Rascal Flatts has been a band for 20 years, and the country trio has seen incredible success including earning 14 No. 1 singles, selling millions of records, winning numerous awards and being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. During a recent media event, the group reflected on starting out together all those years ago, sharing some advice that they would give their younger selves. After Joe Don Rooney joked that his number-one tip would be to "hydrate," Jay DeMarcus revealed that he would have told himself to live in the moment just a little bit more.
"I think for me, the one thing that I think that I wish that we would spend a little more time doing was enjoying the ride while we were on it," he said. "We were working so hard, and at such a hurried pace, that a lot of times it was tough to really enjoy the fruits of our labor and what we were living in the middle of and just how special those times were." Rascal Flatts began seeing success almost right out the gate, but DeMarcus explained that he and his bandmates didn't quite realize just how far up their star was rising.
"In the mid-2000s, there when we were on a real hot streak and we were winning awards and seven Vocal Group of the Year awards in a row and having number ones and selling millions of records, I don't think it really dawned on any of us and what rarified air we were actually in at the time and being able to fully take that in and enjoy it and slow down enough to look around and go, 'Gosh, this is a chance of a lifetime that we may never see again,'" he said. "I wish I could go back and tell ourselves, say, 'Hey, while you're in the middle of this ride, just slow down, take a deep breath and take it all in because it really is pretty special.'"
When the band first started, Rascal Flatts brought a new sound to country music, locking in on a pop-country sound with a few rock elements that would go on to define the group. "We had a distinct vision for how we wanted the sound of Rascal Flatts to be, and we wanted to be different," DeMarcus said. "We wanted to cut more rock and roll tracks, but with country lyrics and still mandolins and fiddles on top of that." Now, the trio has honed in on that sound so well that they often self-produce their music.
DeMarcus explained, "We've learned more together, we know what our strengths are, we try to capitalize on those strengths now in the studio and highlight those strengths and really what everybody brings individually to the table too, the strengths that we all bring together to try to make the best product we can."