2017 is already off to a great start for artist on the rise Clayton Anderson. His recently released EP, Only To Borrow, has been quickly embraced by fans and continues to gain momentum entering the new year. The new collection of music features six solid tracks which he will highlight out on the road throughout the year.

We got the chance to catch up with Clayton to chat about his new music, what is ahead for him in 2017 (which includes a gig with Keith Urban in his home state!), and much more! Check out our exclusive interview below and be sure to grab his new EP, Only To Borrow, on iTunes here.

CountryMusicRocks (CMR): You recently released your new EP Only To Borrow which continues to garner a lot of attention. Tell us about this new collection of music?
Clayton Anderson: Only To Borrow is a collection of my best work to date no doubt. My best writing, my best singing. It’s a little different than all the rest of whats out there in country music. Much more Midwestern two rocking roll guitar sound to it, hints of John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen. And I’ve been told we have a Grammy-esq song on here.

CMR: What was one of your favorite moments in the studio recording this new EP?
Clayton Anderson: My favorite moment of the recording process for Only To Borrow was being out at East West Studio in LA with my all time favorite drummer Kenny Aronoff rocking the beat. Was an incredible experience getting to make music with one of your heroes.

CMR: One of your songs from the EP, “All Over The Map” has proven to be a fan favorite. Give us some background on this track.
Clayton Anderson: All Over The Map is a song I loved and knew was about me as soon as I heard it. Its also the only song on the EP I didn’t write. Written by my roommate Terri Jo Box as well as Ashley McBryde and Gwen Sebastian, it just speaks of that powerful woman by your side and how you love her crazy just as much as her sweet. She’s unpredictable and you love it.

CMR: Speaking of being all over the map, you’ve spent a ton of time the past few years out on the road performing. For folks that have not seen you perform yet, how would you best describe your set?
Clayton Anderson: It’s always been about the live show for me. I was out on the road just playing shows way before I even had any music out. Its all about energy. Crowd interaction. Non stop fun and good times.

CMR: With 2017 just getting started, what are some things that you are looking forward to and excited about for this year?
Clayton Anderson: 2017 is gonna be ridiculous. We’ve got the huge Indy 500 weekend show with Keith Urban. The Only To Borrow EP is getting such great reviews, I have a great feeling we are gonna be burning up the road. And Im so looking forward to the new Game of Thrones season, and also figuring out a way to be an extra on the show.

CMR: You have a huge gig coming up in May as your opening for Keith Urban for the annual Firestone Legends Day Concert at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the day before the Indy500 Race. What was your first reaction when you heard this news?
Clayton Anderson: I literally was jumping up and down when the news came through. One – I’m a huge fan of Keith and the awesome show he always puts on. And two the Indy 500 is like a homecoming for me. Being from Indiana, its not just a race, it’s a whole atmosphere leading up to the race that I can’t even describe and its such an honor to be a part of the month of May.

CMR: When you’re not out on the road and performing, what are some things you like to do in your free time?
Clayton Anderson: I love the sun and water. My most favorite spot in the world is Lake Monroe in my backyard of Indiana. Also love getting away to the Keys. Seriously though, a boat, the water and an ice cold drink….I’m good.

CMR: You are very active on social media. Who are some of your favorite celebrities you follow?
Clayton Anderson: Life is all about social media. Some of my favorite “celebs” to follow are mostly my friends out there killing it like Josef Newgarden, Kyle Schwaber, Kevin Kiermaier. Eva Pilgrim delivers all my world and national news. Mark Cuban is a dang good follow. Recently followed Katheryn Winnick because I love her role on Vikings.

CMR: Who is one celebrity that you would love to have follow you back?
Clayton Anderson: Oh dang, that’s tough. I’d flip if Taylor Swift followed me. She’s the queen of music right now no doubt.

CMR: As fans are continuing to get to know you, what is one thing that you would like to convent to country music fans about you and your music?
Clayton Anderson: I’d like country music fans to know that I honestly feel like the luckiest guy in the world. We don’t have a record deal. I don’t even know sometimes how we get to go play shows across the country and people are singing along. I want them to know that I wouldn’t be anything without them. And its so much more meaningful to me because they chose to like us when they weren’t forced to. Record labels and radio weren’t ever shoving us down their throats, but yet they chose to believe and love our music. So powerful.

CMR: We all have wish lists & bucket lists, so as an artist, what is something that is pretty high up there on your country music bucket list?
Clayton Anderson: The highest thing on my country bucket list is to play the Opry. I get choked up talking about it, but it would mean the world to me to play it. Not just for me but mostly for my grandparents. To share it with them. I remember watching the Grand Ole Opry with them, having them backstage while I performed, heck I could hang it up after that and be the happiest person in the world

CMR: Music is consistently evolving & growing. In your opinion, what do you think separates country music apart from any other genre?
Clayton Anderson: Honestly I think country music is as popular as its even been. From Taylor Swift and the way she connected to an audience country never had, to the peach pickers for writing some extremely fun songs, they ushered in a new moment in country music and a moment whether ya like it or not, its super popular. I love fun music and for the last 4 years or so I think we are more fun than anyone on the national award shows. Its so cool.

Clayton Anderson is one to keep your ears tuned in and eyes on. He brings a fantastic element to the genre that is welcomed and refreshing. Get connected with Clayton by visiting his Official Website, and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.