While the three members of the Nashvillains—Troy Johnson, Scott Lindsey, and Brett Boyett—are each accomplished Music City veterans, with many song credits for major artists (Keith Urban, The Chicks, James Taylor, Lauren Alaina, among many more) and media placements (Friday Night Lights, Everybody Loves Raymond) in their individual resumes, they have come together to create a record that defies the conventions of the mainstream.
The nine songs on Tumble Down tell a complete story, with each track relating to the previous following song. As they were writing, the band seized upon a theme running through all their songs and fleshed it out into something more unified than the typical country record offers. “Our original inspiration,” says Scott Lindsey, “was to tell a story about a man that has made bad decisions that have sent his life into a downward spiral. In three simple words, the album is beautiful, dramatic, and classic, and we hope everyone loves it as much as we do.”
The group’s approach to writing the album’s material broke them out of the confines of their usual radio-oriented endeavors. “We all came from a background of writing for radio,” says Troy Johnson, “trying to write something that’s a hit that’s country pop-oriented, and with this project we were able to let go of that to a certain degree and focus more on the cinematic style of songwriting.”
As Brett Boyett declares, “We are a country band with an album that we believe is so emotionally impactful that we would stake our careers on it—and we have. We believe that we can be successful without following the contemporary formula that has been put in front of us. We believe that the audience, in general, is ready for something different and thought-provoking.”
Explaining the origin of the band’s “villainous” moniker, Brett says “I just kind of came up with it. I always loved outlaw country and dark country…[I thought] surely someone has that—it’s such a good name…I checked it out…I said to my business partner, ‘I don’t think anyone has that name.’ So we trademarked it…It kind of glued everything and all of us together.”
Looking to the future, Brett says, “We’re in this for the long-haul…this is what we want to do…We’ve all the done the individual projects…This is just a good collective, a good chemistry…It kind of just works.” And in terms of the response to the band’s different approach to country, he adds, “In my studio…a lot of songwriters and artists are walking through, well-known people, and they’re always sticking their heads into the studio and saying ‘What are you working on? That is some really different, cool stuff. I haven’t heard anything like that.’ That kind of emboldens us…”
For a rollicking conversation with all three band members, click on the interview link below.
By Dan Walsh