Jonny Lang Tells His Lover They're 'Stronger Together' in Cheerful New Track
Happy songs don't come easily to Jonny Lang.
"It's really hard," the 36-year-old singer/songwriter tells Billboard. "Everybody's got a different line of where cheesy is." But Lang is confident he's on the right side of that divide with "Stronger Together," a track from his forthcoming album Signs premiering on Billboard today (Aug. 11).
"In my mind when I was writing, I was thinking about your buddies or your close friends and family who are all important, and people who are close to you that you can trust and can really help you out in your life," explains Lang, who co-wrote the track with co-producers Drew Ramsey and Shannon Sanders. "That's the basic theme, I think, but it's harder for me to not cross the cheesy line when I'm writing a happy song. Hopefully it's not too cheesy." Check out the track below.
Signs, out Sept. 8 via Concord Records, is the onetime teen prodigy's sixth studio album and first set of new material in four years. Lang didn't plan on leaving such a long gap between albums, but it also doesn't feel like such a long time, he says. "I think it happens to everybody but, man, time just slips away from you," he notes. "It feels like two weeks ago we did our last record, to me. There's no particular reason for it. It's just how life has worked out for me, between being with my kids and the family and stuff and trying to make a record and be on the road at the same time. It can be a little bit tricky to do everything at once."
Signs does heave heavier moments than "Stronger Together," including tracks such as "Bitter End" and "Wisdom," and the album shoots wide from rock and blues to the juke jointy romp of the first single "Make It Move." But when it comes to diversifying his catalog, Lang admits that he never actively thinks about mixing things up.
"I just sort of write songs, and if they make sense with the rest of the stuff in some kind of way then we'll put them on the same record," he explains. There's definitely some substantial ground covered with different styles and stuff. I hope it's not too herky-jerky for the listener, but it made sense to me."
He promises that fans of his blues playing will be well-served, however. "A lot of the record is some of the more raw, older-sounding stuff and guitar tones inspired by Howlin' Wolf and Robert Johnson, that era of blues music," Lang says. "If I had anything I wanted to accomplish it was to reflect that style on this record. It just felt right. I've been doing this Muddy Waters song ('Forty Days and Forty Nights') live, by myself, the last few years; Maybe that crated an itch to want to record more stuff like that this time."
Lang begins a new North American tour on Friday that will take him through Signs' release and into October, with a European trek beginning Oct. 22 in the Netherlands. "It's exciting to release a record still, the record business being what it is," Lang says. "For me it's kind of always been about the satisfaction on the career side of it, just the satisfaction of doing something you love and getting to make a living at it and making records other people listen to and actually like. To still be doing it is pretty incredible, man."