Keith Urban is gearing up to release his first studio album, Fuse, in three years. The album comes after Keith took time off for surgery on his vocal cords and spent a year recovering, followed by another year in the studio. He recently spoke with Rolling Stone about his new music and why he took a number of chances with his new songs.
“I was recording [at a studio] one time and on the wall someone had written, ‘There’s two sure ways to lose your audience: Always give them what they want, and never give them what they want,” he said. “It really stayed with me, because I went, ‘Well, that is the job at hand.”
Keith uses U2’s albums The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby as a way to compare what is happening with crossover country material today. He stands in defense of country’s sound evolution. “There’s nothing new about crossover country material,” he said. “That’s happened since the Fifties. Glen Campbell was just as much a pop star as he was a country star. There’s really nothing much country about ‘Wichita Lineman.’ The singer makes it country. What Taylor [Swift] is doing [now], Barbara Mandrell was doing that in the Eighties, [and] Shania Twain did it in the Nineties.
“I’ve always found country to be basically like a church,” he continued. “It’s got to keep evolving, but it’s gotta do it in a way that it doesn’t lose its values or its core congregation. But it has to continue attracting new parishioners.”
Read Keith’s full interview in Rolling Stone.