Country group Old Dominion is bringing their talents as songwriters, musicians and performers to the country music scene. The band recently released their debut, self-titled EP, a new collection of music consisting of 5 brand new songs, and includes current hot new single “Shut Me Up” as well as fan favorite ““Break Up With Him.”
Old Dominion, comprised of Matthew Ramsey, Brad Tursi, Trevor Rosen, Geoff Sprung, and Whit Sellers, is currently out on the Ignite the Night Tour with Chase Rice. They are making an impact on country music and country fans with their new music, as well as showcasing their hit singles as songwriters and recorded by country artists such as Luke Bryan, The Band Perry, Tyler Farr, and many more.
CountryMusicRocks got the opportunity to catch up with the band. Matthew, Brad, Tevor, Geoff and Whit provided us with some great detail and insight into their brand new music and live performances.
CountryMusicRocks (CMR): For folks still getting to know you, give us a little background on your group.
Old Dominion: Some of us knew each other from Virginia, and college, and we played in different bands together. We moved to Nashville, one by one, some of us to be songwriters, and some of us to be studio/touring musicians, that’s where we met Trevor. We were playing around and showcasing our songs, I [Matthew] was kind of doing my own thing by myself, but I knew these guys & that they were great musicians and we played a lot together. Eventually we became a real band. We developed a sound just by playing together so much. We came together organically, got lucky and had a bunch of hit songs as writers!! Things both started to take off at the same time. We started to get attention as a band, and attention as writers. Other people started recording our songs, and people started to come hear us play. It started to become one fortunate snowball!!
CMR: You recently released your self-titled debut EP. For folks that haven’t picked up the EP yet, how would you best describe the album?
Old Dominion: Fun! It’s really fun and we really think it shows who we are as a band. Our personalities really come through. It’s very indicative of our live set, and we wanted to get that across. I feel like that’s where we shine so we wanted to show people what they can expect when they come see us play. It’s a fun group of songs that we love, that we worked hard on, and that we’re really proud of.
CMR: Your EP includes your new single “Shut Me Up.” Tell us a little about the new single.
Old Dominion: That song started out where, I [Brad] had the first line of “I can’t get you off the tip of my tongue, you’re running through my head again.” I brought it in to Matt and Andrew Dorff, and we just kind of started from that line and wrote it from there. It’s a rockin’ little number about a lady. Sometimes writing is hard where you have days where you feel you’re forcing out a song. It’s always best when that is not the case, and when something is just fun and your hanging with your friends. That’s how this one was. We were laughing and having a good time. It was an easy one. It snuck up on the band too. We weren’t playing it. Then one day we listened to it and we were like, we should play it. As time went on, we decided maybe this would be a good single, and I feel like it is.
CMR: What many people may not realize is that they’ve been hearing your music for years as you’re all talented songwriters and have written several songs for artists such as Craig Morgan, The Band Perry, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, and Dierks Bentley (just to name a few). Does it make it difficult when writing to determine if you should keep a song to cut, or put it out there for someone else to record?
Old Dominion: We usually can tell when it is right for us since we write so many songs. Also, we write songs so other people can record them too. That’s what we moved to Nashville to do. We never know what is going to happen that particular day. Sometimes we’ll know it’s for us and sometimes we’ll think, oh this would be great for someone like Dierks [Bentley] or Luke [Bryan].
CMR: You guys have been together for quite a while now as both songwriters and a band, and the industry is really starting to take notice. Rolling Stone Country has you listed as one of the “10 new artists you need to know.” What has it been like having yourselves and your music gain so much attention recently?
Old Dominion: It’s a new feeling for us. We keep reaching these new levels where we are like something has changed. Now all of a sudden people are talking about us. We’ve done this for so long with no recognition, and now it’s a good feeling. As songwriters and as performers, it is a good feeling to know what we thought we had is real. You work so long, and it just gives you that little bit of extra motivation to know that this is working. We still have a long way to go, but we feel like we’ve gotten somewhere. When people know the songs, and they recognize us, it feels really good.
CMR: You’re currently out on Chase Rice’s Ignite The Night Tour. What’s it been like out on the road so far opening for Chase and expanding your fan base?
Old Dominion: It’s been a huge opportunity for us. We’re playing these rooms full of 2-3 thousand people every night where some of them have heard our music, and some of them haven’t. Every night by the time we are done, the crowd is amazing. They really welcome us and they welcome our music. They come meet us and tell us “I’ve never heard of you guys but I’m going to buy your album right now. ” It’s been a huge opportunity for us, and this is the right crowd for us. Our music is geared towards these people so it’s a great fit. It means a lot to us too because we are independent right now, so we are building this thing from the ground up, and to be able to get in front of these people is really one of the biggest things we could possibly do right now.
CMR: For people that haven’t seen you in concert yet, how would best describe your set?
Old Dominion: Energetic! We have a lot of energy so we try to keep it up and fun. Our personalities come through in everything that we do, our song writing, and our live performances. We have a lot of fun playing together and that is the biggest thing. When we’re having fun, the crowd feels that and they have fun. It’s very casual, and very energetic, and very familiar & fun for everybody.
CMR: If there were one thing that you would like to convey to fans about you & your music, what would it be?
Old Dominion: We’re music fans, we love music. We’ve written thousands of songs between us, we’re song people. The songs are catchy and they’re songs that we would listen to even if they weren’t on our album. We really do care about the songs. It’s not just about party, party, party. Our songs are up and fun, but we really care about what we are saying, and what we are putting out there. We really take a lot of time and are really careful about what words we are saying and which songs make the album. This is a collection of five songs out of the thousands that we have written that we decided were good enough to make our album. They are our favorites.
CMR: Country Music is consistently evolving and growing. What is it that you love most about this genre?
Old Dominion: There’s two things. The songs, I love that the songs are important to the fans, and the fans. We always talk about how loyal to the genre that the fans are. They show that. They respond to us on social media, and they are really involved. I think that is awesome. They care about the songs as much as we do. I think as far as genre wise, there are people that are more traditional and there are people that are more progressive. I think that is one of the cool things about the genre, it sort of mirrors the fact that everyone listens to all kinds of music, and this genre really picks up on that with all the different influences.
Old Dominion is definitely one to keep your ears tuned in and eyes on. They put on a fantastic performance opening up for Chase Rice (check out photos here), and they are paving the way for a solid year ahead in 2015. Pick up their debut, self-titled EP on iTunes HERE.