The boys of Rascal Flatts let out a secret about their early career: they didn’t play on their earlier albums! In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, guitarist Joe Don Rooney shares his frustration over not being allowed to play guitar on their early hits. While they quickly rose to fame and sold out arenas; the boys had guest musicians on their albums playing the songs that they do live almost every night.
“When I look at it, yeah, I was pissed off. Jay (DeMarcus, the trio’s bassist) and I didn’t play a lot on those albums. At the same time, we had some amazing hit songs.”
The now-extinct Lyric Street label had guest producers and bands play on the tracks instead of the boys, who now play live at each award show performance and concert. While their first three albums sold over 9 million copies, the boys were secretly upset they weren’t able to use all their talents on their early hit songs. It was when they brought in friend Dan Huff, who discovered the trio, that DeMarcus and Rooney were given the freedom.
Looks like it worked for the boys, as DeMarcus has been in demand. He has now produced songs for Jennette McCurdy, Jo Dee Messina, James Otto (his brother-in-law), and Christian artist Michael English. He also produced the entire album for Austin Bridges.