Rascal Flatts has been making music together for over a decade. With eight albums under their belts, it’s nearly inconceivable that the popular country trio almost called it quits.
CBS Local caught up with Rascal Flatts at their film premiere last night (April 5) in New York. The band discussed their latest album Changed, which was released Tuesday, their film and future endeavors. Their eighth studio album and first LP with Big Machine Records, Rascal Flatts said the excitement of album release week never wears off.
“We’ve been more excited about this one then we’ve been in a long time,” Jay DeMarcus said. “We feel like we’ve got renewed energy and a resurgence of the spirit of what Rascal Flatts was about to begin with.”
DeMarcus said he’s thrilled to have fans hear the album and has enjoyed their feedback.
“I’ve been reading tweets all day about all the fans’ favorite songs and it’s been really neat to see their take on it and to hear how kind and gracious they’ve been about this record,” he said.
Meanwhile, Joe Don Rooney hinted at fans being even more involved in the near future.
“We’re all in this thing together and we’re moving forward with this project that feels so special. It feels like the early days of Rascal Flatts all over again,” he said. “We’re so hungry for the fans to hear this music and see what their feedback is, see what songs they’re loving. Who knows what the next single will be, it might be something the fans choose.”
Just two days after their album release, Rascal Flatts premiered the film Changed. Shown in over 600 theaters throughout the U.S. for only one night, viewers got an insider look into each member’s life.
While Gary LeVox said he wasn’t worried about revealing certain situations in the film, DeMarcus said it was difficult.
“Some of the things we touched on we’ve only kept to ourselves,” LeVox said. “The three of us collectively talked and just felt like it was time to be open and let everybody in. Just get an inside look of what it takes to have a family and to be able to do what we do. Where we come from, what our goals are and where we’re headed. Us being kids to us having kids, you get to see it all.”
After their red carpet appearance, the band invited close friends and family as well as radio contest winners to the AMC Theater in Times Square to view the film. The nearly two-hour documentary follows the band in the studio putting the final touches on Changed. Alongside live concert footage, interviews with the band and their family, fans got a glimpse into Rascal Flatts’ lives.
The film opened with an intimate Q&A with the band. “We’ve been through a lot of changes,” Rooney admitted. “This is our 13th year singing together.”
Soon after, Rascal Flatts revealed the challenges they faced and a near band breakup after their record label at the time, Lyric Street, closed.
“The three of us quit talking and communicating,” LeVox said. “It was going bad to the point where everyone wanted to quit.”
After the band reassessed things, they realized just how much Rascal Flatts meant to them and their fans. As they recalled one fan encounter, they knew it was the right decision to stay together.
During a meet and greet, Rascal Flatts talked with a fan who almost committed suicide until she heard their song on the radio. Having given up on life after she lost her job, it took “I Won’t Let Go” to put things into perspective. “You guys do more than sing songs, you change lives,” she said.
And that they do. Though fans had only one night to see the film in theaters, the band promises they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. With the release of a new album and an upcoming tour, Rascal Flatts will be around for years to come.
–Annie Reuter, CBS Local