Whit Sellers, Trevor Rosen, Matthew Ramsey, Brad Tursi and Geoff Sprung of Old Dominion. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
It’s unsurprising that Old Dominion is one of country music’s biggest success stories of 2015, given the group’s collective resume. The bandmates - Matthew Ramsey (lead vocals), Trevor Rosen (guitar, keyboards), Whit Sellers (drums), Geoff Sprung (bass guitar) and Brad Tursi (guitar) – are all successful songwriters, with hits recorded by Kenny Chesney, Sam Hunt, Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban and The Band Perry, just to name a few.
The band’s debut album, Meat And Candy, was released in November, the same week the album’s lead single “Break Up With Him” landed at #1 on the Country Airplay. The Shane McAnally-produced album is stacked with songs that sound single-worthy, so it’s likely that a handful of tracks will follow in the RIAA Gold-Certified footsteps of “Break Up With Him” as 2016 unfolds.
Old Dominion spent much of 2015 on the road, alternating between stadium dates with superstar Kenny Chesney (“just being there was amazing,” says lead singer Matthew Ramsey) and headlining shows at clubs across the United States. 2016 will bring more of the same: the group already has more than 5o confirmed shows for next year, including more Chesney stadium shows, festival dates and headlining dates. During one of the group’s rare breaks from the road, Ramsey talked to me about their recent success and what fans can expect next.
Brittany Hodak: You spent a big chunk of the summer playing stadiums with Kenny Chesney, for whom you and Brad wrote “Save It For A Rainy Day.” What was one of the coolest things about being on that tour?
Matthew Ramsey: There are so many cool moments. When Kenny invited Brad and I out on stage to sing “Rainy Day,” that was really special.
Hodak: Do you anticipate that you and your bandmates will continue to write songs for other artists now that Old Dominion is really taking off?
Ramsey: I’m sure it will happen from time to time, but you can be sure we will take a long hard look at them before we let anyone else hear them.
Hodak: You’ve told the story of how Shane McAnally’s comment in the studio led to the album title, Meat and Candy. What is your favorite “meat” song and what is your favorite “candy” song on the album, and why?
Ramsey: Personally, my favorite “meat” song is “We Got It Right.” As soon as it comes on it transports me to a different place. And I’m really proud of our performance in the studio on that one. My favorite “candy” song has to be “Crazy Beautiful Sexy.” It’s been really fun to play live lately.
Hodak: “Break Up With Him” recently hit #1. How is the feeling of having a #1 hit as an artist different than having a #1 as a songwriter, which you’ve done in the past?
Ramsey: It’s totally different. Now that we are the ones standing on stage night after night, making that connection with the audience, it takes it to a whole new level. You can really feel the power of a song.
Hodak: The video for “Break Up With Him” has a Back To The Future theme, and your birthday happens to fall on “Future Day.” If you could go back in time and change one thing about music or the music industry, what would it be?
Ramsey: I’d go slap the pills out of Elvis Presley’s hand.
Hodak: What’s your prediction for one or more ways the music industry will be different 25 – 30 years from now?
Ramsey: If things continue the way they are going… genres will be harder and harder to define. Also, Old Dominion will be in the Hall of Fame. (of what I don’t know…but we’ll be there)
Hodak: You’re in the unique position of having one song at #1 at terrestrial radio with “Break Up With Him,” while at the same time “Nowhere Fast” is one of the most-played songs on satellite radio. It seems to be working great! Do you plan to continue the dual-single approach?
Ramsey: It’s something we talk about a lot. SiriusXM has been an unbelievable way for us to share music. Songs move a lot faster there than they do on terrestrial, so hopefully we can continue to partner with satellite radio as a way to share as much music as possible with our fans.
Hodak: What can fans look forward to from Old Dominion in 2016?
Ramsey: LOTS of shows. We have always been a touring band and we love playing live. So we just want to get out there and grow this thing as big as we can, one show at a time.
originally posted at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/brittanyhodak/2015/12/07/old-dominions-matthew-ramsey-talks-music-touring-and-back-to-the-future/3/