Old Dominion’s hard work has paid off exponentially in 2018. The group was named ACM Vocal Group of the Year in April while bandmates Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen and Brad Tursi also received CMA Triple Play Awards for writing three No. 1 songs within the past year.
While their homes are filling up with trophies, Old Dominion have spent the majority of the year on the road headlining their Happy Endings World Tour as well as traveling with Kenny Chesney’s Trip Around the Sun Tour. In an interview with Sounds Like Nashville ahead of their performance at Peju Province Winery in Napa Valley, Calif. during Live In the Vineyard Goes Country, the “Hotel Key” singers discuss their successful year while sipping on wine from the local vineyard.
“If you’re talking about peaks and valleys, it feels like we’re in a bit of a peak right now,” lead guitarist Tursi says with a big smile. “We’ve had a lot of great success and we’ve been working at it hard and it feels good to get to that peak and go, ‘Yeah, this is great!’ where the chips are starting to fall. We’re going to ride it for as long as we can until we get to the end of the valley, which we’re in right now. A peak in the valley?!”
The band laughs at the realization that they are, in fact, in Napa Valley, and then fondly recall the ACM Awards in Las Vegas when they heard their names announced as winners in the Vocal Group of the Year category. Both bassist Geoff Sprung and drummer Whit Sellers admit they weren’t expecting their band’s name to be called.
“What was going on in my mind was exactly what I said out loud which was, ‘No!’ The word surreal is super cliché but it was the only thing that I knew wasn’t going to happen,” Sprung admits. “Of all of the thousands and millions of possibilities of what was going to happen, I knew that they weren’t going to announce our name. So, I was trying to deal with the fact that the world turned upside down.”
Bandmate Sellers says he felt the same exact way and that the win actually instilled some fear at first.
“I didn’t believe it. But it was real. I thought about all my new responsibilities and I got scared. My first thought was fear,” he confesses. “I was like, ‘Oh, shit. Everything is changing again.’ I don’t handle change very well.”
Things are changing in the best way for Old Dominion as they have a coveted performance timeslot at the upcoming CMA Fest in Nashville. The band will perform at Nissan Stadium on Friday (June 8) for the first time during the festival, following years of playing the Chevy Riverfront Stage and Hard Rock Cafe’s parking lot. Meanwhile, all five bandmates agree that this is a good change.
“The theme of this interview is change. Some changes are scary, some changes are good. Sometimes the scary changes are still good. We’ve had good changes. 2018 is the year of good changes so far,” multi-instrumentalist Rosen concedes.