“Some people associate red with love, but to me red is for an earlier stage of a relationship,” Bentley says. “Black is much deeper, to me. It’s certainly the sexiest color. [And] this record has a sexiness, in a well-worn leather-jacket kind of way. It’s not glossy sexy—there’s a realness to it. The kicker is that my wife’s last name is Black.”
Dierks and his wife have been together for over a decade. They share three children. It’s not puppy love anymore.
“Everyone talks about new love all the time, but there’s so much to draw from when you’ve been in a longer relationship. It makes me stick my chest out a little bit. It’s like, ‘I know what you’ve been through, but you don’t know what it’s like over here.’ [Marriage] isn’t always commercialized as being cool, but it really is.”
Dierks says Black is a whole new sound for him, and he hopes longtime fans will appreciate it.
I listen to all types of music, but big rock records are the ones that in the walk-up make me wonder, ‘What’s this next set going to sound like?’” he asks, explaining his penchant for sonic detours. “I’ve tried to carve out a niche in country where people allow that from me.”
“I ask myself all the time, ‘Why keep doing this?’” Bentley says. “If I wasn’t exploring or finding something to write about that was personal or meant something, there’d be no reason. If I was ever making a record just to make a record, or ever just like, ‘Just put something out there that someone will buy,’ I would quit. I really would.”
Black hits stores early this year.