Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus on Farewell Tour: 'It Is Bittersweet for Sure' (Exclusive)

Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus is opening up about the band's decision to embark on their farewell Life is a Highway Tour. The trio, which also includes Gary LeVox and Joe Don Rooney, announced earlier this year that they would disband after the tour wrapped, which DeMarcus admits was one of the most difficult decisions he has ever made.

"It is bittersweet for sure," DeMarcus told PopCulture.com. "And I would be lying if I said it wasn't a decision that we reached without some considerable conversation and some sadness and some anxiety about it. But after 20 years, we figured it was a great time to celebrate everything we've been able to do and build together and to love back on our fans a little bit and tell them how much we love and appreciate them, and spend a year celebrating all that is and has been Rascal Flatts and the wonderful things we've been able to do, and take some time to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

"We all three have families and things that we want to do outside of the scope that Rascal Flatts is, and it just felt like the timing was right," he added. "We haven't signed any contract that says we'll never make any more music together, so everybody still loves each other."

One question that DeMarcus, and likely LeVox and Rooney as well, have continued to dodge is whether or not there was any friction among the three band members.

"The biggest question I get asked on the socials is, 'Was there a fight?'" DeMarcus noted. "Everybody still loves each other; everybody's great. It just after 20 years of doing something, it's like anything else, you just need a little bit of a break. There's no plans for anything in the foreseeable future. We're gonna spend this year doing as much as we can, go to as many places as we can and making it all about our fans. And hopefully everyone will have a chance to see us one last time because it's gonna be a big party for sure."

DeMarcus has plenty to keep him busy outside of Rascal Flatts, including his Red Street Records company, which just signed gospel legend Jason Crabb to its roster. The end of Rascal Flatts will allow him more time to work on the Christian record label, even though DeMarcus insists that Red Street Records in no way influenced his decision to bid farewell to LeVox and Rooney.

"What's really been amazing is how fortuitous the timing has been," DeMarcus acknowledged. "I started this record label and there were no conversations about Rascal Flatts retiring or doing a farewell tour. And thank God that I did, because now I have something to do and I won't have to go out and get a real job somewhere.

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Photo Credit: Getty / Rick Diamond