Lainey Wilson’s FAULT Magazine Covershoot and Interview

With every new release Lainey Wilson continues to push the creative boundaries and subvert audiences expectations of what it means to be a country star in the modern era. Her music video for ‘Things A Man Oughta Know’ took an already beloved track and added an extra layer of creativity, extending and for some, reforming the narrative they had previously created for the music.

With the release of new album “Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin” continuing to make waves with fans, we caugh up with Lainey to discuss her process, her music and as always, her FAULTs.

The music video for ‘Things A Man Oughta Know’ adds a whole new layer to the song, what’s been the most surprising reaction you’ve seen since it released – any angles you weren’t expecting?

I wanted the folks who have already heard and connected to Things A Man Oughta Know to hear and feel it from a different place after seeing a visual to go along with it. So we were intentional about adding that new layer. I’m thrilled it had the impact we had hoped! Some people take the lyrics literally, but I think this song has a good amount of ambiguity to it. I’ve had all different kinds of people message me about the ways they’ve related to this song. I had a woman reach out and tell me she was about to get a divorce, played this song for her husband, and now things are on the mend. I’ve heard from guys that admit to giving up and getting it wrong. I’ve heard from single mothers. I’ve heard from girls going through break ups. I’ve heard from dad’s about how they’re teaching their daughters a few things a man oughta know. I’ve even heard from one guy telling me I was sexist haha. I told him he could take that sh*t somewhere else. 

The song now means so much to so many different people, what did it mean to you when you were writing it?

While sitting down to write Things A Man Oughta Know, we dove into my childhood and the values my parents instilled in me as a kid. They taught me what having good character is all about and encouraged me to find it within myself but also look for it in the people I surround myself with. They made sure I knew the importance of being honest, loyal, and kind. That’s the foundation of this song. Funny story…turns out I was foreshadowing an event that was about to take place in my life and had no clue. That’s the crazy and interesting thing about songwriting. Sometimes you think you know what you’re writing about and it turns out, you don’t have the slightest clue. 

Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin, is rooted in honesty and being vulnerable – do you ever fear the negativity that can come with being so open with your audience?

Telling the truth.. hearing the truth.. all of it’s hard. It has cost me some friendships and relationships in the past. But at the end of the day, I believe the truth brings a sense of freedom. Although I say what I’m thinking, I am a firm believer in thinking before I speak and sharing my thoughts with grace. Everything I say and do is true to me and I will continue being honest with myself and my audience. That’s the only way I know. 

What would you say was the hardest track emotionally to write on the album?

The hardest track to write on the album was “Keeping Bars In Business”. The line “…and me I put my dog down yesterday” was true. My dog, Puddin’, had to be put down right before this song was written. She was the dog that moved to Nashville with me in my camper. She would lick the tears off my face. She was there when I felt the inevitable loneliness that comes along with chasing a dream. If you have a pet, you know they quickly become part of your family and if you’ve lost one, you know how hard it is to let them go. Although it was a tough write, it really started the healing process for me. 

What do you want this album to say about you the musician?

I want listeners to know how empowering self-discovery can be. I want this project to let them know who I am, what I believe, and lay a good firm foundation for all the things I have to say. I hope people can listen to my stories and lyrics and feel connected, understood, and encouraged to be unapologetically themselves. I want this album to take listeners on a journey and feel like they are not on the journey alone. 

When you look back on your musical journey, what’s been the best advice you’ve ever gotten?

Jeannie Seely stopped by my Grand Ole Opry dressing room back in February and gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever been given. She said, “Lainey, just remember this.. when you step foot out there on that stage, it’s not about you. It’s about the people. These folks came here tonight to feel something. Go out there and make them feel something.” 

What’s been the worst? 

“You could have an attorney look over this if you want. But it’s a pretty standard contract if you ask me.” Haha (not funny)

What’s something a journalist has never asked you but is something you’ve always wanted to say/discuss? 

We never really talk about the energy that goes into playing a show. Even if I’m just playing acoustic, I feel like I have to put out a high level of energy so I can make sure the audience receives that energy and connects with the music. After I’m done playing, even a 20 minute set, I am drained. But it makes me feel like I’ve done my job. There is a difference in performing and connecting with the audience. I don’t play these songs for me. I play these songs for them. Just like Jeannie said.

Do you set yourself long-term and short term goals with your music or do you prefer to go with the flow? 

A little bit of both. I set big picture goals to keep me inspired and I set short term goals to keep me focused. But a lot of unexpected twists and turns get thrown my way. And when that happens, I try to go with the flow the best I can and adjust my short term goals to keep myself on the path that’ll get me to my long term goals.

What is your FAULT?

I’m always in a hurry. I do everything fast, even when I have nowhere to be. The good thing about it is I’m rarely ever late, but I’m not the best at following directions because I don’t take the time to slow down and really understand what I’m supposed to be doing. So I have to do a lot of things twice. I’m like, “Dang Lainey, if you’d just slow down and do it right the first time you wouldn’t have to do it twice” haha. Even the name of my fan club is “The Fast Lainers”!\