Gary Allan Discusses The Creative Process Behind New Album, “Set You Free”

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(Jason Smith/Getty Images)

(Jason Smith/Getty Images)

Pat and Tom Tom Mailey
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There’s a saying, keep growing or start dying. Gary Allan has made his choice.

The week of the release of his new album “Set You Free”, Gary talked to KNCI’s Pat and Tom about the different approaches he took with the project. For one thing, he used more than one producer. He still relied on his long-time producer Mark Wright, but because changes in his record label gave him some time, Gary also sought the expertise of producers like Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Little Big Town), Greg Droman (Randy Hauser, Josh Turner, Joe Walsh), and even himself–Gary co-produces several tracks. The result, he says, was an album with no filler. “We all ended up competing with each other” he says, “everybody wanted to make the record and everybody wanted the singles and I think the result was a lot better quality.”

Another new thing Gary tried was co-writing with women. And two of them are two of the best: Sarah Buxton (Stupid Boy, Put You in a Song) and one of Nashville’s most prominent songwriters male or female, Hillary Lindsey (Fearless, Jesus Take the Wheel, American Honey). Gary said it was a little out of his comfort zone at first. “To get to me to write, I only write with one, two or three people and you have to come with them. I usually don’t take on new people just because I don’t have a lot of time…so they got brought in through friends”. The chemistry worked, and in fact one of the results is his current hit, “Every Storm Runs out of Rain,” which was written by Lindsey.

But as much as he continues to grow as an artist, life isn’t all work for Gary. He told Pat and Tom that he still has time now and then to surf the beaches of his beloved Southern California and shared a funny story about how one surf trip last year got beached by the U.S. Open golf tournament.

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