"Running For You" will be featured on Moore's sophomore album, Wild Ones, out Aug. 21. We caught up with Moore by phone for a chat about the song's inspiration and why he calls Wild Ones "complete desperation from top to bottom."
Tell me the story behind "Running For You."
I actually got off the road at about 2 a.m. one night and I used to live in this really awful building where there were no TVs, no couches, nothing. All I had were some amps set up and my electric guitars, and it forced you to constantly stay in that mode of writing. I happened to get off the road and I couldn't sleep, and I picked up my guitar at 3 or 4 a.m. and I started playing the opening riff. I started thinking about how my life has constantly pulled me away from people that I care about and it's kinda made a strain on that whole kinda thing -- knowing what my life has been and what I'm after, it's just made it virtually impossible to keep something steady. I kinda just flipped that to the thought of someone else being in my shoes. The melody came to me I was with Troy Verges and Blair Daly, and I said, 'I got this thing.' We just kinda wrote a song about when you really care about somebody, you wanna see 'em shine and you wanna see 'em go grab what they're after. The people in my life have always been really encouraging and wanting to see me do great -- it was my way of spinning that and making it about the girl. I think when you really, really care about somebody, it shouldn't be a selfish thing.
Do you have somebody special in your life today?
I'll be honest, I really don't. I'm not serious with anybody, no, but even whenever I am, I try to keep that stuff private.
Tell me about that "awful" building you were living in.
It was a killer place to write songs because there was nothing in there. It was this empty, old building built in the 1800s. It wasn't a place that you wanted to go and relax [but] I was purposely sleeping there and crashing there for while. It was my old publishing house, it kept me in that constant grind of writing songs. You got chairs and amps and guitars and pianos, and that was it. It was a dark and grey kinda place. It just kinda kept me in that state. I wrote the whole first album there and a lot of this next one.
Wild Ones is out Aug. 21. What's behind the title?
'Wild Ones' is the circus life that we live. We come out at night, we come out of the shadows, our music is wild, our fans are wild. The opening drum groove is kinda this smoldering thing of, something big's about to happen. I was just trying to capture who we felt like as a band, we feel like we've been going against the grain.
What can we expect on the album as a whole?
I think you can expect a journey. I think you can expect a lot of colors and you can expect a canvas that each person is gonna be able to paint a picture from. It's not clear cut all the time, which allows you to paint your own vision. This record is complete desperation from top to bottom.
What do you mean, desperation?
You gotta hear it. I wrote it from a very desperate state. My career, there was this moment of the life that I live -- you feel like you're losing people that you care about and you have this complete elation when you step on stage. It's desperate to try to make something of yourself, and desperation for the things you care about if you're a passionate person.
That's a strong word to use. Do you get emotional when you listen back to the album now?
No, not now. It makes me feel different. I'm in a different place now than when I wrote it. When I'm performing live, though, I'm back in that place. I've already written four more bodies of work since then. I'm in a different place now mentally.
Four more bodies of work? Is there a plan to release those?
There's no way, absolutely no way, I can do a three year wait again. If I have to leak the s*** myself, I will. There's no way I'm doing this s*** again. It's almost killed my soul having to wait three and a half years. I'm gonna find a way to get these bodies of work out -- it may be in the form of six-song EPs.
You've said there were a lot of opinions thrown around while you were working on Wild Ones, and that you chose not to listen to a lot of it. What were some of the best and worst comments you received?
I'm not gonna point fingers and say who said what, a lot of people are just trying to help and I realize that, but I've always had a strong vision for what I wanna do. But when there's certain kinda trends happening, people try and encourage you to follow them. I stood firm on what I know my fans want to hear, and I know what I want to make. I also had people in my corner that said, 'Stay the course. You know yourself better than everybody, so if that's what you want, stay the course.' Ultimately, my label and my management believe in me and still gave me the freedom to make the record that I want to make.
We previously hung out with Moore at the ACMs Presents: Superstar Duets Special taping in Texas, where he got downright hilarious with Ashley Monroe and Dierks Bentley. See the shenanigans for yourself in the player below.