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Interview:
Change, and "Changed," is good for Rascal Flatts
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

The title of Rascal Flatts' eighth studio album has some significant meaning to the country trio.

Yes, it's the title of one of the songs on the album -- co-written by the group's Gary LeVox. But guitarist Joe Don Rooney says it also fit the tenor of the past couple of years for the group.

"It was poignant to what we were going through at the time," says Rooney, 36. "A year and a half ago, our record label (Lyric Street) closed down, and we had to change management companies. There was a lot of change going on.

"And we'd been through a lot of changes before that, too. You're talking 10, 11 years at the time of evolution of Rascal Flatts -- us becoming the men we are today, becoming husbands and father and having a career in this crazy music business and learning so much along the way. We've been fortunate enough to go through so many experiences, and we just threw all that into this album."

Another new development on "Changed," Rascal Flatts' seventh consecutive No. 1 country album, is that Rooney, LeVox and Jay DeMarcus took over the production reigns on a few tracks for the deluxe edition of the album with regular collaborator Dann [cq] Huff handled the bulk of the songs.

"That's something we've wanted to do for a long time," says Rooney, who co-wrote the song "Sunrise." "We just wanted to go in (to the studio) together, close the doors (record) with a few buddies and see what we can create.

"We were really proud of what we did. Our bond has grown tighter and grown better through the years, so it just seemed like time to do something like that. I don't know if it will ever happen again, and it doesn't matter. It was just really fun to get in there and grind it out together. We really enjoyed that process."

Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, the Eli Young Band and Edens Edge perform at 7 p.m. Friday, July 20 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $79.50 and $59.50 pavilion, $29.75 lawn with a $99 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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