A Thousand Horses are giving country fans a taste of their upcoming sophomore album with their brand new single, “Preachin’ to the Choir.” A song that immediately transports listeners to church with a backing gospel choir and soaring guitar parts, “Preachin’ to the Choir” solidifies A Thousand Horses’ as reputable Southern rockers within the country genre. In an interview with Sounds Like Nashville, the band discuss their new single — the first song they’ve released that they didn’t write — as well as give insight as to what fans can expect from their next project.
Heather Morgan, Morgan Wallen and the Warren Brothers wrote “Preachin’ to the Choir” and A Thousand Horses recall Brett Warren sending them the song, saying, “this song sounds like you.” Upon one listen the band agreed, admitting they thought the song was “incredible.” As lead vocalist Michael Hobby recalls, they fell in love with the song immediately and asked if they could record it, never anticipating that it would be the first single off their second project.
The song kicks off with A Thousand Horses’ familiar guitar riffs as Hobby sings, “I’m either all in or all out.” It’s a line bassist Graham DeLoach says spoke to him. “That’s our band mentality, our fans and everything A Thousand Horses is all about, that 100-percent in mentality,” DeLoach explains. “That’s what grabbed us right off the bat.”
It’s a theme that the band is carrying over from their Big Machine Label Group debut Southernality — sticking to your guns and staying true to oneself.
“We’re not really chasing the fads or anything, but [staying] true to ourselves and trying to carve our own little place in country music and we’ve started to do that,” guitarist Zach Brown explains. “That song felt like us and the choir, the people who are out there who also live their lives that way.”
Hobby agrees. “You love hard, you work hard, you play hard and that’s what we’re all about and A Thousand Horses is all about,” he adds.
Since A Thousand Horses released a song with the title “Preachin’ to the Choir” we had to ask them what their most recent preaching to the choir moment was. They pause and look at each other before Brown jumps in.
“Probably just now. Walking over here Hobby was like, ‘I need some Jimmy John’s.’ And I was like, ‘Dude, you’re preachin’ to the choir,'” he admits as his bandmates all laugh.
“I’m getting hungry,” Hobby confesses as the rest of the guys debate getting some food delivered.
As they continue to discuss their next album, they explain that “Preachin’ to the Choir” is a song that is a good introduction to their new music. They’re working with Dann Huff and in the early stages of piecing songs together, citing their single as the song they’re building the project around. Hobby says the album will show a huge growth for them musically while Brown says being on the road for the past two years has helped influence the record.
“The live setting always plays a part,” Brown says. “We have a moment in the set that we’ve been doing where we play a new song acoustic and it’s a good way for us to test out and see how fans react to some of the new stuff. It’s easy to work up since it’s not a big production. That’s important. If a song falls flat when you play it live you have to ask yourself, ‘what’s not connecting here? Do we need to tweak something?'”
“Preachin’ to the Choir” is one of the songs the band has been road testing and they’ve noticed that their audiences are already singing the words back to them by the song’s end, always a good sign for a new track. In addition to testing out their material with audiences, they’ve been sharing some demos with former tour mate Jason Aldean.
“Early on in the tour, in the first few weeks, we were hanging out in his room and he’s playing us some new songs off his album,” Brown recalls. “It was cool to see him and think about how he’s been so great at picking songs and putting songs on his album that are unique and so true to him. It stuck with us and resonated with us. That’s what you have to do. You have to know who you are and stick to it.”
While the band admits there is some pressure for their follow up to Southernality, they say that they’re putting it on themselves simply because they want to make sure they show their growth as a band and give their fans a better live show.
The band are headed to Las Vegas this week for the ACM Awards where they’re nominated as ACM New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year. Hobby says their ACM nod is a huge honor and they’re excited to go to the awards show to see their friends and fans.
“We’re excited to get to Vegas, we’re excited to gamble a little bit. It’s going to be a fun weekend,” he says before thinking of additional adventures while in Sin City. “I just saw this zip line. You lay in it so you’re like Superman going through a building. I may have to do it.”
The other members of A Thousand Horses quickly veto the idea, saying they’ll be below filming Hobby as he glides through the Vegas strip alone. This time around, Hobby clearly isn’t preaching to the choir.