Boys Like Girls have a thing for country music. On the surface, they may sound a little more rock and roll than country, but the Massachusetts pop punkers find a lot of their sonic inspiration from the types of acts you might hear in Nashville honky-tonks.
So when it came time to work on their forthcoming album, Crazy World, they wanted to explore that sound a little more. And fans of the band shouldn't be too surprised by that revelation: They did dominate radio with their Taylor Swift-assisted track "Two Is Better Than One" a few years back.
"I'm a huge country music fan," Martin Johnson told MTV News. "I don't really listen to pop radio. I listen to a country station in L.A. So, like, I mean we're a pop band, and I can't really pretend I'm from Georgia and have a southern accent and wear a 10-gallon [hat] and expect to be a country guy.
"But it's a huge, huge influence for the band," he continued. "Musically, I think, some of the best songs are on country radio and not pop radio. I think the songwriting is really strong and the stories are told in such a unique way. It's a huge influence and always has been for Boys Like Girls."
With the release of their new album on the horizon, the guys wanted to dig deeper and pay homage to that sound in a more in-depth way, so they started by working with country musicians.
"... We had some really cool players come play," Johnson said, raving about working with Sugarland's Kristian Bush, who plays mandolin on "Stuck in the Middle," and the Wallflowers' Barry Maguire. "I thought that that was cool. I'm a huge Wallflowers fan.
Johnson added that the band tried to switch up instrumentation for Crazy World.
"My old vocal coach came in and played piano," he said. "They're kind of like slightly more unique collaborations."