EXCLUSIVE: See the Lyric Video for Thomas Rhett's Summertime Anthem 'Crash & Burn' (Q&A)

by Sophie Schillaci 10:32 AM PDT, April 08, 2015
Photo: Valory Music Co.

Get ready to roll down the windows and crank up the radio for Thomas Rhett's summertime breakup anthem.

Yep, you read that right, and ETonline has an exclusive first look at the lyric video for Rhett's catchy new single "Crash and Burn."

"It's one of those songs that reminds me of a throwback kinda song," Rhett tells ETonline, "where the melodies felt great but it was about heartbreak. It is for sure one of the songs that made me want to get up and dance."

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"Do you hear that? It's where I'm at. It's the sound of the teardrops falling down," Rhett croons, set to a bouncy, beach-friendly beat. "A slammin' door and a lesson learned, I let another lover crash and burn."

"Crash and Burn" follows a string of three No. 1 hits for the country star, including last fall's "Make Me Wanna," which helped the singer-songwriter secure an Academy of Country Music Award nomination for New Artist of the Year. Rhett will face off against Sam Hunt and Cole Swindell for the award, while he'll also hit the stage to perform the hit. 

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The ACM Awards air live on CBS on Sunday, April 19, from the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. ET will have boots on the ground in the Lone Star state all weekend, so keep it locked on for more exclusive content from country's biggest stars.

ETonline caught up with Rhett to talk "Crash and Burn," his upcoming album, and why we won't see his wife Lauren in his music videos. Read on for more.

ETonline: I love that this is a driving-with-the-windows-down kinda song. Were you looking for a summertime anthem when you chose to record this one?

Rhett: The irony with the song is, when I first heard the demo I was like, "This song makes me wanna friggin' move." The more I lived with the song, you start listening to the lyrics more, you stop paying attention to the production and you start hearing how sad the song is -- how good the song felt, but how sad the lyric was, kinda made it more real for me. It's one of those songs that reminds me of a throwback kinda song, where the melodies felt great but it was about heartbreak. It is for sure one of the songs that made me want to get up and dance and the first time I heard it on the radio, it was kinda like hearing myself on the radio for the first time.

I saw one blog called this "a new sub-genre of country music" -- So-Country or Mo-Country.

I saw that. It's so funny that every time something a little bit different comes out, we immediately have to put label on it. I wish we lived in a world that was like "oh that's a great song." but I'll take it. I'll take Mo-Country or So-Country over Bro-Country any day.

Are you over the whole Bro-Country thing?

I think I'm just over people talking about it and bashing it. It was such a huge part of this genre, millions of downloads were sold. It's funny to me that people still slam it. You still go to the shows, have a great time and you know the artist. For me, it's just good music or bad music. It's funny that people have to label it.

Is "Crash and Burn" a good representation of your next album?

Yeah, for sure. This record is very diverse. You got a song like "Crash and Burn" on there and you've got really deep emotional love ballads. You've got songs that represent a different kind of sub-genre of country. It really is all over the map, which is a good representation of me because I am all over the map in my day-to-day life. It's a good representation of all the people that I loved listening to growing up and all the people I love listening to today.

Have you already started working on a music video for "Crash and Burn"?

We are in the final stages of getting the treatment together, doing the video next week. It's gonna fit the vibe of the song. The storyline is gonna be about this dude who can't ever make a relationship stick. At the same time, it's gonna have a lot of playful elements. a lot of moments that are a little bit of Breakfast Club throwbacks, "Thriller" throwback scenes that hint on music videos of the '70s, along with this narrative story of this guy following this woman. He never can figure out why his relationships can't stick. It'll show off the heartbreak and fun side of the song.

Will you play the lead role, or will an actor do it?

I'm playing the lead role. I've never done that in one of my videos before now -- hopefully it doesn't make me look like a bad actor!

You're married, so is it ever weird to be playing a romantic lead in a video without your wife?

If you go back and watch any of my videos, if there every is a girl in the video, you never see us touch or make eye contact for that matter. Usually the girl that plays my video parts is strictly there to play that role, we don't usually interact and producers have done a good job of making the videos look good even when we're not physically touching. I've asked Lauren to be in every music video I've ever done and she's like, "I do not want to do that." And whenever we shoot a video, Lauren always ends up being good friends with the girl who's in the video! It's always a pretty fun exciting experience for both of us -- how we can make a good video without making me look unmarried. I don't know if that makes any sense. Me and Lauren definitely respect our relationship. She was in the "Get Me Some of That" video for about three seconds. I think that's about all she'll do, unless she decides she wants to become an actress.

The ACMs Best New Artist category is filled with some very talented guys this year.

It definitely is. Anytime you can be nominated for an award and get to share that award with two of your good buddies, it takes a lot of the pressure off. At the end of the day, you're happy for whoever wins. You know you're gonna play shows together, and see each other regardless, so it's just fun to sit in the audience when they announce the winner. Of course we all wanna win, but at the end of the day you're happy for whoever gets it.

What can we expect from your performance at the ACMs?

The band will be there, definitely. I might be starting somewhere in the crowd and work my way towards the stage. It'll show the movement side of me. It's gonna be a fun performance.

Is there anyone you're excited to see at the ACMs? Or is it basically just all of Nashville up and moving to Dallas for a weekend?

It pretty much is Nashville moving to Dallas. I always love when people get to collaborate with artists that they're a huge fan of. I love getting to watch two different genres sing together.

Who would you want to collaborate with?

I think everybody knows my obsession with Bruno [Mars] at this point. I think he'd be my No.1. Meghan Trainor would be fun, and I've always wanted to do something with Miranda [Lambert] at an awards show. Hopefully that will happen someday.

What's next? Anything else you're working on?

I guess the next move is to see how well "Crash and Burn" does. We're in the process of finishing the record up. down to the last three or four slots, trying to figure out what we want those last four songs to sound like. It's a stressful process, but we're figuring out how well rounded we want the record to be.

Does the album have a release date?

I would assume it'll be late summer, early fall.

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