Clint Black is preparing to release his new album, Out of Sane, on June 19, his first new studio album since 2015. After making a name for himself in the '90s, Black has continued to release timeless country music, a description he hopes can be applied to his new album just as much as his debut. "I'm excited for [fans] to hear the new music, and I do believe it'll stand the test of time," he told PopCulture.com. "I've always tried to make music that's not trendy; it's just great musicians playing, hopefully, great songs, you know, at least good songs, and that you can listen to these records five or 10 years from now and they'll still sound like good records, and not part of an era, so much as just great musicians playing."
Out of Sane includes 11 new songs co-written by Black and one cover, and Black has already released "My Best Thinkin'" and "America (Still in Love With You)," the latter of which is the album's lead single. Black shared that he wrote the song with longtime friend Steve Wariner "right before the quarantine," and it's since taken on a new meaning since the coronavirus pandemic began. "There's a line that repeats in there, 'We've gone our separate ways, but we've come back around.' I think it'll always be poignant because there will always be... the politicians are always dividing us and creating their causes and trying to make their cases, and it's always been that way, even before the American Revolution, it still had all the conflict," Black reflected. "So I think it'll always be true that we do always fight a little, and sometimes a lot, but when it comes to friends, you're the best one that I've got. And hopefully, that'll always be true. You know, I often think of our country like parents or other relationships we have, and we're all flawed, and we're not always gonna get along, but if we look for the best in each other, there's usually plenty there."
"We wanted to create something for all of our friends and all of our fans. Something for every point-of-view, no matter who you are, what you think about the world, and politics and all that. This song would ring true to you and speak to you emotionally, especially as an American," the 58-year-old added, joking, "I even have some Canadian friends who had to admit they like it too." During the coronavirus quarantine, Black has been connecting with fans online, a practice he initially started back in 1992 when he first launched his website and one he was happy to return to once again.
"I had my website up, of course, we were all starting websites, but I had the Blackboard, and visitors could leave me messages and questions, and I read 'em all, I loved it," he recalled. "I'd gone from being a guy working in bars, saying 'Hi' to people in between sets, to being an event everywhere I went, and really felt disconnected. When I started that Blackboard, I felt connected again, and then 10 years later, of course, we're doing this social media stuff, and it was very familiar to me, but I had to learn how to use that. I love being able to connect and being able to hear what they're thinking, and I feel like I know them." Black was signed to RCA Records when he released his debut album and was with the label for 14 years before starting his own, Equity Music Group. He explained that becoming an independent artist has made it even more imperative that he stay connected with fans and that he pays "close attention" to what they're asking for.
"There really was a conflict, always at RCA when I was there," he said. "They wanted me to record other people's songs, and I write my own songs, I always have. So when I got off of that label, I talked to the other major companies in Nashville, and it was kinda the same thing. They have their way of doing it where they find hit songs for their artists, so I went independent, and so it's even more important to me now to connect with the fans since I'm really doing this all myself. And something like the Facebook Live and all this Instagram stuff, and being able to make a video at home myself, all of those things that keep me connected are more important now than ever."