Interview: Kip Moore on finding new grooves and ‘More Girls Like You’

He's got the bicep-bearing tank, the backwards hat, the chiseled bod, the beer/truck/dirt road material. But if you think Kip Moore looks and sounds like any other country bro, you aren't listening closely enough. 

Sure, he's a beer-raising, truck-driving southern boy, but where your typical country artist's dirt road is the route to the party, Moore's "Dirt Road" is a metaphor, a contemplation, a dare. It's the road he's taken to play live 52 weeks a year, the conduit to his fans, and most recently, a way out. 

After a decade of nonstop hustle, Moore finally gave himself permission to take a full-on break last winter. “I’ve been music, music, music for over 10 years and that's all I've focussed on to where it's kind of driven me to insanity,” he tells AXS. “So I learned that balance is good and it's OK; sometimes it's OK to step away from something you love.”

Moore examines this newfound perspective through the lens of romance on his new single “More Girls Like You." The song describes a narrator “going and rolling too far/Running and gunning a little too hard/So un-reigned, so untamed" before finding a saving grace: “God made girls like you make guys like me/Wanna reach for the brightest star, set it on a ring/Put it on your hand, grab a piece of land/And raise a few…More girls like you.” 

“I’m a lot more open to the idea of settling down and finding those kind of components in my life,” Moore explains. “I’m more open to the thought of kids. For so long I didn't even want to think about things like that because it [was] all about music, so the song is essentially about meeting that someone that is so amazing that you hope that your kids turn out like they do.”

Moore’s first two albums revealed an artist committed to his truth, whatever that may be at the time. If his debut release Up All Night was an introductory pitch to fans, with digestible party anthems like "Something 'Bout A Truck" and "Beer Money," his sophomore effort Wild Ones was a love letter to his tribe, a celebration of those that work hard, play hard ("Wild Ones)," love hard ("Magic") and sometimes leave hard ("Running For You"). Moore claims that while his third LP deviates sonically, its bottom line remains the same. 

“It's different in a lot of ways,” Moore says of the as-yet-untitled project. "I let the fans dictate how it's different, but I can tell you that it's different sonically, melodically. I'll never make the same album twice…You will never get the same product two times in a row from me. I can't do that.” 

By this point, Moore knows the formula; he's aware there's a paved, albeit trafficy, route to the top of the charts. But it's simple: he'd rather forge his own path. “I have to evolve and change,” he explains. “I’m never gonna try to write only on topics just to keep the young demographic engaged. I'm gonna let the audience mature with me as I mature. I'll never chase that trying to relate to somebody young. If it comes out that way, then it comes out that way. But I'll never chase that." 

Grab tickets to see Kip Moore at the Starland Ballroom in New Jersey on May 18 here, Baltimore's Power Plant Live! on June 23 here and Seattle's Showbox SoDo on Aug. 19 here