During his recent stop in Connecticut we sat down with Interscope / Cold River Records recording artist Dylan Schneider to talk about his latest single, writing with Jaren Johnston and new music on the way.
A few days before Christmas in 2013, Dylan Schneider’s parents gave him an early gift – a new guitar. Brett Eldredge was going to be in his hometown of Paris, Illinois, which is just 20 minutes from Dylan’s home in Terra Haute. Dylan got to meet Brett that day and had him sign the guitar. Brett told him, ‘I believe in you – play til your fingers bleed.’ That moment, seeing someone who started from the same part of the world as him achieve his dreams, gave Dylan the push and motivation to follow his own. Since then, Dylan’s been on a tear: three EPs and a couple singles under his belt, 57 million streams, over a million followers on social media, was named ‘country music’s next rising star’ by Billboard, and was the first direct country artist signed to Interscope.
How Does It Sound
Released in July 2017, Dylan’s latest single, How Does It Sound, has over 15 million streams on Spotify. The song, which was recently sent to country radio and currently sits at number 52 on the Billboard Country Airplay Chart, almost didn’t happen.
Dylan had been working on his fourth EP in a one year period when he started feeling discouraged. “I was writing songs for it, but I just wasn’t diggin’ em,” he told us. Dylan was ready to take a break, clear his head and then come back to it. But he found himself with a co-write scheduled that he couldn’t possibly turn down: Jaren Johnston (The Cadillac Three) and Corey Crowder. “This was a big write, it was a big deal, and if I [didn’t] go in I might miss out on a big opportunity,” he said. They wrote the song in about an hour and it became one of Dylan’s favorites. After pitching it around for a couple days Dylan decided he didn’t want to part with it and recorded it himself. “Working with those guys is awesome because they’re just so next level,” he said of Johnston and Crowder. “It was a really cool process and I’m glad I didn’t skip out on that one because I wouldn’t have this song right now.”
Dylan credits Johnston with giving him his first opportunity in Nashville. In 2016 Dylan signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in partnership with Johnston. His first write in Nashville was with Johnston and Chris Destefano when they wrote Wannabe, the title track to his first EP. “At the time I’d written by myself and with my friend Gabe – I didn’t have a lot of experience,” he said. “I think I said like ten words the entire write, but I was there, and I learned and I took it for what it was and I’ve only tried to get better since then.”
New Music On The Way
It’s been a year since Dylan’s last release, No Problem, his first under Interscope. “I’ve been writing a lot recently,” he said “I’ve got some songs that I don’t really dig, I’ve got a few songs that I really do and I’m excited about it.” Dylan expects to release another four-to-five song EP in early 2019. “It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s very different than a lot of the stuff we’ve done before but I think it’s going to be some of the most impactful songs that I’ve put out as far as live show, the quality of the music, the stories, the relatability that I feel like people are going to be able to understand. I think it’s going to be really good – I’m excited about it.”
Dylan’s been working with some incredible writers including Rodney Clawson, Justin Wilson, Michael Lotten and Scott Stevens. He has a new song that he wrote with Corey Crowder and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard: “We did one that’s really fun,” he said. Staying true to being nineteen, Dylan wasn’t looking for the Tyler Hubbard that brings songs home to play for his wife. He wanted the Anything Goes FGL, “that party, good time, summer jam – let’s go play some music and get crazy,” he explained. “That original stuff [FGL] put out is the reason I got into country in the first place. That’s what I want to start working towards.”
Dylan was just sixteen years old when he began travelling back and forth to Nashville regularly. That required a very supportive family, especially when you’re not old enough to drive yourself. “[They’re] more supportive than I could ask for honestly,” he said. “My dad’s been everywhere, every weekend taking me wherever I needed to go whenever. He owns his own business back home in Indiana and he put that on hold to make sure whatever I need to get done is done because he wants to see me succeed in what I’m doing.” Dylan’s mom stays with his three younger siblings – a brother and two sisters. “She is always in touch, we always talk and she’s the most supportive,” he said. “It’s great, it helps me out a lot having that backing. To have them behind me makes that a lot easier.”
Feeling Like A ‘Typical’ Teenager
Seeing Dylan perform, it’s easy to forget that he’s a teenager. His energy and stage presence seem to come naturally, reflecting someone with many years of experience in front of an audience. But at just nineteen years old, Dylan’s chosen a path very different from his peers. “Everybody I grew up with is going to college right now, experiencing new things, their lives are changing,” he explained. “They’re becoming who they’re going to be for the rest of their lives.”
Dylan added, “I feel like there are experiences that I would have had there that probably would have made me somebody different than what I am right now, whether good or bad, but there’s definitely things that you miss out on.” Simple things that most people take for granted, like just being able to spend time with your friends on the weekend. Dylan’s clear that he’d never complain about the life he’s chosen, but also acknowledges that there are times that he’d like to be able to join his friends and not always be so busy. “At the end of the day it’s all for a greater cause, so those things will hopefully weigh out in the end,” he said. “Eventually I feel like it will all get back on track.”
Over the past few years Dylan has achieved some major milestones, but there’s still plenty he’s looking forward to accomplishing. At the top of that list – his own headlining tour. “The biggest dream is obviously to sell out stadiums,” he explained. “But my goal is to get that going and go to these amphitheaters – got to the amphitheater that I went to concerts for for the past five years every single weekend, and play that stage and it be my crowd, my show.” Dylan added, “I’ll probably get the best workouts of my life when there’s that many people out there because I’m gonna be running all over the place, having the time of my life. That’s the dream.”
Check out our exclusive pics from Dylan’s performance in Stamford:
Were you at Dylan’s show at The Palace, or have you seen him perform elsewhere? Tell us what you thought of his performance in the comments section below!