Jason Aldean is more than a little bit country. His band is more than a little bit rock & roll. Put them together, though, and you get a deafening sound capable of shaking more than a few truck speakers. And that’s exactly how Aldean likes it.
With a new album, Old Boots, New Dirt, out this week, Aldean is in the final stretch of his Burn It Down Tour, which, by the time it wraps up in Dallas, will have hit roughly 50 cities. It may have been his most explosive tour to date, but it wasn’t necessarily his loudest.
“We’re always loud. I don’t know if it can be louder,” he tells Rolling Stone Country. “We’re a rock band with a country singer. It’s always been loud. Being polite has never been our strong suit.”
The current tour, however, has more pyrotechnics and fireworks than he has had in the past. Talking backstage at the inaugural Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Aldean said a high decibel level is just something that comes with the territory, and it’s always been that way.
“I remember playing a club in Raleigh, North Carolina, in the early days. We played two songs and blew up their entire system. That’s just how it is, the louder the better,” he says. “The fireworks, that just adds to it. Every year you want to go out and be bigger and better.”
The Georgia native, who was the first artist to ever stage a concert at Sanford Stadium at the University of Georgia, says it can be challenging to think up new set pieces for a tour.
“You’re constantly looking at other acts. I think it’s easy to see something and rip it off. But it’s another thing to see what everyone else is doing and take it a step further,” Aldean says. “I don’t want to do what someone else is doing anyway.”
Which is also the theme of Aldean’s sixth studio album, Old Boots, New Dirt. The LP adds more of an R&B flavor to the “Burnin’ It Down” singer’s musical palette, and also makes a bid to establish him as more of a crooner. “I want to show people that we can go play the big rock stuff and the hip-hop-infused stuff, but I’m also a vocalist,” he recently told Rolling Stone Country. “I want to find great songs, put our spin on it, try new things and see what happens.”