Lady Antebellum played their first show of 2018 this week, part of a busy summer that includes headlining Nashville's famous "Let Freedom Sing!" July 4 celebration, and co-headlining their Summer Plays On Tour with Darius Rucker.
"We're embarking on that journey right now," Scott tells Rolling Stone Country. "Over the last several weeks, we've been coming out of this break and are just now getting our heads wrapped around that. We're all so much more present than we have been in a really long time."
"We've been a band for ten years," continues Kelley. "That's longer than … you see a lot of bands last, and that's because tension happened. We feel like even when we've had that, we've always come out stronger on the other end. It's kind of exciting to see how long we can do this thing, you know? We might not always be able to play Red Rocks, but we'll play the hell out of [Nashville's] 3rd & Lindsley."
One thing that is different about their summer tour plans is the absence of their drummer, and Scott's husband, Chris Tyrrell, who is staying off the road to take care of the couple's three children, four-year-old Eisele, and five-month-old twins Emory and Betsy. In his place is Ian O'Neill, who hopped on a jet with the band for his first-ever show with them, at Red Rocks.
"I told him, 'Don't get used to this,'" Kelley quips. "'We'll hit up some Motel 6s.'"
Lady A took the first part of 2018 off, while Haywood and his wife, Kelli, spent time with their new baby, Lillie (whose big brother is three-year-old Cash), and Scott spent time with her twins and Eisele, four. It's a marked difference from when the bandmates were only responsible for themselves.
“[The biggest challenge] is balance between family and then certain opportunities that come up that sometimes you have to say no to because you’ve gotta take time to have family time and kind of reset the compass,” Kelley, the father of two-year-old Ward says (quote via Nash Country Daily). “If there’s a challenge, it’s balance, you know, and then the travel, obviously, is like — you don’t get paid to be up onstage, you get paid to travel. That’s all it is.
"I would do that for free," he continues. "I love being up onstage. We’ve been really lucky. I mean, we really have found that balance, and it’s just kind of come naturally over the years. With each year that goes by, I think we understand each other and when to push and pull each other.”
Photo Credit: Getty images/Rick Diamond