Dierks Bentley Has ‘No Idea’ Where His Next Album Will Take Him — and That’s a Good Thing
Over a year and a half after releasing The Mountain, with three chart-topping singles from the project under his belt, Bentley is looking toward his next musical chapter -- and the singer isn't shy about saying that, as of now, what lies ahead is a blank slate. "I have nothing. Nothing planned," he says matter-of-factly, explaining that on The Mountain -- and every album beforehand -- he began the record-making process by starting from scratch and methodically honing in on what it is he wanted to say.
"I think there's always been some sort of plan for every album. Earlier on, it was about the road and life," Bentley continues. "It got a little messy there, in between getting married. I didn't know what to write about for a little while -- like, 'I'm on the road -- Am I the road guy? Am I the married guy? I've got some kids coming -- I don't wanna write about, like, a sippy cup of milk, right? What am I?'
"And then I left and made that bluegrass record [2010's Up on the Ridge], which was great," he adds. Since then, each chapter in Bentley's career has taken on a new challenge or phase of life, from grappling with his dad's death on 2014's Riser to reflecting on fatherhood and a decade of marriage on 2016's Black.
Bentley isn't worried about the fact that he isn't sure where the next album will take him. After all, he points out, he didn't know where he was going at the beginning of making any of his prior albums, either.
"All those ideas came from just admitting that I don't know where I wanna go," he offers. "Because I don't know! Let's go find out. Let's go look. Let's go investigate and discover, think about it and talk about it and go into the wild."
Fortunately for Bentley, he's spent the last portion of The Mountain's album cycle in the headspace of its final single, "Living." He couldn't ask for a more perfect mantra than that song's message for staying in the moment and being open to fresh, creative ideas.
"I wrote this song as a reminder to myself ... to make the most of every day," he points out. "When I drop my kids off at school every day, I say, 'Hey, is it gonna be a great day, or a really great day? You've got two options.' And at least go into it feeling that way. It might not be that way, but at least start off with that expectation."
Bentley's taking that same positive, open-ended approach to breaching the next musical chapter. "I have no idea where to go from here," he continues, "but I'm trying to collect little ideas. And I'm not afraid to say that I totally have nothing.
"If you've got any ideas, let me know!" Bentley jokes.
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