Zac Brown Band delivered an impassioned speech at the 2019 CMT Music Awards while accepting their trophy for group video of the year for “Someone I Used to Know.” Sharing a message to young artists, frontman Zac Brown told them to “have courage to stand up against the machine, be yourself, work hard and one day you can stand up here and tell all the haters to fuck off.”
Backstage following his acceptance speech, Brown told Billboard that Zac Brown Band deals with the critics and the haters simply by being themselves. “I think we just have been ourselves the whole time,” he said. “I have the best band in the world. We’re just artists and we love to make music and we have a fan base that loves what we do and follows us down all these different rabbit holes of what we like.”
He added, “We really love all different styles of music and to write all different kinds is really fulfilling to us. We don’t have to dance for anybody. That’s the greatest part about it, to really create what we want.”
Fans will get to witness Zac Brown Band’s versatile influences on their upcoming 2019 The Owl Tour, which kicks off on June 7. Brown says the band takes things seriously when it comes to their live show.
“We give a piece of ourselves to the crowd every single night. That’s what separated us throughout everything. Everybody here [in the band] is the real deal. There’s no smoke and mirrors behind it all,” he said. “We try to leave a mark in every town and every time we come back to your city we have a different show.”
Their upcoming tour will include several new songs off the band’s forthcoming album. The follow-up to 2017’s Welcome Home, the band say the project spans their influences. “There’s a whole spectrum of music on this record stylistically,” Brown said, adding that the album will be reminiscent to their genre-bending 2015 release Jekyll + Hyde. “People need a label oftentimes for something to get their head around it, but I like not falling into any sort of category.”
The band has already been playing new track “God Given” out live. The song blends Brown’s rapid fire lyrics, the band’s standout musicianship and a slick groove that comes to life in their live show.
“All the songs back-to-back don’t normally make sense as a collection, but individually there’s something for everybody,” he said of the new project. “We went out there on some of the stuff on this album. I’m really excited about it. We put a lot of work into it.”