Rascal Flatts have enjoyed a stellar 2017, even by the country music vocal group’s own high standards.
This year has seen the release of their critically acclaimed 10th studio album, Back To Us, and a series of live dates including a residency at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.
The group’s unique connection with their fans was evident in the way they promoted Back To Us.
They also made sure they participated pretty much continuously in a host of charity events, including GMA’s Day of Giving for Hurricane Relief, Bobby Bones’ Joy Week, the Hand In Hand Telethon plus a special worldwide Night To Shine.
To date, Rascal Flatts have sold over 23.4 million albums and sold over 10 million concert tickets.
They are currently nominated for Group of the Year at the CMA Awards, which will take place on 8 November in Nashville.
Clarence Spalding (pictured inset, below), from the band’s management company, Maverick, explains what makes Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney tick – and, together, as Rascal Flatts, what makes them unique.
Can you put into context Rascal Flatts’ position in the country music firmament, in terms of commercial success but also in terms of their standing within the Nashville/country music community?
Rascal Flatts came onto the country scene with a totally different sound, they were at the forefront of incorporating pop, rock and other genres into their country-based influences.
They were the only ones doing that at the beginning of their career, which was pretty bold.
They have a history of embracing the songwriting community and not only have amazing songwriting credits on their own, but really have an ear for the best songs and writers in town.
What did the band try and achieve with their latest album, Back To Us? And how happy was everyone with the finished result?
The band was able to really take their time making this album.
We purposefully scaled back their 2017 touring schedule to allow them time to totally focus on the music.
In doing so, they were able to give this album more time and attention, and the recording process was as exciting as when they made their first album.
What was the reaction to the record like from fans and critics?
The overwhelming response is that it felt like everything Rascal Flatts have been known for: tight harmonies, songs that speak to the fans, powerful vocals, musicianship and more.
The lead single, Yours If You Want It, became their 17th number one song; to have that sort of longevity is remarkable.
Talking of fans, how would you describe Rascal Flatts’ relationship with theirs?
Every move they make as a group is with the fans in mind. This album was made for them, and over the course of their career their songs have been part of the fans’ lives.
We hear stories all the time about how their music has been with fans on their graduation day, at their wedding, during a break-up, road trips, etc.
In a lot of ways they have been the soundtrack to their lives, so the guys are always thinking about the fans.
I think the guys all feel like coming together and having this success is bigger than any of them, and it’s important that there is a purpose to all of it.
So, whether it’s surprising a fan at their wedding or shining a light on worthy charitable causes the guys are always going to show up in that way.
What are the band up to currently and what are their plans for the next 12 months?
This week they’ll wrap up a limited engagement at The Venetian Las Vegas, Rascal Flatts – Night to Shine.
We’ll have a big tour announcement soon for 2018. And then they’ll start working on new music sometime next year.Music Business Worldwide