Editor’s note: In addition to releasing his new EP, Jake Owen will headline this CMT
on Tour featuring special guests Love and Theft and Florida
Georgia Line. Titled Jake Owen: The Summer Never Ends 2012, the tour launches Oct. 10 in New York City.
by Jake Owen’s new EP, Endless Summer, the calendar has nothing at
all to do with a summer frame of mind. It’s only four songs long, yet the collection captures that laid-back feeling of drinking
with your buddies, getting out on the water and hanging out with your hottie.
Owen dropped by CMT to chat about the
tracks on Endless Summer, as well as the urban and pop influences on the project — and a few songs that sound perfect
on his boat.
CMT: The first song on the EP, “Summer Jam,” has an urban influence to it. Are you a fan of rap music
Owen: Yeah, I love all kinds of music, man. I think people that don’t appreciate all kinds of
music are not really doing themselves much of a service when it comes to music. I saw a guy on Twitter the other day that
said, “Jake, you’re not country. You did a song with Colt Ford — a rapper. I’m over listening to you.” I didn’t respond,
but I thought, “Wow, that’s a pretty ignorant statement because no matter what people listen to, it doesn’t define who you
are.” It’s just about a feeling and what feels good.
You can’t rule a whole genre of music like that.
day I go to the gym, I put on Spotify, or I’ll put on iTunes and see something that came out on the rap chart, and I’ll listen
to it. My dad used to get on me when I was a kid, saying, “I can’t believe you support this stuff.” And I was like, “It’s
not about that.” … Just because Johnny Cash sang that he shot a man in Reno doesn’t mean everybody’s going to go out and
shoot a man in Reno. It’s just the way the song makes you feel. “Folsom Prison Blues” is a sing-along song. You just want
to sing along to it. I think in today’s world, 2012, people can get any kind of music they want, put any kind of song they
want in a mix and hit play. And you go from Hank Williams Jr. to Snoop Dogg. That’s how I grew up, listening to all kinds
of music, and I think that shows in this EP.
What led you to cover Ben Harper’s “Steal My Kisses” for the EP?
have a frequent habit. I love going to T.J. Maxx because you never know what kind of deal you’re going to find. Like yesterday,
I went to the gym and I needed some headphones. And right next to the gym was T.J. Maxx. So I was in T.J. Maxx, and I was
going through the trinket aisle. And all of a sudden, through the [store’s] speakers I heard, “I always got to steal my kisses
from you.” I went into the studio the next day [and recorded it].
When you’re out on the lake, what kind of music
do you like to listen to?
I bring all kinds of stuff. Today I was listening to Deadmau5, the electronic guy because
I like to see what people are into. For me personally, there’s a band I’m obsessed with from Florida called MoFro — swampy,
Florida jam-bandy music. I love Lionel Richie, so “All Night Long” tends to come on a lot. “Dancin’ on the Ceiling.” You’ve
got to have songs that make you feel good. Billy Ocean, “Caribbean Queen.” I mean, anything like that I really enjoy. You
never know. If you come out on my boat, you can be DJ on the iPod. Whatever’s on there, you can rock ‘n’ roll with it.
think the message in the last track, “Surefire Feeling,” has a lot to do with instinct. Do you tend to trust your instincts
in your day-to-day life?
Yeah, sometimes to my demise, but if I have a feeling and I believe it in my stomach,
then I’m going to go for it. If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. But I’ll always lay my head down at night knowing
that I did something I wanted to do. And I don’t ever lay my head down at night wishing I did something.