Photo Credit: Ann-Marie Hensley

Chase Rice is making quite an impact on country music with the release of his new EP, Ready Set Roll.  The digital EP consists of 6 solid songs, all of which Rice co-wrote.  A physical version of Ready Set Roll will be available in stores November 26, and includes additional track “Jack Daniel’s and Jesus” (piano version).

Ready Set Roll is an impressive and well-rounded EP.  It is comprised of several musical elements blended together for a balanced, solid collection of music.  See our full review HERE.  CountryMusicRocks got the chance to catch up with Chase Rice and talk about his new EP, touring and much more!

CountryMusicRocks (CMR) – How would you best describe your new EP, Ready Set Roll?
Chase Rice (CR) – It’s a huge party. It’s a sound that I’ve never put out before. I’ve put out a little bit of the rockin’ thing, but I’ve never put out the rockin thing with hip hop roots. And the production.  The unbelievably huge production that is on this thing, which is why I think so far for a lot of the new fans and even the old fans, have never heard that from me. But the music lyrically and how uptempo it is, is the same because I love doing that live. I love having a crazy live show.

CMR – Was it difficult selecting the songs for Ready Set Roll?
CR – I don’t write a whole lot. I try to write as much as I can, but I don’t write a ton. But when I do write, I try to write the best song I’ve ever written in my entire life.  I didn’t have a crazy amount to choose from, but these 6 right here, and the 7 on the physical [album], just seemed right.  I knew they were right for what I was trying to do live.

CMR – You included a piano version of “Jack Daniel’s and Jesus” on the physical EP, available on November 29. Tell us a little about that song and why you re-recorded to included on Ready Set Roll?
CR – First of all, it’s my favorite song I’ve ever written so I didn’t want it to die on the Dirt Road Communion Record. I wanted it to keep living and have new life on this one. But the biggest reason behind stripping it down with just me and a piano was, we have all these rockin’ songs that I love to play live. I’ve got the drums, I’ve got the big production and that is what I need for the live show. But I’m a songwriter. I wanted to show the songwriter side of me and how I can also do without all this huge stuff, and what better song to do that with than my favorite song that I’ve ever written. The piano on there is beautiful and it sounds awesome to me.  I think people are really going to appreciate that. I look at the crowd every night, and there’s always one or two people crying when I play that song which means a lot to me.  I play it stripped down, acoustic. That’s the main reason, I love to party, I love the amped up huge sound, but I love also the songwriting side of it.

CMR – You co-wrote Florida Georgia Line’s hit single “Cruise.”  What has it been like for you watching that song grow and be what it is today?
CR – It’s basically been like a dream. Not in a way of saying it’s a dream come true, but in a way of saying it literally feels like a dream, like this isn’t really happening.  We wrote that song before anything was happening for them or anything happening for me, sitting in Jesse Rice’s [Cruise co-writer] living room. We’ve done it a hundred time before and not had any success, well a little a success with stuff they’ve released &  stuff I’ve released, and continued to build a small little fan base from the beginning, but we never had that kind of success. I remember going to #1 parties and watching like Dallas Davidson on stage and thinking ‘damn I wish that was me.’ Then less than a year later it was me with my best friends on stage. The thing about that song, as a songwriter, you cannot pray enough for a song to do what it did. We wrote it, had the FGL Boys who believed in it, Brian especially believed in it and wrote it with, and then Joey Moi produced it and Tyler’s voice is great on it. I’m crazy blessed to be a part of it.

CMR – You are currently out on Live Nation’s Ones To Watch Tour. What has that been like for you so far?
CR – It’s unbelievable. We’ve sold out a number of them, and the ones that weren’t sold out were slammed. Brian O’Connell with Live Nation is now one of my buddies. I remember going to get the mega-hit tickets when I was in college before I was doing music, and they all had Live Nation on them. To see him get behind me and believe in me, that is a huge honor.  This tour doesn’t have be me, he didn’t have to give me this tour but he did. He took a chance and tickets are selling and people are showing up.  The most important part of it all for me, which I lose sleep over every night to make sure it happens, is that when people are leaving these shows they are blown away with how good of a time they had. And that to me is what this thing is all about.  I don’t have a record deal, and I don’t have FM radio play – yet, but these people are literally singing songs just because they love hearing these songs. These people are driving my career right now and word can’t even express how cool that is to me.

CMR – You have a White Out/Black Out Theme at your shows, tell us a little about that.
CR – I stole that from college football.  I remember going when I was a little kid, I went to the University of Florida a lot with my dad, and I was a huge Gator fan. They kept calling it a blue out, I was about eight years old and I was like what is a blue out, what does that even mean?  When I went in the stadium, I figured it out real quick.  The team was all wearing blue and every fan in there was wearing blue.  To see 100,000 people all wearing blue together was really cool.  As an artist, I try to figure out ways to connect me with the fans no matter what.  No matter whether they are in the back, whether they are in the front, or whether I pull them on stage. This to me seemed like an easy way.  Some shows it has caught on, some it hasn’t, but I’m going to do it the rest of my career. If I can look out on a Friday night and see everyone wearing white, then I know these fans really are crazy for what we are doing and they are looking for a good time just as much as I am. I can’t wait for it to really, really catch on.

CMR – Music is consistently evolving, what do you think sets Country Music apart?
CR – I think a huge part of that, as artists, we really try to honor what the guys did before us but in our own way. I try to think of new stuff, I try to think of different ways to entertain and write new songs, but at the same time we are still singing about the same stuff that Willie [Nelson] was singing about, that Garth [Brooks] was singing about, that George [Strait] is still singing about.  Country Music is being elevated because the production is becoming so cool, it’s so rockin’ and it’s got hip hop roots in there, but what I’m singing about is the same stuff those guys sing about and that is what people want to hear. I care about keeping country music driving forward and that is what we’re doing, guys like Luke [Bryan], guys like Eric [Church], Florida Georgia Line, myself, we are finding new innovative ways to make country music and the sound of country lyrics sound even cooler. That is the coolest part for me, to see how country music is evolving. I love seeing where it is going, I think it is exciting times right now. For the people that think it isn’t country – don’t listen to it, go find something else, but they’ll probably come right back to country. We are the best genre in all of music in my opinion.

Be sure to pick up Chase’s new EP Ready Set Roll on iTunes by clicking HERE.  Keep up with Chase by visiting his Official Website, Like him on Facebook and Follow him on Twitter.