Hi Caroline, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Very well, thanks!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “All of the Boys”?
“All of the Boys” is a very fun, sassy, sexy song on the surface, but at it’s core it’s actually a love song about commitment. I love exploring those emotional layers, lyrically.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Yes, actually! I originally wrote the song with my sister in mind as the lead character. She has that ability to fit in as “one of the boys” in a way that I really admire.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
We have 4 videos out — one for each version of “All of the Boys”. So there’s the album mix, the country mix, the Coffee House acoustic mix, and the dance mix. All the videos are on YouTube. I’m especially proud of the Coffee House mix video. We shot it in Zac’s studio and also on the side of the road somewhere in South Dakota while on tour with Sara Evans. Haha. We found a beautiful brook and a patch of snow and jumped out of the car to shoot a couple takes.
How was the recording and writing process?
It took some time to find the balance, production-wise, between the rock elements — big electric guitars, live bass and drums — and the pop elements — stacked vocals, decorative synths. Often, I and my team explore many musical ideas for a song before we land on a final direction. For me, that process is endlessly enjoyable. I learn so much from chasing down different musical ideas. But it does take time to get it right! “Jessie’s Girl”, “Learning to Fly” and “Breathless” were key references for producing this song with Ric Wake.
Though you lean towards Country, you are no stranger to other genres – did you take this song as an opportunity to explore these other influences?
I do love many different styles of music — country, pop, rock, singer-songwriter — and all of those influences show up in my writing and production. I’ve always wanted to reimagine one of my songs in a dance remix, because I love the energy and creativity of dance music. And the more stripped-down, acoustic style is very natural to me, as I started out my career playing solo acoustic shows in clubs for years.
What role does Nashville play in your music?
I first visited Nashville when I was 17. I went to a show at the Bluebird Cafe and I was absolutely mesmerized by the stories and craftsmanship of the Nashville songwriters. I did a deep dive into country music, starting at the beginning with Hank Williams and The Carter Family. I listened heavily to classic country and learned a lot from Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Eddy Arnold, Chet Atkins, etc. So country music wove its way into the fabric of my creativity and my heart.
What was it like to work with Zac Brown and how did that relationship develop?
Zac was the first headliner to take me under his wing and give me an opening slot on a huge tour. I will be forever grateful to him for that platform and opportunity. He has been a mentor, supporter and friend ever since. Zac is a very deep artist. He is strong-willed and open-minded, which is an amazing and unique combination. I feel very blessed to know and work with him. I learn so much every time I get in the room with him.
How much did he get to influence the original song?
Pretty significantly, because changing the song from third-person to first-person perspective gave it more sass and more truth. He also came up with a really important pre-solo instrumental section that breaks up the song and makes for an exciting musical moment.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you are collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
Inevitably, adding other creatives into the mix alters the dynamic and the process. Each collaborator has dreams and ideas and strengths that he/she is bringing to the table. It’s different every time, but we are always chasing the same feeling of inspiration.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Absolutely! I’ve been working on new music since the beginning of the year. I’ll be releasing new songs in a steady stream throughout the summer. By year end, I’ll have a formal second album ready for the world!
What else is happening next in Caroline Jones’ world?
I’ve been using this time in quarantine to write a lot and delve into musical styles that challenge me and inspire me as a musician. It’s been a very creatively fulfilling time.