Rob Baird is an artist that takes great delight in spreading the truth. While that may be a pun of sorts, connecting to the fact that his new album is called "I Swear It's The Truth," it's also a true statement in how he feels about his music -- and what he wants the listener to feel when they hear it.
The Carnival Music release is the follow-up to his set from 2010, "Blue Eyed Angels." In an exclusive interview with Billboard, Baird said he was more than ready to get the new music out to the public.
"I'm really excited to get this record out and let the people hear it," he stated. "We've been working on it for a while."
The singer admits that his life has changed a lot since his first album, and the songs on the disc are very reflective of this. "I was younger, and probably hadn't lived as much. I've had a chance to be on the road, and have learned a lot. That gave me a chance to make an album that represented where I am right now."
Baird had a hand in writing or co-writing eight of the eleven songs on the new disc, and he admitted that recording his own songs is something he takes a lot of pride in. "That's probably the most important thing to me," he said, adding that "I don't really want to sing a song that somebody told me to put on the record."
That honesty has made Baird fans wherever he goes, but especially in the state of Texas. When asked about the music scene in the Lone Star State, he said "It's an interesting phenomenon. People there go out and listen to live music every weekend, which is cool. That really helps us out because you can make a living in Texas. There are a lot of different people doing different kinds of stuff there, which has been going on for a long time. It's a cool scene, and I'm glad to call it home."
One of the highlights of "I Swear It's The Truth" is the brilliantly written "Same Damn Thing." He admits it's a very special one to him. "I wrote that with my friend Rick Brantley, and I think it was the first song we wrote together. We wrote it about being out on the road playing shows, and realizing that everybody is looking for the same damn thing. It's one of those songs that means something to me."
That weariness on the road gets to a lot of artists, but Baird says he attempts to stay in touch with things familiar. "I try to keep my friends with me. I've been lucky to have them in my band, and my best friend has been my tour manager for years, so that helps." He explained that the most tedious part about the road was the down time, which wears him down. "I took my dad out on the road with me, and he just looked me and said 'I don't know how you just sit around.' There's nothing to do. You're lucky to have a green room or a motel room. That's huge -- getting there at 3 or 4, and you don't go on until 10 or 11."
Still, the road is where he wants to be.
"But, I like being on the road. I hate being at home. If I stay for two weeks, I have to go do something. Playing shows is fun. There's some places where you wonder why you are there, but you can't win everyday."
In fact, Baird plans to take the music of "I Swear It's The Truth" to the people in a big way. "We are going to be out there touring heavy, with a lot of shows on the books, and just hoping that this all sets in."