Pat Green Talks About The Business Of Music

These days, country artist Pat Green is gearing up for a new phase of his career including a solo album, a follow-up to "Songs We Wish We'd Written" with Cory Morrow and a new record label.

This is Green post-Nashville, and while he's taken some guff for his move to Music Row, he's unapologetic and also unhindered and ready to make music on his own terms.

"Songs We Wish We'd Written" is a compilation CD of covers from artists including Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. Now that the album has turned 10 years old, Green and Morrow are back for another edition. When asked why the two country artists had decided to take on the project, Green said they were knocking around some ideas as well as a few golf balls.

"Honestly, it was a drunken afternoon on a golf course," Green said and laughed. "Well, I would say more like a few beers on a golf course. We just decided it would be fun to make a record of songs that we weren't good enough to write. Our tools hadn't been sharpened yet, and so we just thought we'd just sing great songs by other guys and make a bunch of money."

Also, Green said he's working on a new solo release on one of the larger indie labels, but was unable to release any details on what label, or when he will release the album. What Green did say is that with this album, he's going to have more creative control, something he hasn't had in a while.

"I'm signing with a company that is going to allow me to butter my own muffin if you will," he said. "I don't have to make corporate music anymore, you know, I'm kind of past that point in my life. The music that I made, well that made the most headway for me were songs that no record label would touch. I had to pretty much force feed them on that stuff."

The new album follows up Green's "What I'm For," which was released in 2009 on BNA Records. Green, who has taken more than his fair share of shots from critics concerning his ties to Nashville, has no regrets.

"I experienced a great deal of success there (Nashville)," Green said. "I mean it's difficult to make music for a large company because they are spending millions to make you famous. My humble opinion is that if someone is going to spend millions of dollars to make me money, then I'm going to listen to their opinion. You know, like it or not, I'm going to listen to it."

"I think a lot of times I stood on the desk and stomped my feet," he added. "I did that at the appropriate moment, and they forced my hand a time or two, you know, but I think everybody for the most part made their best bet. I totally understand why there are numerous people who come out of record labels and feel like they got spit out. At the same time there are a lot stories like mine where we had some huge hits."

To those who would put him down for what some consider selling out and moving away from the Texas country music scene, Green justified his move as one that made perfect sense. Green said making a move to Nashville wasn't just a good move for him, but also monumental for those in the Texas country and Red Dirt scenes. Country fans from all over are mainly exposed to what he referred to as music pitched down the middle, and that country out of the mainstream has little chance at getting national airplay.

To Green, wearing a Texas country brand can mean limited exposure, something he hopes will change as more Texas country artists become more adept at navigating the waters of mainstream music.

"I'm a business guy when it comes to radio and record making and all of that," he said. "I mean I'm an artist when it comes to songwriting and being on stage, but I do get it. It's a tough market out there, man. Radio guys are trying to do one thing and one thing only, and that's selling advertising. It's not about cutting a cool radio station anymore; I mean those days stopped with WKRP in Cincinnati. You know, you can't blame them."

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