“We’ve had the ability after every record to feel more emboldened by what we did on the last record,” Church said during a recent interview for The Tennessean. “And I think with this one, with the success of Chief, we were a little bulletproof.”
Church’s 2011 album Chief has sold 1.5 million copies so far and produced five hit singles, two of which hit No. 1 (“Drink in My Hand” and “Springsteen”). This past spring it also won Album of the Year honors during the Academy of Country Music Awards.
“My career, so many times I think my career is going to be pre-Chief and post Chief,” Church said at the time. “That record changed everything for us.”
Church’s new album The Outsiders is again produced by his longtime collaborator Jay Joyce. The album will contain approximately a dozen songs, among them a a recitation of the Shel Silverstein poem “The Devil and Billy Markham” (author and songwriter Silverstein is best known for his book The Giving Tree as well as songs such as “A Boy Named Sue” for Johnny Cash), a song called “Roller Coaster Ride,” a handful of love songs and album closer “The Joint,” which is described as showing influence of artists such as Tom Waits and J.J. Cale.
“They’re bold,” Church said. “I’m interested to see what people think about them. I always say the songs are mine till the moment we release them, then they’re the fans’ (songs). I’m very anxious. I have a lot of anxiety to see what people think about what we’ve done.”