Brad Paisley just released his new collection Love and War – and created country music’s first visual album to go with it.
He spoke to Fox about the stories he’s telling on it, including the powerful title track featuring John Fogerty.
“We think back to what we got during Vietnam, which was that if you weren’t for the war, somehow you weren’t for the troops either. And now we’re getting it right – that whether we agree or not with any sort of conflict, that we honor these troops. But we’re not doing it in the greater scheme of things when it comes to healthcare and the VA and the things that we need to improve. So, to me, I thought there’s some sort of song here that’s a bit of a protest song and it’s protesting the mistreatment of the guys that are heroes.”
As for turning the full collection – both heavy and light tunes – into a visual album, there’s one way he answers why he did it.
“I said, ‘Well, I got you to listen to the whole album, beginning to end. When was the last time I was sure somebody did that?’”
Another goal: to maybe raise a little awareness.
“The song ‘The Devil is Alive and Well’ can mean a lot of things. It can mean the sort of angriness of social media, it could be terrorism, it could be looking at the injustices in society. But when you see the video that we did, we focused on a church that was burned down in Nashville that’s under an arson investigation. It’s a Hispanic church, and so we went and shot on the steps of this -- there’s nothing sadder than a church that’s left in ruin and ashes. So, maybe somebody sees this and, in Nashville, this leads us to rebuild that in a way.”
The project was a learning experience in several ways – including what he learned from working with his rockstar guest stars, Fogerty and Mick Jagger.
“They worked as hard as I did to make these tracks good, so it’s inspiring to think that in 30 to 40 years that I could be, you know, still working hard.”