Country singer-songwriter Gwen Sebastian chatted with Digital Journal about her new music video for her single “Rock Stars” and being on tour with country queen Miranda Lambert.
On her new acoustic music video for “Rock Stars,” she said, “It is fun to let go and do different versions of songs that you hear full productions of. This allows people to really listen to the lyrics.”
She co-wrote “Rock Stars” with Blue Foley and the late Randall Clay. “I went out to walk my dog one day, and the chorus came to me and I brought it to the other writers. The song comes from a perspective that hasn’t been put out there very much, especially in the Americana and indie genres. We miss Randall dearly,” she said, prior to noting that the video features her friend Carl Lindquist on guitar.
Regarding her plans for the future, Sebastian said, “I am still on tour with Miranda Lambert and we start tour rehearsals next week. We will be touring until the end of Thanksgiving. I will be busy, but I am also writing songs and I am writing for other artists. Hopefully, I will record my next album in the next year or so.”
At the end of November, Sebastian will be doing her annual Christmas show in North Dakota.
Digital age of music
She acknowledged that being an artist in this digital age is a quite different experience. “Growing up, the first time I listened to something was on my parent’s vinyl records. My first cassette tape was Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and all of the things I would listen to were on cassette,” she recalled.
“These days, everything is so different: music is so accessible, which I think is amazing, especially for independent artists. The digital age is definitely helpful, but at the same time, the business part of it is hard with the royalties for songwriters. I’m sure eventually it will be figured out,” she said.
On the passage of the recent Music Modernization Act (MMA), she said, “I think that’s amazing and a huge step, but there is a lot more that we have to do in the industry itself. The laws were so outdated and the artists need to get involved with it to know what’s happening. We need to come together.”
Chase Rice offers up the mellow ballad “Lonely If You Are” and Caroline Jones heads south in “Gulf Coast Girl,” plus new releases from Gwen Sebastian and Jedd Hughes in this week’s list of must-hear songs.
Gwen Sebastian, “Rock Stars” For the past decade, Gwen Sebastian has juggled her solo career with a high-profile gig as a sidewoman for Miranda Lambert and other headliners. On “Rock Stars,” she fuels an anthemic, mid-tempo song with PG-13 come-ons and NSFW admissions, singing lines like “I confess I bought this dress just to let you tear it off” with a voice that’s often more powerful and potent than those of her employers.
There are a solid handful of songs on the radio empowering women and reminding them that they have choices and control over their lives and bodies. Some sound angry and defiant, others sound celebratory and triumphant, some are nostalgic and sweet, others are just downright fun. Now, Gwen Sebastian’s new single, “Rock Stars,” gives the choice and control a sultry spin.
While the groove is slow-rolling and the production in the intro hints at a dark seduction, the chorus opens up to cradle Gwen’s shimmering vocal, changing the tone ever-so-slightly from tantalizing to titillating while still maintaining the edgy groove established from the start.
“It’s about bringing passion back into a relationship from a female perspective that’s said in an untraditional way,” Gwen says of “Rock Stars.”
Lyrics like, “Been too long since I led you on and led you down the hall, and let you catch me, let you press me up against the wall. I confess I bought this dress just to let you tear it off,” leave little question as to what the singer’s motives are and who is in control of the forthcoming activities. The song also serves as a solid reminder that while women are letting their voices be heard loudly and clearly in the workplace, on social media, and in politics, they are also entitled to ask for exactly what they want in the bedroom.
Or in the back seat. Or on the kitchen table. You know, whatevs. And if they ask like Gwen, they’re very likely to get it. “Rock Stars” is the newest release from Gwen’s upcoming album, Once Upon a Time in the West: Act II and was co-written by Gwen, Blue Foley and Randall Clay.
Behind (or beside) every great artist, there’s often a backup singer. Those men and women add layers to a star’s live performance, yes, but they also have incredible voices themselves. After all, they’re making a living backing up superstars.
Some of the best backup singers in country and Americana have names you likely know (hi, Gwen Sebastian!). Some have fan followings all their own (just watch how the crowd reacts next time Chris Stapleton introduces his wife during a concert). All are 100-percent worthy of a spotlight all their own.
Sebastian first became connected with Miranda Lambert when Lambert’s now-ex-husband, Blake Shelton, chose Sebastian for his team on the second season of The Voice. Sebastian worked with Lambert during that season’s Battle Rounds, beginning a lasting bond. These days, Sebastian tours with Lambert; not only does she provide backup vocals, but she also co-wrote three songs on Lambert’s 2016 album The Weight of These Wings.