Kip Moore: No Sophomore Slump on ‘Wild Ones’

"I didn't have to 'cram' to write this record, because I never stop writing."

By Brian Ives

It’s the cliché about second albums: artists have their whole life to write their first album, and then only a year or so to write their second. But Kip Moore tells Radio.com that he didn’t experience any sophomore slump on Wild Ones.

“I didn’t have to ‘cram’ to write this record, because I never stop writing,” he said. He also has a lot riding on this album. “I have a family—and when I say a ‘family,’ I mean my band and crew—and they rely on me to write these songs and make another successful record to keep this thing going. But then, there’s the pressure from me. That was the pressure for me, this time around. ”

The pressure also came from his record label and management. Moore both values that input (to be sure, not all artists do). “You don’t want to tune it all out, there’s a lot of valuable advice coming your way from all directions. I just noticed that with the success of the first record, there’s a lot more riding on this one. For someone like me who has always had such a clear vision, it’s about filtering out the bad advice and running with the things that are good ideas. But these people [at the label and management company] know a lot, they know what they’re talking about. But you have to be firm and know what your stance is. There were a lot of fights to get the things that I wanted from this record. Like the cover art.”

kip moore album cover

Indeed, the cover looks more like a rock album from the ’70s or ’80s than anything you’ve seen in country. Which is appropriate, as some of his biggest influences are Springsteen, Petty and Seger.

“That’s a very different album cover for country music. I wanted my album cover to embody who I am as an artist, and who we are as a band. And to symbolize what the record is. For me, it was about creating something that’s really gonna stick out and that embodies what the album is. The album has so much desperation in it, and that people screams that. It was just about capturing that.”

When asked if the experience of the first album, and its long promotional cycle, was everything that he’d hoped for, he’s grateful but also honest. “You dream about doing this for a long time, and I envisioned all of this. It’s more of a grind than you could ever imagine. We’ve done 200 shows a year for the last three years, it’s definitely taken its toll, it wears you down. But it’s been amazing, the fans continue to show up, and even with the long wait for this record, the fan base multiplies, it’s a pretty special thing to be part of.”

And he’s appreciated the slow build that his career has had thus far: “That’s what I want, I believe that when you do that, you have a solid core. I think that when you grow the fan base the right way, they’ll be there for a long time, and I want to have a long career. I’ve always thought it was a dangerous line to walk, being the main commercial product of the time can be a hard place to be in. You might have a ton of success and make a whole lot of money, but sometimes that can be a dangerous spot to be in.

Kip Moore’s Wild Ones is out August 21 and he’s currently on tour. Check his website for dates.

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