When Jason Aldean first moved to Nashville, he was signed as a songwriter -- not just a recording artist -- and spent five years writing every day. However, the country star isn't shy about admitting that songwriting was never his primary goal, and he doesn't mind the truth that his latest studio album, Rearview Town, doesn't feature any tracks that he wrote himself.
"If you look at my albums over the years, there has been occasions when I've written stuff that ends through to the record, but more frequently than not, I'm my very own worst critic as it pertains to my songwriting," Aldean says. "With this record, I actually really made an attempt to sit down and write some stuff, and there are several cool songs which could end through to another record or on somebody else's record, but I go with gut instinct. If there's another song that I believe is preferable to what I wrote, I'm going to cut another song."
The songs Aldean writes himself have a lot of competition to obtain onto his albums: Only at that stage in his career, the country star can often take his pick of tracks written by probably the most sought-after songwriters in town.
"When you're a fresh artist, it's harder to obtain these songs, since the publishers around obviously want the A-list guys cutting their stuff, and rightfully so," he explains. "Now within my career, it's easier to obtain those songs. We've guys that specifically write for us. For every single record, we're offered a lot of songs -- I'd say hundreds -- and narrowing it down seriously to 15 or so."
So what will eventually the songs that Aldean wrote for Rearview Town, but never ended up recording? The singer says he hopes they'll find new homes on other artists'albums.
"I held'em while we were determining what we were going to cut for my record, but once we didn't cut them, I've got no issue releasing them out there," he says. "In the event that you write something and somebody thinks enough of it to cut it, that's cool. They're cool songs. I'm just harder on myself than I would be."