Dustin Lynch is' Where It's At' — Exclusive Interview

Dustin Lynch is one hot ticket.

A Tennessee native, Lynch never turned away from the country music in his blood, and now he has the success to show for it.

His latest album, Where It’s At has been burning up the country charts, and its title single is just a joyful piece of pure goodness.

Lynch has a knack for meshing traditional musical influences with new territories that just equals a whole lotta fun.

Lynch’s self-titled debut hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart – making him the only new male artist to achieve such a feat that year. The album’s lead single, “Cowboys and Angels,” exceeded platinum sales status while earning Lynch a legion of devoted fans. “Cowboys and Angels” became a modern day country classic, ending the year as one Billboard’s Top 5 Country Songs of 2012.

Producers Mickey Jack Cones, Brett Beavers and Luke Wooten showcase Lynch’s progressive sound throughout his sophomore album, Where It’s At (Broken Bow Records), which debuted at #1 on the iTunes Country Albums Chart and has tallied over 750,000 tracks sold to date. Fueled by the scorching Top 25-and-rising single “Hell Of A Night” and multi-week #1, gold-certified smash “Where It’s At,” the buzz-worthy album has earned well over 23.6 million streams on Spotify. Previously opening for Keith Urban, Lynch is igniting crowds nationwide on Luke Bryan’s 2015 Kick Up The Dust Tour.

You can see Dustin Lynch live on the Acoustic Nation Stage at NAMM at the Music City Center, Nashville on Saturday July 11, 2015 at 1:00pm. The show is free with your NAMM ticket. Find out more here>

Here we talked with Lynch about music, songwriting, and of course, guitar!

You’ve been touring with Luke Bryan, how’s it going?

It’s honestly the tour we were really crossing our fingers and hoping to be on at least once in our careers. And being out here is really changing our world, because we’re getting in front of so many new, young fans. And Luke’s fan base is super hungry for new country music and the next new thing. Hopefully we can be one of those next new things for them!You’re latest album, Where It’s At has been doing really well. That must be so satisfying! We put in so much time and effort into making albums and making a body of work that is nice and round and says something. And I guess we’ve been working about two and a half years on the Where It’s At album. And so to finally get that out there for the world to hear and hopefully enjoy, we’re just ecstatic. And that’s why we’re touring so much, because those fans have really started showing up to our shows and singing back every word.What was your approach to this project? Album two was really a new chapter for us because we had so much room to grow. I asked our buddy, Mickey Jack Cones, to jump in and produce along with the other two guys we were working with, and he brought in a lot of new sounds and ideas with him. And for me, I was growing too because I had finally been out and toured around and seen what live music festivals and shows were like. The energy from those crowds really came out in the songwriting. We were writing and listening to a lot of songs on the road. So I think the energy from Keith [Urban]’s crowds and the festivals really shines through on the album.We explored some new areas too. A little bit more of the rockin’ side of my music, and added some R&B flavors here and there and just had fun with that. And that’s something I really look forward to doing…exploring new music and seeing if we can mesh those worlds of country with other influences. Some days you go into the studio and magic happens, and you come out with a new sound, if not for the world, at least for me.I agree. Sometimes if you just add an instrument that’s not typically on a country album, for example, it can be really fresh.Yes, right! For example, the solo on “Where It’s At” is a ukulele. We’re actually playing slide ukulele on it! It’s out there. There are some fun moments like that which organically happened when we were goofing off and that’s fun.You write a lot on the road. Do you have certain tools or methods that work for you?It’s evolved from when we first started. Now I’m gone so much I love to have a track guy right there on the spot that I can throw vocals onto. Then in a week or so we have a recording that we can play and live with for a bit. Because I don’t have any time to get back to Nashville and demo songs. It all happens out here on the road. I actually have a couple of songwriters out here this weekend. I think it helps the songwriters see the energy fo the live crowd and what gets them on their feet.Your latest single “One Hell of a Night” has a great video. That must have been fun to put together.Yes, that’s made from a whole bunch of live shots of us out on the road at a bunch of different shows in the campgrounds and the music festivals. I love that we did that, because it shows the world the kind of energy we’re bringing to the stage and gives them a little sneak peek.Let’s talk about guitar for a minute. What influenced you to start playing?Well, I’m a left-handed guy, but my dad got me a right-handed guitar. So I learned how to play right-handed. A little junior guitar when I was 8. Of course, I didn’t want to play mine, I wanted to play his! But it was tough. I picked it up again when I was almost 15 and the rest is history. I didn’t want to give it up. I loved it. I’ve never had a guitar lesson, I just learned from looking at guitar tabs on the Internet and by ear. What’s your go-to guitar?That’s ever-evolving with me. I have a great relationship with Breedlove and we rotate several Breedloves out here. I’ll tell ya, there’s this little Breedlove parlor guitar that I play. It’s teeny, tiny but it’s got such a huge sound and I love it. And I have another small-body Bedell and that has a really unique sound to it that I really like. Probably between those two. It’s bizarre. I started out really loving jumbos, because I would sit in a room with a couple guys writing songs and I wanted that huge, boomy sound. But now that we’re out on the road plugging in, I’ve gone into a smaller body model. I love playing and whenever I play I have a whole lot of my acoustic in my mix. You do a lot of co-writing, can you share some insight into your approach to a co-write? To me it starts with an idea that inspires you, and you have something to say. You know, certain songs there’s not a huge message, they’re just fun. But I love an idea that was inspired by a situation that I was a part of personally, or just a fly on the wall. And then for me the phrasing and melody comes first. I have a huge book of ideas and then I pop the idea in. It’s a really neat puzzle to put together. It’s a fun thing to be a part of, and I am so blessed to be able to do it.You’ll be playing at the NAMM Acoustic Nation Stage on July 11 at 1pm for Music Industry Day. What can fans look forward to?We’re gonna throw a party, I can tell you that! It’s actually my first time getting to go to NAMM. I’m usually on the road. I’m excited to see everything!!See Dustin Lynch live on the Acoustic Nation Stage at NAMM at the Music City Center, Nashville on Saturday July 11, 2015 at 1:00pm. The show is free with your NAMM ticket. Find out more here>And find out more about Dustin Lynch at http://www.dustinlynchmusic.com

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month**

Join now for unlimited access

US pricing $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

UK pricing £2.99 per month or £29.00 per year 

Europe pricing €3.49 per month or €34.00 per year

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Prices from £2.99/$3.99/€3.49

Laura B. Whitmore

Laura B. Whitmore is a music industry marketing veteran, music journalist and editor, writing for Parade.com, Guitar World, and others. She has interviewed hundreds of musicians and hosts the She Rocks Podcast. As the founder of the Women’s International Music Network, she advocates for women in the music industry and produces the annual She Rocks Awards. She is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Positive Grid, making the world safe for guitar exploration everywhere! A guitarist and singer/songwriter, Laura is currently co-writing an album of pop songs that empower and energize girls.