Singer-songwriter Lachlan Bryan seems to be almost always on tour with his band, The Wildes, so it’s appropriate that their latest single – from their forthcoming album – is ‘The Road’. Bryan is an outstanding lyricist, so there is more to the song than it being simply about the touring life, but recently I asked him about that, about his relationship with longtime collaborator Damian Cafarella and his songwriting process.
The single is a great song, but I have to confess that I’m not shocked because you can’t write a bad song, I think.
I can. I can send them all to you if you want, I’ve got some shockers. I’m really fond of this one. I guess I’m attached to it because it feels very honest and truthful, and normally I write pretty honest and truthful, but as you know, I often write characters or whatever, whereas this is pretty autobiographical and I just thought it sounded nice too, so that’s part of it.
It is autobiographical and I was listening to it quite closely ̶ you do make it easy to listen closely to your songs because you enunciate clearly, which I always think is a great compliment to the listener. But also it’s always worth listening to your songs because the lyrics are so rich, and you do sing about a restless spirit. But what struck me listening to that was that you write about being on the road, being away from people yet you perhaps more than most in the country music community have a lot of sustained connections with other artists, I’ve noticed. So do you think that makes you a bit of a paradox?
Maybe. It can be pretty lonely in a crowd sometimes, I guess. I do have a lot of friends in the community and outside of country music as well, just in the music community in general. And I think I’m finding more and more that I need that and I rely on that a lot more than I probably used to. Particularly lately. As you know, it’s been a pretty sad time in the country music world over the past couple of weeks [Lachlan is referring to the death of Glen Hannah]. We’ve probably all realised how connected we all are to each other. But in terms of what I’m writing about, the thing that I’ve learned is that … look, it seems a little bit crass at the moment to talk about depression and anxiety and all that kind of stuff, because I don’t have it badly. But I do find that I’m only really kind of contented and happy if I’m playing. And I hate to think what would ever happen if I stopped enjoying getting in front of an audience and playing, because I really live for it. I spend a lot of time in the studio and I produce records, and I love all that, but if a period of time goes past where I don’t actually go somewhere and play, or go somewhere different and meet different people, I really think I start to go a bit insane. And I know that it’s probably not a very sensible thing. I know that I should probably learn to be happy with day-to-day life, but I’m not. I really need it. I’m just someone who really needs to keep moving. And I think it’s probably very frustrating for people around me. I’ve definitely ended up hurting people that I would rather not have hurt. Getting back to the song, I think that’s kind of the point I’m making. But maybe I fought it more in the past and now I’m just accepting it.