Old Dominion&#zero39;s Big Year: Matthew Ramsey Explains Why 2018 Helped Them &#zero39;Come Into Our Own&#zero39;

85

As 2018 winds down, Billboard is asking a number of the artists who helped outline the yr in music to look again on their accomplishments, favourite reminiscences and pop-culture obsessions from the previous 12 months. Check out different interviews with St. Vincent, Anne-Marie, Kali Uchis, Dan + Shay, Swae Lee and Lauv.

The previous few years have been a little bit of a whirlwind for Old Dominion. Since signing to RCA Nashville in 2015, the nation group has landed 5 singles atop on the Country Airplay chart, toured with Kenny Chesney (twice) and launched two albums, with their newest set, Happy Endings, hitting No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart. Yet 2018 was the primary yr they felt like their success wasn't simply short-term.

"It felt just like the yr that we form of come into our personal slightly," frontman Matthew Ramsey says. "We're now not the brand new guys and don't must show ourselves that a lot anymore. People are ready to listen to what we do subsequent ... It's actually simple at this level."

Another factor that made Ramsey and his 4 bandmates (Trevor Rosen, Whit Sellers, Geoff Sprung and Brad Tursi) really feel assured? Their current win for vocal group of the yr on the CMA Awards. "It's simply superb how a lot that form of factor adjustments individuals's notion," Ramsey provides. "You're simply on a a lot larger stage abruptly."

As 2018 involves a detailed, Ramsey seems to be again on Old Dominion's career-changing yr, from awards-show wins to touring abroad to one of the best present they performed this yr (and probably ever).

You guys instructed us on the CMAs that you simply've seen some fairly huge progress in your audiences this yr. Is there a present that was form of a "that is actually rising" second for you?

Even as current as final week, [we were in] St. Augustine, and I had this second the place I walked off the bus and [saw this] mat exterior the door that has our brand on it. Its been there for a yr, however for no matter purpose, I appeared down and was like, "Man, this brand is in all places." It's on instances and ground mats and shirts, and I'm similar to, "Wow, this has actually grown into fairly a giant group now."

Why do you assume it's nonetheless solely actually setting in?

We spent so lengthy engaged on this. Getting instructed "No" and turned down, we had constructed up this self-defense-type of perspective. Things began occurring, and we began being like, "Yeah, that's cool. It's cool for now, nevertheless it's by no means going to final." Now we are able to't actually deny this anymore. We're profitable huge awards. We have a bunch of hit songs. Our crowds are superb. 

What did that CMA win imply to you as band? 

Shane [McAnally], our producer, sat me down and was like, "You'll by no means get this once more. You're going to win this award once more, however you'll by no means get that first one once more. It's that one the place it's not a assure, however you're feeling like you have got a superb shot. You by no means get that rush once more." It put it in perspective for me -- it causes you to sit down again and take a deep breath. We don't get into it for awards, however while you win them, it's actually a particular factor.

Does it imply something particular to you personally?

People ask me on a regular basis, "What does it really feel like after they announce your title?" And it's exhausting to present a solution, as a result of the simple reply is, "It feels nice." For me, I really feel every part. I really feel the previous 15 years of grinding it out -- all of van journeys, all the hardships that we went by way of -- in addition to a number of the superb issues that we've skilled. So it's this loopy swirl of feelings for me to listen to our title introduced like that. It means so much and it's very validating. It's additionally only a loopy, emotional curler coaster.

You additionally gained the ACM Award for vocal group of the yr. Would you say that these two awards are the greatest accomplishments of your yr, or does one thing else stands out?

It's our exhibits and our capability to be a real headlining act. I'll stroll round backstage at arenas typically and neglect that it's for our present. I simply notice that that many followers are coming to see us play. Three years in the past, we had been enjoying little thousand-seat golf equipment. 

There are little youngsters that know all the phrases. There are older individuals which might be of their 60s or 70s which might be coming to the exhibits and every part in between. To me, that's a really proud factor. It's music that folks wish to share with their households. That's essential to me.

What else are you pleased with doing in 2018?

One of the awards that's not as publicized is an award that's voted on by songwriters, "Songs I Wish I'd Written." [The Nashville Songwriters Association International] takes 10 songs from the yr, and "Written In The Sand" was honored as one of many songs that different songwriters want they'd written. That was an essential award for us, as a result of we had been songwriters first.

The songwriting group is extraordinarily essential to us. When we began to develop into artists, that was a tough factor for us to let go of, as a result of we began to really feel out of the loop slightly bit. We'd labored so exhausting to make a mark on the songwriting group. We’ve obtained all of those associates that we noticed on a regular basis, after which abruptly we're out on the street and don't appear them anymore. We're like, "Don't neglect about us! We're nonetheless songwriters!"

We labored actually exhausting to ensure that was part of the narrative, and that's one thing we had been afraid of dropping. I really feel like now we've got established that -- we're not going to lose that.

What's a music by one other artist that you might not get out of your head this yr?

That Imagine Dragons music "Thunder" -- my youngsters hearken to that over and time and again. I can't get that out of my head. That one and Maroon 5's "Girls Like You" are all the time caught in my head.

That music might be enjoying in each single place you go. What's the funniest place that you simply've heard considered one of your personal songs this yr?

I pulled up subsequent to this woman at a stoplight not too way back who was simply jamming to “Said Nobody.” It wasn't a single, so she was listening to the album and had no clue that I used to be sitting proper subsequent to her. She couldn't see me, she was simply going to city. Like, the automotive was shaking she was singing so exhausting!

Well, Old Dominion followers don't fiddle. Besides that one, what was your most memorable fan interplay this yr?

When we go abroad and play in Europe, to see that we've got followers over there may be fairly loopy. Not solely that, we had followers that we acknowledge from the States come over there too and observe us by way of Europe. We have really rabid followers who actually spend money on our exhibits. It's like, "Okay, we've obtained to alter up the present slightly bit, as a result of they've seen like 20 of them now!" It's fairly loopy to look down and see that any individual you noticed in Tulsa now's in Dublin, Ireland.

What was your favourite present you performed this yr?

The Ryman Auditorium present right here in Nashville was probably the greatest exhibits that I believe we are going to ever get to do, as a result of to begin with, it was on the Ryman, and that's legendary. And then we had all of our associates come out -- Kelsea Ballerini, Sam Hunt, Michael Ray. And then Kenny stunned us and got here out onstage. That was a very particular evening. We wished to ensure that it was not only a bunch of business individuals too. We had been like, "If you need tickets, purchase your tickets."

What about your favourite metropolis that visited this yr?

I all the time love once we get to go to Seattle. It's like strolling round in my 17-year-old mind, as a result of I grew up listening to Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. I simply fantasized about Seattle a lot. For my music to carry me there, there's one thing simply actually full-circle and magical about it.

What was your most memorable Uber, Lyft or taxi trip of 2018?

I had a man present up in a Tesla once I Ubered to the airport one morning from my home. It was fairly candy. This man was very pleased with it, and it was additionally, like, 5 within the morning -- I didn't actually really feel like speaking to him that a lot, however he instructed me all about this Tesla.

If you might journey again in time 11 months to January of this yr, what recommendation would you give your self about 2018?

Sleep every time you'll be able to. Just lay down, man.

Good name. Whom did you textual content probably the most this yr?

Probably my band. We have a operating textual content thread that's simply nonstop. Never music associated. It's all the time a joke about one thing.

Which artist would you wish to invite to a vacation dinner with your loved ones?

I believe Brothers Osborne are fairly jol guys. We're good associates with them, so it'd be enjoyable to simply grasp and have drinks with them.

T.J. [Osborne] is humorous. He and I met one another most likely like 15 years in the past. We had been each working with this nation artist Phil Vassar. That's how we each met one another, and that's how we each met my tour supervisor now. We've recognized one another perpetually. To see them rise by way of the ranks with us, it's been actually enjoyable.

Going into 2019, what's a musical pattern that you simply'd prefer to see go away within the new yr?

Nothing actually bothers me, so far as that form of factor goes. I can acknowledge them fairly fast as developments. They simply make me snicker, after which they go away. For whoever that particular person is, good for you. You broke by way of. Awesome. Eat it up.