Zac Brown Band’s highly-anticipated album The Comeback is finally available — and frontman Zac Brown hails it “the best album that I’ve ever made.”
The eight-member country band celebrated their latest album release at an exclusive iHeartRadio Album Release Party on Thursday (October 21). The exclusive event comes nearly a week after debuting The Comeback, Zac Brown Band’s latest record since The Owl in 2019. Bobby Bones hosted the party — which included a virtual audience — introducing “the definition of a superstar act.” The band opened with “Paradise Lost On Me” and transitioned into “Stubborn Pride,” both from their latest album. Zac Brown Band also launched into previously-released tracks, “Slow Burn” and “Same Boat.” Throughout the exclusive event, the band also reflected on “Love And Sunsets,” “Any Day Now,” “GA Clay” (which pays homage to their home state), “Wild Palomino” and others.
Brown delved into the meaning of The Comeback’s title while speaking with Bones at the album release party (and shared behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the album). Producer and songwriter Ben Simonetti encouraged Brown to “make the best album that [he] ever made,” Brown recalled, crediting Simonetti with inspiring him to work on the album.
“The time we were off, I spent a year writing songs and crafting them, and after being home for a little while… I found myself, my creativity, returned after being off for a few months,” Brown recalled. The first time he saw his band again was in the studio: “It was just so much fun, bringing all these songs to life, putting all the clothes on all of them, and I think this is the best album that I’ve ever made, start to finish. All the guys, everybody on the team just killed it.” Another person Brown credited for his work on The Comeback was award-winning singer-songwriter Luke Combs, who collaborated with Brown on “Out In The Middle” and “Old Love Song.” Now that it's out, the album serves as an overall comeback following the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brown has previously emphasized that the album “celebrates our collective resilience as a community,” and brings people together again through music.
Speaking about songwriting, Brown revealed to fans the two most difficult parts of the process: The “blank canvas, looking at that blank abyss,” and “getting every single line of the song where it’s serving the song poetically…Because sometimes, the first thing you think of is okay, and it works. But a lot of times it’s not, and when you collaborate, when you write with other people, you all sit down and agree. You have to have no ego about it, and when the best idea pops up, everyone knows it.
“…It’s all about positivity, it’s all about how we can encourage each other to remain creative until we find the absolute best for that specific line,” he continued, pointing out that “Goodbye In Her Eyes” took Brown 11 years to finish writing because two lines weren’t ready yet. Still, when a song is right, the emotion hits: Brown also revealed that the song that means the most to him is “The Man Who Loves You The Most.” Brown wrote the song for his daughters, and it’s a struggle to perform live because “if I think about them, if I picture one of them when I’m singing the song, it’s over.” Even the “burliest” of men will tear up thinking of their daughters during the song, Brown observed.
Bones noted that Zac Brown Band’s performance is “unparalleled” live, whether they’re playing their original material or covering songs that fans might not expect, including by Metallica and Queen. Brown said they’ve “gotta have curveballs,” so each band member picks their own song on “The Comeback Tour” to surprise the audience. The setlist changes every night, with the exception of opening with “Homegrown,” “to get the energy and the vibe right,” Brown explained.
“My favorite part about performing live is getting to connect with the fans, getting to see them eye to eye,” Brown said. He continued: “Music’s so powerful, and I feel like especially these times right now, in our country where there’s so much craziness going on, that we can be united. To me, that’s the America that I know…My favorite part is that connection that I get, that energetic connection with all those people.”