For Entertainment Weekly‘s Fall Music Preview, we met up with Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley, and Dave Haywood of Lady Antebellum at their hometown bar, the Patterson House in Nashville, to talk about their new album Own the Night.
Over a few rounds of bacon-infused whiskey, we discussed the up-’til-dawn celebrating that inspired the title, and learned what happened at the wild afterparty following Lady A’s Grammys sweep in February. (Hint: Deirks Bentley knows how to get down.)
Of course, if you’re one of the rare few who didn’t watch the Grammys and has never sung a tipsy karaoke version of “Need You Now,” you’ll need a quick trivia primer on Lady Antebellum before you read the interview. Below, we’ve listed a few things to help you get to know the band a little better.
1. When the band first started, Scott needed a fake ID to play in bars. “I was 20 and it was always an issue on the road, like, ‘I don’t know if Hillary’s gonna be able to get in!'” she admits. “So one of Charles and Dave’s friends had a spare ID, and I used it to get in. I got caught once, though, in Athens, Georgia. Don’t do this, kids!”
2. Haywood loves Jersey Shore. “You gotta get your trash TV in there,” he says. “I love Pauly D. He’s the guy who you’d want to have DJing at your party.” Kelley agrees. “I love Pauly, too,” he says. “All the other ones seem like they’ve been changed by fame, but he doesn’t seem like that.” Kelley laughs. “I love how we talk about these guys like we know them! Pauly D, if you’re out there, we need to party.”
3. They’re buddies with Kings of Leon. “Every time we go to the Sunset [Strip, in Los Angeles], Kings of Leon are there,” says Scott. “It’s like they’re at the bar every night. Right after Caleb got married, he and his new wife [Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge] were sitting at the bar. We were like, ‘Don’t you want to go somewhere? Shouldn’t you be in Fiji or something?'”
4. To shoot the cover of Own the Night, Scott woke the guys up at 2:00 am. “We stayed up until 4:00 am to get the sunrise for our album cover,” says Haywood. “It’s not that often that you’re up til the sun comes up. I’ve done that only about five times in my life. But you always remember it, and we tried to capture that. ” Adds Scott, “They were cussing me, because it was my idea to wake up at 2am.”
5. In Augusta, Georgia, where Kelley and Haywood grew up, there’s a pavilion named after the band. “They also named a street after us, but it was only for one day,” laughs Haywood.
6. Kelley doesn’t want his future kids to grow up to be country singers. “I’m gonna be honest with you,” he says. “I see too many celebrity kids who can’t sing. If you don’t have it, give it up, because people are brutal. I never want my kids to feel like they have to live up to what I’ve done. If Little Tommy wants to grow up to be a singer, and Little Tommy can’t sing worth sh–, I’m gonna say, ‘I think you need to reassess your dreams, bro.'”
7. Haywood and Kelley’s favorite drink is Woodford Reserve. “I love whiskey, and I’m a big fan of Mad Men, so anything that Don Draper does, I like to do,” Kelley jokes. “But I want Don Draper to get back to where he was in the first season. I like him married and gallivanting around.”
8. In high school, Kelley’s nickname was Chucky Love. “I was tall and awkward with bad skin,” he insists. “It was a joke.”
Lady Antebellum hits studio to record third album: Charles Kelley on trying to follow up ‘Need You Now’ — EXCLUSIVE