Brantley Gilbert thought Toby Keith could have the ‘worst’ collaboration

When Brantley Gilbert released his new collaboration with Hardy and Toby Keith – dubbed “The Worst Country Song Ever” – on Friday, June 18, Gilbert was quick to admit that the song started out as a joke, even for the songwriters who created it.

Co-written by Gilbert and Hardy with Hunter Phelps and Will Weatherly, the song started out as a wacky riff on an idea from Hardy, but “The Worst Country Song …” quickly got serious when Gilbert saw the reactions that she was receiving. other songwriters as well as his BMLG label manager, Scott Borchetta.

Now, even though the song has been around for a few days, Gilbert says he and his collaborators are still waiting for someone to unplug their ironic song idea.

“I think Hardy and I, and Toby, always kinda wait for someone’s phone call and say, ‘Obviously we were kidding – we’re not releasing this song,’” the singer jokes. Taste of rural nights. “That phone call hasn’t arrived yet.

For Gilbert and his colleagues, following the crazy idea has paid off in several ways. Not only was the song ultimately recorded and released, but they eventually enlisted Keith as a guest vocalist. Gilbert originally didn’t think Keith would say yes to participating – he was a dream feature from the very beginning: the singer and his co-writers even wrote a nod to Keith’s fan favorite in 2011 , “Red Solo Cup”, in the deck.

“It was definitely a thought,” Gilbert said of his hope that Keith would join him on the song. “You know, you have pipe dreams when you write every now and then … and her name has come up.”

For one thing, he and Hardy agreed that having someone like Keith on the ride would give “The Worst Country Song …” some much needed country credit.

“We felt like we needed an old-fashioned vet with the seal of approval,” says Gilbert. “I think having Toby on it makes things half okay. It doesn’t sound like country music blasphemy yet.”

Plus, Gilbert has been a fan of Keith since their first tour together in 2012. “Dude, he was just a super cool guy. He was really cool with my band and my team, which helped me a lot,” the singer remembers this experience. “What was cool about his rig, being on the road, was that he had a lot of guys from day one, and a lot of guys that had been with him for 15+ years, 20 years. . To me, you don’t have people working for you and with you that long, unless you’re extremely nice to them. “

Although Gilbert has counted Keith as a friend since those touring days, “Worst Country Song …” marks the first time the two singers have teamed up in the studio.

“I’ve known Toby for as long as I’ve had, touring with him, and we’ve never done a song together! So to be on a song with him, I think Hardy and I are both in the process. to panic about it, ”he said. adds. “… We threw out a few other names if Toby had said no – which, I thought there would be a pretty decent chance he’d say, ‘Yeah, I’m not doing that.’ But he was obviously on the ground and pulled him out of the park. “

Gilbert and the gang recently teamed up for a music video for “Worst Country Song …”, and the singer says he’s eager to add a visual component to the song’s ironic, country sacrilege. .

“Let’s just say there are Smart Cars and minivans in there, and maybe masked politicians,” he hints with a smile.

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