When Jason Aldean was selecting the first single for his upcoming album, Old Boots, New Dirt, out October 7th, he wanted something that stood apart from the singles that launched his past albums. The stoic singer found it with the sultry jam “Burnin’ It Down,” which he performed last night on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“I think a lot of people were surprised and that was sort of the idea,” Aldean tells Rolling Stone Country of the track, which is currently Number One on Billboard‘s Hot Country Songs Chart. “We could have come out with one of the rock-oriented things we’ve always done: ‘Hicktown,’ ‘Johnny Cash,’ ‘She’s Country,’ ‘My Kinda Party,’ ‘Take a Little Ride.’ Those were the five singles that we’ve come out with [to announce an album.] It’s a big tempo thing.”
Known as one of country’s more rock-oriented artists, Aldean says he decided to “shake it up” with “Burnin’ It Down.” “Let’s put out something that when people hear it, there’s no mistaking what song it is, and who sings it. No mistaking that it’s from a new record.”
Aldean’s performance of the slow-burning song on Kimmel was appropriately hot, with the Georgia native in a red pearl-snap singing in front of a literally flaming microphone stand. “Burnin’ It Down” may be a different sound for Aldean, but it’s not representative of Old Boots, New Dirt as a whole. There are also the high-energy anthems Aldean has made his stock in trade.
“We still have some of those tempos,” he promises, “but we have them in our pocket for the next couple singles.”
Aldean recently addressed the increase in country concert incidents in a candid chat with Rolling Stone Country. “Bottom line, when people go to a show or do anything like that, like it or not, drinking is part of it. People are going to drink and they’re going to have fun. I don’t know what you really attribute it to other than anytime there is alcohol involved, stuff like that is going to happen,” Aldean said, adding that fans should be responsible for their own actions. “You come to a show and plan on drinking, get a driver. Call a cab. That’s things that adults should just know. We can’t make people do that stuff.”