Middle of America

Album: Small Town Dreams (2014)


  • Will Hoge pays tribute to the people and places that populate the US's flyover states on this rock-based anthem. He penned the song with Jessi Alexander (Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck") and Tommy Lee James (Tim McGraw's "She's My Kind Of Rain").
  • Hoge told Rolling Stone about the writing session that produced the song: "We were just trying to write a great song and as it went on I started getting more and more attached to it," he recalled. "There's always that moment of, 'Do I want to keep this song for myself because I think it's really great, or do I want to send it to Blake Shelton and make a whole bunch of money off of it? Maybe he'll want it.' It's a strange place to be, but I'm pragmatic enough to know that sometimes that's the right play."

    "The only other time that this has happened to me, when I played something for a producer and then everybody lined up behind it, was with 'Even If It Breaks Your Heart,'" Hoge added.
  • The song acts as Hoge's own experience of life in a small middle American town. "All of those lyrics reflected all of our upbringings," he said. "There's always somebody who's too drunk, and there's always the frat guy and the jock, and there's the guy that's staying home and the girl who's being broken up with. It's everywhere … We wanted to convey the idea that [life] is a little screwed up, and we all make mistakes, but it is what it is."
  • The song came to fruition as Hoge, Alexander and James began telling stories about growing up. "You want to try to find your place among your peers. You're trying to push the envelope just enough with your parents to not get in big trouble but also your folks are trying to teach you a lesson," he explained to Radio.com. "It's just the battle you have to fight to get through those little minutes of growing up, and trying to encapsulate that in a three-minute pop song with a catchy chorus is the best that we could do."


Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Psychedelic Lyrics

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?

Gavin Rossdale of Bush

Gavin Rossdale of BushSongwriter Interviews

On the "schizoid element" of his lyrics, and a famous line from "Everything Zen."

Julian Lennon

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.

Ron and Russell Mael of Sparks

Ron and Russell Mael of SparksSongwriter Interviews

The men of Sparks on their album Hippopotamus, and how Morrissey handled it when they suggested he lighten up.

Kevin Godley

Kevin GodleySongwriter Interviews

Kevin Godley talks about directing classic videos for The Police, U2 and Duran Duran, and discusses song and videos he made with 10cc and Godley & Creme.

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)Songwriter Interviews

Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai were two of Graham's co-writers for some '80s rock classics.