 29, 2015 in Wantagh, New York. 

With its 747 airborne for nearly 10 months now, Lady Antebellum has its next album starting to taxi toward the runway. But it may be a minute before it actually takes flight.

ACM Awards 2015: Lady Antebellum Rock a 'Long Stretch of Love'

"We're always writing," Lady A's lady Hilary Scott tells Billboard. "But we aren't going to rush it. We're going to let ourselves take it slow, and I think we need that. I think we've learned that as our families grow, to really find time that's focused and uninterrupted to sit down and write a song is a true rarity. It's just hard now, with so much going on. So I think it's only natural we're going to take a little bit more time, but I think we're excited for that time to really dive into the writing room and just let it come out as quickly or as slowly as it is going to. But giving ourselves the time to navigate that, I think, is the best gift we could give ourselves at this point."

The group's Dave Haywood adds that Lady A has "written a handful of songs already out on the road" but hasn't locked in on a direction for the next album. "We're in the creative musical dreaming phase right now," Haywood says. "We were sitting on the bus the other night just drinking some wine and playing some music, handing music back and forth and being inspired by things and trying to figure out where we want to go musically. I don't feel like anything we've written yet has set us off in a specific direction right now. The unknown is kind of the fun part right now."

Album Review: Lady Antebellum Moves Away From Its Comfort Zone on ‘747’

That slow-it-down attitude reflects Lady Antebellum's preferred approach to everything as the trio nears its 10-year anniversary. "We've always been in forward motion. In the middle of touring we're thinking about our next record. In the middle of a record we're thinking about touring, and we've got singles and videos and all sorts of other things sprinkled in within those big decisions," Scott explains. "It's hard to really feel like you can just be present in the present, so that's what we're letting ourselves do right now. It's been nine years of nonstop, and nine years of nonstop amazing, but I think just being able to really relish all of our hard work is important, 'cause we've been stretched and pulled in so many different directions."

Scott, Haywood and bandmate Charles Kelley have already had some of their writing partners join them on their Wheels Up Tour and will have "a few more coming out over the course of the tour," which currently runs into early October. The group is also hoping to work again with co-producer Nathan Chapman, who stepped in to work with the trio after five albums with Paul Worley and helped Lady Antebellum explore a more diverse array of sounds. "It was exciting to re-learn the process and try different things with a different [producer]," Scott recalls. "We went into this album knowing we could always reel ourselves back in. Now I think we're excited to just experience new things and collaborate in different ways and not be scared to take some risks." 

Lady Antebellum to Perform With Zedd at CMT Music Awards: Exclusive

Some Bro Country rapping, perhaps? "Oh, I don't know about that," Scott says with a laugh. "I'm not so sure we would be believable. But there are other things that would be really fun." Lady Antebellum is, in fact, entering the EDM world: They performed with Zedd at the CMT Music Awards earlier this month, and they recently recorded a track called "Something Better" with Audien, which is due out this summer. "We listened to the track and the lyrics of the song, and it just fit what Lady A does so well -- lots of opportunities for three-party harmony and big harmony moments that we really prioritize in our music," Scott says. "We're looking forward to it rolling out. If people are out there raving it up, that'd be awesome. When we listened to the track, I could hear that I'm going to be in a spin class somewhere and this song is gonna come on and I'm gonna be like, 'Yes!'"