Country star Chris Stapleton had just finished recording his new album "Starting Over," set to be released in November, when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Asked by "CBS This Morning" co-host Anthony Mason about whether he had any doubts releasing new music amid the global health crisis, the notoriously private singer said "of course" he did.
"I think everybody has doubts about everything they're doing in every moment right now," he said.
The 42-year-old artist has been riding out the pandemic at his home, an hour outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and five children. He admitted the cloistered way of life is not always easy.
"There's good days and bad days," he said. "If anybody tells you that they haven't reached a nearmentally in these times, I think they're probably lying to you."
Stapleton said he had asked his wife for a mountain bike for his birthday in April, and now spends time riding it through the woods.
"It's helped tremendously, in a centering kinda way," he said.
Starting out as a Nashville-based songwriter before becoming a solo star, Stapleton mined his deep catalog of work for his latest album. He recorded most of it at RCA Studio A in Nashville, where he made his earlier solo albums — including "Traveller," his breakthrough debut and the best-selling country album of the last decade.
"Recording to me is, you're trying to capture magic, you know, as much as you can… the magic of a moment," he said.
Stapleton said it was his wife, Morgane, who lets him know when a song is just right.
"And she's not wrong," he said. "Me and Dave Cobb may be listed as producers on the record, but my wife is generally the producer of my life… I used to say she has excellent taste in everything but men."
Like, Stapleton wishes he could take his album on the road and play in front of crowds.
"We all hope for that Willie Nelson career where we're, you know, 85 or 86, and we can go play as much as or as little as we want to," he said. "I think if I am able to walk out on stage and hold a guitar when I'm 85, I think that's probably gonna happen."
"Starting Over" will also include the song "Watch You Burn," which Stapleton wrote in reaction to theat a country music festival in Las Vegas that killed 59 people. He opens the song with the lyrics, "Only a coward would pick up a gun, and shoot up a crowd trying to have fun."
Writing the number was "therapeutic," Stapleton said.
"It's a powerful number to me that conveys the sentiment, hey let's cut the evil s*** out… it's a plea in some ways," he said.
The artist said he was also moved by the Black Lives Matter protests in the aftermath of George Floyd's death, saying there has been a "broad awakening" in the country.
"I think everybody should be doing more," he said. "It's time for me to listen. And it's time for other folks to listen."
He admitted his own perspective on the country had been changed.
"You know, I thought we were living in a different country. And that's 100% real," Stapleton said. "I feel like the country that I thought that we were living in was a myth."
When asked if he supported the Black Lives Matter movement, Stapleton replied "Do I think Black lives matter? Absolutely...I don't know how you could think they don't."
"I think we all have a lot of work to do, you know, as individuals and as a society," the singer said. "And if you don't think that, I think you're not looking."
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