Country-fried hip-hop/alt-rock troubadour Everlast returns next month with his first album of original songs since 2011, Whitey Ford’s House of Pain.
The latest single, the chiming, heartbroken folk ballad “It Ain’t Easy” was written during a time of turmoil for the “What It’s Like” songwriter.
“My oldest daughter was born with cystic fibrosis. The song is not specifically about that, per se, but the whole concept, ‘It Ain’t Easy,’ life just wasn’t easy at the moment,” Everlast tells Rolling Stone.
Co-written by Nashville smash hitmaker Luke Laird (Little Big Town’s “Pontoon,” Eric Church’s “Drink in My Hand,” Carrie Underwood’s “Last Name”), the song was part of a burst of music written by Everlast intended to be performed by other artists.
“We were dealing with this incredibly fucking complex disease and the emotions of everything,” he says. “My thing was was like, ‘I gotta figure out how to be home as much as possible.’ How do I do that? Write songs for other people.”
Everlast went down to Nashville and collaborated with Music Row heavy hitters Laird and Barry Dean (Little Big Town, Tim McGraw).
“After a few years you get to a point where life becomes normal again,” he says. “[I] realized that I had written a song here, a song there. So I started fuckin’ reworking them a little bit, ’cause the way I recorded them originally, I recorded them as if I wanted other people to do them. I don’t wanna put to much of my stink on it, because I want somebody else to be able to see it as their own.”
These songs will emerge on his seventh studio album, due September 7th, and featuring guest appearances from Aloe Blacc and Slug of Atmosphere.