HI! Could you share the inspiration behind your title track “Trouble Is”? How does it encapsulate the theme of your new album?

A: Nash sat down to write this song with two heavy hitters, Wade Kirby and Jim Collins. These guys have a lot of number ones between them and it was a title that came up in the initial stages of the write. The Trouble Is that good things don’t last. We need to appreciate those moments when they come and embrace life fully. This is a good theme for the record. It’s a snapshot of the last couple of years for the band. It takes the listener on a journey of those moments and is a window into the stories of our lives.

What was it like working with producers Erik Dylan and Bobby Wills on this album? How did their influence shape the sound and direction of “Trouble Is”?

A: Erik and Bobby each bring something unique to the creative process. They worked together to bring out the best in our music. We are a band and want to make sure that sound comes through on our records. They captured that beautifully.

As 2020 Songwriters of the Year, could you describe your songwriting process? How do you balance individual creativity with the group’s vision, especially in songs like “Backroad (That 17 Summer)”?

A: Each time we sit down to write a song it’s different. We really enjoy writing with a wide variety of songwriters. Sometimes there’s a title someone brings, sometimes it’s a riff. Often an idea will come up in the initial conversation when you first sit down. That’s what happened with Trouble Is. When it comes to balancing creativity and the vision we believe that whatever serves the song is most important. Egos need to be checked in order to get the best song possible.

The track “Heart Was A Place” has a unique concept. Can you tell us more about the idea behind this song and how it fits into the overall narrative of the album?

A: Mat came up with the idea for “Heart Was A Place”. When we sat down with Billy Lawson and Mike Pyle we had different ideas but this one stood out. The concept was visualizing what the one you love’s heart would look like if it were a place. Everyone started throwing out images and we ran with the idea. It was one of those songs that came pretty easily once it got rolling. The song is a nice moment on the record that is dedicated to the people in our lives that we love. We are all very lucky to have some incredible women in our lives and this one is for them.

How do you feel The Prairie States’ sound and approach to music have evolved since your debut album “Lost In The Right Direction”?

A: When we made our first record we had only been a band for a very short period of time. We had just written a handful of songs at that point. Our producer Jay Sparrow had a vision for that record and we had a different sound that included a horn section. Since that record we have spent a lot of time writing and playing live. We have evolved in both areas and in our vision for the band. I think we have found what we were looking for. Trouble Is is a great reflection of that evolution.

With the streaming success of “Rebel Phase,” how has the digital landscape influenced your approach to releasing music and connecting with fans?

A: The digital landscape has changed all aspects of the music business. The old model of releasing a record every year or so and promoting it has gone extinct. Today you need to be releasing music all the time. This has led us to the place where we are always writing and preparing for the next release. There is already a stack of new songs waiting to be released after the album comes out. It’s very exciting to be sitting on a bunch of music and we can’t wait to share it with our fans.

As you join Jess Moskaluke on the Winter Wonderland Tour, what unique experiences are you bringing to your performances, and what can fans expect from your shows?

A: We really believe that our live shows are where we shine. We like to say we are “Arena Country”, big sound & a big show. You can expect a high energy roller coaster ride when you come to a Prairie States show. We are always working on our live performance. The live show is where we can connect the most and we love it!

Having formed in 2017 and achieved significant accolades since, how do the dynamics within the band contribute to your creative process and decision-making?

A: Being in a band is having a relationship with five people.As a group we need to make decisions that benefit us all. We have our moments where we disagree but ultimately we all agree on where we want to be and we let that guide us. Accolades are great but in the end we want to get our music out in the world and play for as many people as we can. We are all working to make that happen.

After the release of “Trouble Is,” what future projects are you most excited about? Are there any new directions or collaborations you’re exploring?

A: We are excited about the next batch of songs that are coming in the new year. We have been working with a bunch of new writers and some of our favorite collaborators from the past. Each time a song comes to life in the studio it’s magic. We are also fine tuning the live show for the upcoming festival season. We can’t wait to show everyone what we have been working on.

What message would you like to convey to your loyal fans and new listeners who will be discovering your music through “Trouble Is”?

A: Trouble Is is a record we are very proud of. The listener joins us on the journey of the last few years. This group of songs has taken us from an indie band working on our own to the place we are today with the great team around us. There were a whole lot of people who helped make it happen and we think we did them proud. We can’t wait for fans to let us know which songs are their favorites. We have already had people get tattoos of the single art & had some of the songs played at people’s weddings. These are the moments that make music magic and we cannot thank our fans enough for their support.