On the latest episode of Bobby Bones’ podcast, the BobbyCast, Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts chatted about the band’s upcoming EP, his solo artist plans, and reflected about how the band got their start over 20 years ago. As previously announced, Rascal Flatts were forced to scrap their 2020 farewell tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the band will be treating fans to a seven-song EP, called How They Remember You, this month. In addition to the Rascal Flatts EP, LeVox recently announced that he is working on a solo Christian record, which will be followed by a solo country record.
“I’m so excited; more excited than I’ve been in a long time,” says LeVox of the Christian record. “I love everything that we did with Flatts and being a part of that, and who knows what will happen in the future, but I’m so excited about just having my own songs that I handpicked and helped co-produce. It’s just fresh, it’s new, it’s exciting, and singing about the Lord is going to be awesome. It’s been a dream record since I was a kid.”
Since Rascal Flatts are bidding farewell for the time being, LeVox also took some time to reflect on and recount he beginnings of the group. He told Bones that he first moved to Nashville after he had a bit of an epiphany at age 27.
“I was sitting in my mom’s kitchen and I was singing along with the radio, and it just hit me,” he says. “At that moment, I just kind of looked up and I said, ‘God, I feel like you’ve given me some type of gift to sing and I’m so sorry that I haven’t used it.’ It was just the weirdest thing, and I was like, ‘I’m going to do it.’”
From there, LeVox quit his job, sold his belongings, and moved to Music City. He met up with his second cousin, band member Jay DeMarcus, and the two soon brought Joe Don Rooney into the band. They started off playing bars in Printer’s Alley in downtown Nashville, grew a following, and got their record deal in 1999. Before they got a deal though, they had to find a name, which was a bit of an ordeal. They tried names such as Deuces Wild and ‘OklaHio,’ a combination of their home states, but they finally settled on Rascal Flatts after hearing the idea from fellow musician.
“This piano player named Jelly Roll was playing with us, and he was like, ‘Man, back in the ‘60s I used to have a band called Rascal Flatts,’” says LeVox. “We literally wrote it on a napkin and paid him 500 bucks for the name.”
Rascal Flatts’ new EP How They Remember You comes out July 31st. To hear the full conversation from LeVox and Bones, listen to episode #251 of the BobbyCast.