INTERVIEW: Jake Owen Talks New Single "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)"
By Nicole Mastrogiannis
February 28, 2018
As the title of Jake Owen's recently announced tour says, "Life’s Whatcha Make It." And Jake is making life so sweet because the country singer/songwriter has finally shared some new music, a song called "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)," and it's a fresh take on an '80s rock classic.
"I Was Jack (You Were Diane)" samples John Mellencamp's famous 1982 hit "Jack & Diane" -- which Owen got Mellencamp's blessing on -- and follows Jake's 2017 compilation Greatest Hits album and 2016's American Love.
Jake told iHeartRadio that he had reached out to Mellencamp to hear "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)" and to hear his feedback about the sample. John does have a writing credit on Jake's new single, after all. He explained:
"I think anytime you take a sample of a song, or you're paying homage to a song by using its original qualities, which that's what this song's truly doing, it's just common courtesy to reach out to the original writers and composers of that song, and John Mellencamp being that guy. So, we felt it was pretty necessary to reach out to him and get his blessing on it. And, it was pretty fulfilling to know that he said, 'Yeah, I like that. You guys run with it.' So, we did. And, with his blessing, I think that makes this that much sweeter."
Jake has been working on new music with award-winning producer Joey Moi, who produced many of the country star's biggest hits including "Barefoot Blue Jean Night," "Alone With You," and more. Owen tells us of his new single:
"It's kind of being able to interpret something that when I hear the song, songs that I didn't write, I relate to them as a fan would on a song that they hear for the first time. I remember hearing this song for the first time, I was like, 'I have to sing that.' And, the great part about it is that when you record it, and it's released to the world like it is now, it's something that you better be prepared to sing for the rest of your career."
He adds, "I always make music with the hopes that people out there that support what I do will enjoy it. But, I really do make music, too, because I enjoy it. I can't tell you I've ever recorded a song that I just didn't want to sing or something because I thought it would work elsewhere. I mean, I record it with the fact that hopefully I love it and someone else will love it, and that someone will also, they see that. People believe music when they see their artist singing it. They know if that person means it or not. And, this song just takes me back every time I hear it, every time I sing it, every time I play it."
Kicking off on May 22nd in Chattanooga, TN at AT&T Field, Jake will be traveling across the country on his "Life’s Whatcha Make It Tour," stopping in major cities and their baseball stadiums with special guest Chris Janson and rising star Jordan Davis. See the full list of tour dates below.
"Life’s Whatcha Make It Tour" Dates:
5/18 - Chattanooga, TN @ AT&T Field
5/19 - Augusta, GA @ SRP Park
6/2 - Erie, PA @ UPMC Park
6/3 - Vienna, VA @ Wolf Trap – Filene Center
6/15 - Jackson, TN Ballpark at Jackson
6/16 - Little Rock, AR Dickey-Stephens Park
6/30 - Bowling Green, KY Bowling Green Park
7/6 - Naperville, IL @ Ribfest
7/7 - South Bend, IN @ Four Winds Field
8/4 - Washington, MO Washington @ Town & Country Fair
8/9 - Ft. Wayne, IN @ Parkview Field
8/18 - Berea, OH @ WGAR Country Jam
8/24 - Glen Allen, VA @ Innsbrook After Hours
8/25 - Kannapolis, NC @ Intimidators Stadium
8/30 - Birmingham, AL @ Regions Field
8/31 - Montgomery, AL @ Riverwalk Stadium
9/7 - Champaign, IL @ State Farm Center
9/14 - Sacramento, CA @ Raley Field
9/15 - Fresno, CA @ Chukchansi Park
9/21 - Colorado Springs, CO @ Security Service Field
9/22 - Ogden, UT @ Lindquist Field