Platinum singer/songwriter Chris Lane is back in full swing with new music after tapering off his tour schedule the past couple of years to focus on family. But while the Kernersville, NC native’s priority was soaking in memories with his two boys under two and his wife of four years, the extra nights at home gave him more time to focus on his songwriting. The result is that Lane co-wrote four of the five songs for his new EP, From Where I’m Sippin’. It also marks the first studio collection on his new label home, a partnership of Red Street Records and Lane’s label, Voyage Records.
The lead single, “Find Another Bar,” is described as a moody, post-break-up anthem that’s moving up the country chart and has already racked up more than 3.4 million global streams.
Lane has also been busy with a series of high-profile collaborations including “Dancin’ in the Moonlight” (with Lauren Alaina), “Small Town on It” (with Scotty McCreery) and Shawn Austin’s “Tailgate to Heaven,” along with a tribute on Dustin Lynch’s “Tequila on a Boat.”
Impressively over his career, Lane has notched three #1 singles: “Big, Big Plans,” (his first as a songwriter), “I Don’t Know About You” and “Fix.“ He’s also had Top 10 hits with “For Her’ and “Take Back Home Girl” featuring Tori Kelly.
Spotlighted in People’s 2019 “Sexiest Man Alive,” Lane has released two successful albums to date: 2018’s Laps Around the Sun, which was certified gold, and his debut album, Girl Problems (2016), which delivered to fans the hits “Fix” and “For Her.” Lane is currently writing and recording songs for his next album.
Over the summer, Lane’s high energy shows brought crowds to their feet at top-tier festivals and headlining dates. Previously, Lane has shared the bill with Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Dan + Shay, Kane Brown, Jordan Davis and Dustin Lynch.
Here’s the video of Chris Lane’s new single, “Find Another Bar.”
BC: I want to ask you about your new EP. Did it turn out the way you envisioned?
Chris Lane: Man, absolutely. I feel like this project is more me than ever before, and at the end of the I’m proud that I could be a writer on four of the five songs. Early in my career, I cut of a ton of outside songs because I was out on the road so much I didn’t prioritize songwriting. Some artists start as songwriters and then move into the artist side. For me, I spent so much time out on the road touring, it took away a little bit from the songwriting. Now that I’ve taken some time off, it’s given me that opportunity to prioritize songwriting. And these are just the first five of many to come.
BC: This time around, you also had a hand in the business side, forming your own label Voyager Records, and teaming up with Jay DeMarcus (of Rascal Flatts) on Red Street Records. What difference did that make cutting the album?
Lane: One thing that will really help is the timing of everything. I think I’ll get to release the most music I’ve released in my entire career in the timing that I want to do that. Every artist wants a little more creative control, and control in general over your career, timing, what songs you’re writing, etc. I’ve reached a beautiful part in my career where I could do this, and I found an incredible partner with Jay. I spent some time out on the road with Rascal Flatts, so I got to know him pretty well. And now we get a chance to work together. Some of the songs on this EP, I wrote two or three years ago. I’ve been trying to get them out for that long. I felt like at the end of the day, all artists want to record songs that they love. I’m onstage singing them on a nightly basis, so I’m excited to have a little more creative control.
BC: Tell me about your new single, “Find Another Bar,” that you wrote with Josh Thompson and Justin Ebach. How’d you come up with the idea for that song?
Here’s the video of Chris Lane’s new song, “Mistake.”
Lane: There’s been a million breakup songs in the world of music, but I feel like this was a new way to write a breakup song, and I hadn’t recorded many of these. A lot of my songs focused on the love aspect because I’m married and I’ve got two kids. But it’s country music. You’ve got to have a good breakup song at some point, and I feel like this was a good one to put out.
BC: You mentioned that you wrote four of the five songs for this EP. Why is it important for you to be able to put out your own material? Is it more personal to you?
Lane: I think any song you write is a little more personal, but I still have the same mindset that I had all those years ago when I first started in this town. The best song wins no matter whether I’ve written it or whether somebody else writes it, because we live in the land of the most talented songwriters in the world here in Nashville. I get the opportunity to write with all those guys, but sometimes I’m not gonna be in the room the day that the best song is written. So I still take a ton of outside pitches. Ultimately, I would absolutely love to write every single song that I record. It’s not the reality, but this time around when we get to the full record, I bet I will have written maybe 10 out of the 11 or 12 songs.
BC: One of the other cuts on the EP is “Mistake,” and I love the wordplay. How did you write that song with Michael Lotten and Josh Miller?
Lane: I’d been writing a lot at this point. I’d been having guys come out on the road with me, and I had been writing a ton. At the time, I felt like I was a little bit out of ideas. I asked my wife, as I was running out the door that morning, “What is the first thing that comes to your mind? I need an idea for today,” And she’s like, “I don’t know how to do what you do. I have nothing for you. So if you can’t think of anything, you can always write a song about me.” And we both laughed and I ran out the door. When I got back from the write that day, I said, “Honey. I took your advice, and I wrote you a song.” She asked me what it was called, and I said “Mistake” (laughs) And she said, “How the heck is that a song about me?” I grabbed my acoustic (guitar). I sat there. I played her the chorus to the song with the wordplay, and she said, “You have to record that song,” and of course I did.
Here’s the video of Chris Lane’s new song, “Way to Go Girl.”
BC: Another song I want to ask you about is “Betcha,” that you wrote with Casey Brown and Travis Wood.
Lane: Yeah, I love writing with those guys. They’re some of my favorite writers I write with in town. It’s another song that I wrote years ago—I had put a snippet out of “Mistake” and a snippet out of “Betcha”—and both songs were probably the most reactive two songs that I’d ever put out, and that was just to the demos. Two or three years in, people were still messaging me over both of those songs. I’m incredibly grateful I got to put that out. I love that song. It’s gonna add great energy to my live show, which I’m excited about.
BC: You mentioned being grateful, and gratitude is a common theme on this album with songs like “From Where I’m Sippin’.” In putting this EP together, was it a bigger time of reflecting on gratitude in your life?
Lane: Absolutely; a lot has changed for me obviously. I just celebrated my four-year anniversary yesterday. I have two beautiful young kids, which has been incredible and exhausting at the same time. But yeah, I have an incredible amount of gratitude in my life right now. So there’s a lot to write about! And “From Where I’m Sippin’” is honestly about that. That was a fun song to write. It embodies everything that I personally love about country music. I remember saying this the day I wrote the song, that it feels like one of those old (Tim) McGraw songs that I grew up on and loved a lot. I never had a fiddle in a song. I’ve always wanted a fiddle in a song, and I was able to get one on this one.
BC: What’s it like trying to juggle career and family, and enjoy the ride at the same time?
Lane: It’s definitely been a challenge trying to find that perfect balance to make sure that I can be a great dad to these two boys since they’re so young, and to be there for them as much as possible. I’ve prioritized that during these first two years, and it’s given me that opportunity to be in town a little more. I’m used to touring 150-200 shows a year and really grinding and getting after it. But for me, it was important to be there for the family, and I’ve still toured probably 60 to 70 shows this year. It’s far less than what I’m used to, but I think it all goes back to putting the family first, and then, it gave me the opportunity to write.
Here’s the video of Chris Lane’s #1 hit, “Big, Big Plans.”
BC: What kind of reaction are you hearing from fans about your new music?
Lane: I’ve only actually had the opportunity to play them live one time, which was at an EP release party here in Nashville last Thursday, and the reactions are great. But what I’m seeing online is “Mistake” is getting a massive reaction and reacting in a way that is very reminiscent of [my hits] “Big, Big Plans, “I Don’t Know About You,” and “Take Back Home Girl.” So it’s exciting for me to see a big reaction out of that one. “Betcha” is kind of the same way, as is “Way To Go Girl.” Then, I know for sure when I get out there and play “From Where I’m Sippin’” live, that one’s gonna go over well because it feels good and it’s happy.
Here’s the link to Chris Lane’s site: https://www.iamchrislane.com/
And here’s the link to our 2021 Interview with Chris Lane about how he wrote his hit song, “Big, Big Plans.”
Bill Conger is a freelance writer for various publications including Bluegrass Unlimited, ParentLife, Homecoming, and Singing News and is currently writing a biography on The Osborne Brothers with Bobby Osborne. He can be reached at Bill Conger is a freelance writer for various publications including Bluegrass Unlimited, ParentLife, Homecoming, and Singing News and is currently writing a biography on The Osborne Brothers with Bobby Osborne. He can be reached at [email protected]..