Making its latest album, Heart Break, was a bit different for the three members of Lady Antebellum. And they’re offering a peek inside that process with Artist Den Presents Lady Antebellum, a one-night-only screening in theaters on July 25. Check out an exclusive premiere of the trio’s performance of the album’s title track below.
“It’s the most we’ve ever written for an album,” the group’s Charles Kelley tells Billboard. “I think we’ve written maybe nine or 10 before, and this was 11 of 13 songs. Before when we were on the road a lot you have to look outside for more songs. Since we weren’t touring so much we had a chance to focus on the writing more for this one.” That time off — three years since its predecessor, 747 — also gave the songs on Heart Break a different kind of character, according to Kelley.
“We wanted to have a little more of our personal story in this album,” he explains. “We’ve always been doing that, but this time we felt like we needed to write even more personal songs like ‘The Stars,’ and ‘Army’ is about Dave and my wives that keep this thing going. We get all kinds of glory out there on the road and it’s all because they’re sitting there at home keeping the wheels on track. We needed to do that, too, for the fans; ‘Oh, you took two, three years between records. You need to give us a taste of what’s going on in your life.'”
The Artist Den film features footage of Lady Antebellum performing Heart Break‘s songs as well as working on the album with producer busbee, who had worked with the group earlier in its career. “He’s just such a talent,” says Kelley, acknowledging that there were some challenging moments in the studio as well. “He’s a dick when he needs to do be a dick, and he’s really fun and supportive and creative when he needs to do that,” Kelley says. “He didn’t let us get away with things. We’d written a couple songs that we thought sounded like hits, and he said, ‘It sounds like a hit, but it sounds like this artist could do it or that artist could do it. It doesn’t sound like a Lady Antebellum hit.’ He had a vision of what he thought we should sound like and we just trusted that and pushed and pulled throughout the process.”
Lady Antebellum is currently on the road supporting Heart Break, which makes the timing for the Artist Den special apt. “It’s always really fun to find new ways to share music with our fans,” the group’s Hillary Scott says. “We’re really excited to bring this performance that was super intimate for a small number of fans for Artist Den to the big screen in theaters all across the country. Artist Den founder and president Mark Lieberman adds that, “Lady A fans will be blown away when they watch this concert and documentary on the big screen. We filmed this secret show in an old movie theater, so it’s very exciting for us to work with Fathom to bring Lady Antebellum into cinemas.”
Details about Artist Den Presents Lady Antebellum screenings can be found at here.