Multi-talented songwriter Matthew Ramsey talks to Maverick’s James Daykin about tricky sophomore albums, the Eagles and their upcoming tour of the UK with Thomas Rhett.
Old Dominion burst onto the scene in 2015 with their ‘ball cap and beer can’ album, ‘MEAT AND CANDY’. Four radio smash hits and critical acclaim followed, as did rave reviews for their live shows. The band released their second album, ‘HAPPY ENDINGS’ in August this year and are due to re-visit these shores in November as special guests on the Thomas Rhett tour, yet overnight success has been a long time in the making.
“Yeah, we go back a long, long way if you really want to know,” chuckles Matthew Ramsey, lead singer and co-songwriter of the band. “All the way back to middle school actually! Then most of us moved to Nashville one by one and we began writing songs together.” The original intention, however, was not band focused. “No-one moved to Nashville to be in a band,” Ramsey continues. “We moved to be songwriters and studio musicians, you know? None of us ever had the intention of being in a successful band. We wrote songs, we toured in bands for years and years and years before we got any kind of traction really.”
The original intention of the band was to highlight the song writing skills of the members but that changed as their reputations cemented. “The song writing thing helped to really fuel the band,” Ramsey explains. “Suddenly we were this band of songwriters.
A lot of the time with a band that no-one really knows you have to play cover songs to keep the crowd’s attention. So, whilst everyone else was playing Tom Petty songs we were playing cover songs that we actually wrote for other people. That worked to our benefit. We could play songs by The Band Perry, Dierks Bentley and Tyler Farr but they were actually our songs! It grew and grew from there and the next thing we knew we had to start taking it seriously!”
That serious approach birthed debut album, ‘MEAT AND CANDY’, which was hailed as a commercial and critical success. Ramsey chuckles, “You don’t expect your debut album to go gold. We were beyond surprised when it did what it did. We got to play all over the States and loved coming over to the UK for the C2C Festival. It was too short a visit though. We were exhausted and we barely even got a chance to register that we were in the UK, which is why we are looking forward to coming back in November. We were surprised that people knew our music over there and just about the time we realised how cool it was we had to leave!”
You can read up to 3 premium stories before you subscribe to Magzter GOLD
Log in, if you are already a subscriber
Get unlimited access to thousands of curated premium stories, newspapers and 5,000+ magazines
READ THE ENTIRE ISSUE