One piece of hip-hop culture that
"That's pretty gratifying and humbling," says Ford. "For them to go, 'Man, I dig what you do, and I want to be a part of it,' I don't take that for granted."
In fact, he's making the most of each opportunity. With
Ford recently stopped by CMT and talked about how similar he and Owen actually are, finding the right songs for his friends to sing and knowing what you want before you get to the store.
CMT.com: Declaration of Independence is your fourth album. What do you think fans can expect?
I think it's the best record I've ever made, to be honest with you. On the first record, when I didn't know any rules or anything, I just made the songs I wanted to make. Now there are about seven or eight songs I have to play live every night, or [fans will] be mad at me, so with the last two records, I was trying to please a lot of different people. For this record, I kind of went back to that first one. I tried to make the best, most honest-sounding record I could make with not one single song sounding like the next, and I think I did that.
So it has a lot of variety?
It starts off with a flag-flying anthem that makes you just want to crank
"Back" is about your memories of growing up, so how did you and Jake Owen find something to connect on?
Well, he grew up in Florida, and I grew up in Georgia, but actually we're not very different at all. Jake's younger than I am, but he grew up playing sports. He was a good athlete. I was a good athlete. I played college golf. Jake tried to play college golf. Both our moms and dads have been married for years and years, both got siblings, both raised in the church. We're not really that far apart at all.
Listening to the album, I got the feeling that your guests were having a lot of fun being out of their element.
Yeah, I think so. I mean, truthfully, all the songs that they're on, they could do themselves. There's no doubt in my mind that Jason Aldean could do "Driving Around Song," and it would be a gigantic smash. I think the songs suit them. Jason and I had been trying to do a song together for a while -- and so had Jake and I. We had to find the right songs. Kix Brooks knows a good honky-tonk song when he hears it, and that's what we recorded.
You mentioned that it took a while to find the right song for Jason Aldean. How did it finally happen?
I think they just are, or they aren't. There were a couple of songs I tried to get Jason on for the last two records, and it just didn't happen. And, again, people need to understand, Jason Aldean doesn't need Colt Ford one bit. If we never did one song together, he's still a superstar. So the song needs to be something he can relate to, too. He didn't cut
What was it about that particular track?
I don't know. It's hard to say. I've never done anything with those artists that's been forced. I can't pay
You seem to write songs and put out albums at such a fast pace. How do you keep it going?
I just love music, and I like writing. I don't follow any kind of rules. I mean, I make records when I want to. I could do one every year, no problem. But writing is mentally fatiguing, and I've only got so much brain power I can use. So I only wrote 17 songs, and 15 of them are on the record. Some guys put 100 songs on hold, but I'm not like that. I know who I am and what I want to do. So it's like going shopping. I don't need to go to the store and look at 100 different things. I know what I'm going for, so I go in there and get what I've gotta get and get on down the road.