Lee Brice Interview: New Artist Nominee Reveals CMAs Hopes, Tear-Jerker Next Single and the Truth About Life on the Road
“It’s nice just to be nominated” — you hear that line every award season, and with the CMA Awards coming in two weeks, the chorus is sure to get stuck on repeat. Lee Brice is up for the New Artist of the Year Award, a deserving honor after a monster year that included an ACM Award, a platinum selling chart-topper in ‘A Woman Like You’ and a new album that rides a wild emotional rollercoaster.
So, is it nice just to be nominated for Lee Brice? “Don’t misquote me,” he tells Taste of Country. “They do mean a lot to me if I do win them, but if I don’t win them, then it’s kind of like, ‘Well that would have just been icing on the cake.’” He adds, “I still got the cake.”
Looking ahead to the Nov. 1 red carpet event, Brice says he won’t prepare a thank you speech ahead of time. “I’ll just make sure I thank my mama and daddy,” he shares. “That’s really the most important thing.”
Brice did prepare a mock campaign video in an effort to sway Academy voters, but of bigger concern to the singer is his next radio single, a huge tour he can’t announce quite yet (but we can guess) and his April 2013 wedding to his longtime girlfriend, Sara Reevely.
ToC: Do artists get to vote for the CMA Awards?
Lee Brice: Yeah, yeah we do. You just gotta be signed up for the CMAs.
Have you voted yet?
I have not voted already. Who do you think I should vote for [laughs]?
For the New Artist award, the answer is obvious, but we’re curious who you may vote for Entertainer of the Year?
[listens to list of nominees] Taylor (Swift), she’s so huge and she’s just so on top of everything that it’s almost like you kind of think she’s gonna win it. I tell you what, man, all those other artists, all of them blow me away. But I actually got to open up for Brad Paisley recently, and literally when I went out front to go watch his show, — I’ve seen a bunch of big shows — we all got seriously moved by this show. Brad Paisley, he just blows me away, so if he doesn’t win it doesn’t matter to me. I still think he’s maybe one of the best entertainers and works so hard and treats people so good I think he deserves to win that sometime.
Do you have any 2013 touring plans?
We do actually. I know we’re gonna be doing some shows with Miranda (Lambert). But we do have a thing that we’re locked into, a big tour next year. Really big. And he hasn’t announced it yet so we can’t really announce it. But it’s really exciting.
Does it have anything to do with why you’re voting for Brad Paisley for Entertainer of the Year?
[laughs] I don’t know.
OK, we’ll wait patiently for that then. What is going to be the next single from ‘Hard 2 Love’?
The next single is gonna be ‘I Drive Your Truck.’ That song when I heard it the first time it completely brought me down and changed my life. I don’t understand why sometimes these things keep happening to me, but being pitched that song was like a big blessing. I feel like it’s gonna be another game-changer for me, and even more important than that, it’s gonna touch a lot of folks.
Do you think of anyone in particular while you’re singing that song?
I think about my granddaddy. Really both of my granddaddies. It’s kind of funny, I had a rough copy of that song… I played it for my bus driver and we’re riding down the road at about two o’clock in the morning in the middle of the country somewhere and I say, ‘Hey man let me play this song.’ He’s an ol’ boy from West Virginia, an ol’ tough boy from West Virginia and listens to nothing but sad country music all the time, so he’s used to it. But I played him ‘I Drive Your Truck,’ this rough copy and before I could look up, the bus was pulling over to the side of the road. I looked over like, ‘Why we pulling over?’ and he was physically — like couldn’t drive the bus. Overwhelmed and broken down. He had to sit there for probably three or four or five minutes before he could speak to me. He said, ‘Man it reminds me of my granddaddy.’ It just kills me, man, and I think it’s gonna affect a lot of people.