LBT: What Taylor Told Us

Little Big Town’s current hit, “Better Man,” was written by Taylor Swift.  The song was released in October, and the information that Taylor wrote it wasn’t revealed until a few weeks later.  The group talked about why they waited, as well as their conversations with Taylor, with Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton.

First of all, why didn’t you want people to know Taylor wrote it? (Phillip) “I think we wanted people to hear the song without any preconceived ideas. Let the song stand on its own two legs. It’s a beautifully written song, and that was really, out of respect, let it be heard that way. (Jimi) Taylor is the biggest pop star in the world. Along with that title comes a lot of extra things, people wanting to know who she wrote the song about, and all these other conversations, other than the song, which was a beautifully written song, which Taylor does well. So we wanted the song to stand on its own merits, because it’s a great song, and she’s a great writer.  I think she kinda liked that.”

Did you tell her? (Kimberley) “Yes! She loved it.  She did. She’s such an amazing songwriter, for her as a songwriter, to have the song come out and be accepted, and blow up before they found out who wrote it meant everything to her as a songwriter.”

Why didn’t she put it on one of her own albums? (Phillip) “When she wrote the email, she said, ‘I have this song, I’ve had it for a little while.’ It was pretty vague, she didn’t say when she wrote it. I think she considered putting it on her last record, but it didn’t fit. I didn’t know the time frame.  But what she did say is she could just hear our harmonies on it and would love it if we would consider it, so that’s all we knew.”

Did you hear it individually or together? (Phillip) “We were on the road with Luke Bryan. When it got sent, we shared it. We started listening to it in the dressing room, as we were getting ready, every day.  She did the demo, just a little work tape.  (Karen) Part of it for me as the singer was making it feel like mine, and we accomplished that for sure. It’s haunting in a way. She sent us a demo, and we kept playing it in the dressing room, and even let Luke and Dustin hear it.  It was a great summer for us because everyone was making new music.”

Did you tell Dustin & Luke who wrote it? “Yes, but we swore them to the road pledge, you must keep silent.”

This song almost hurts more the way it’s written: (Kimberley) The chorus is what drew us in, because it was so beautiful and so harmony driven. Maybe a little voice told her to send it. (Phillip) We’re so honored she would think of when it’s so from her heart, so pure, that she thought we could do it justice makes me feel really proud.”

Have you talked to her since? You were together at the CMA Awards: “Yeah, we debuted the song on the CMA Awards. We had a moment to reflect and celebrate with her after the CMA Awards. Just to reminisce. It went from an email from her, and it was fun that night to celebrate with her. We’ve known her since she was a child!”

Let’s talk about the video.  Kimberley, why are you running through a field with no shoes on? “Because I can! There were cow patties.  Wet ones and dry ones! The director was like, ‘You should take your shoes off,’ then I found out the boys didn’t do it.  (Karen) She can out-country us any day. (Kimberley) I hang my own laundry.  I walk through cow patties and hang my own laundry.”

 

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