By Aaron Wagner
Rising country artist, Clayton Anderson dropped his newest single “Struggle Bus” this past weekend.
The song title instantly jumps out to you and catches your attention, but when you dig a little deeper and listen to the lyrics and the story Clayton tells, there’s a more meaningful message than just dealing with a hangover after a fun night.
Raised On It caught up with Clayton and learned the really interesting back story about how this song came to be. For Clayton, and hopefully for fans, it’s not just another song. You get the sense of just how important this song is to him and that he hopes people have a similar takeaway.
What’s the story behind writing the song? And in particular, how did the song title “Struggle Bus” come to be? It’s such an identifiable phrase!
“This song has a pretty cool story. I drove from Myrtle Beach back to Nashville. It was a brutal drive as I was coming off a roller coaster of a relationship. I had a write that next day with my buddy, Bryce Fox, from Indiana who was in town from LA to write for the week. We had this scheduled for a while, and to be honest I just wanted to cancel because I was physically and emotionally exhausted, but since he was only in town for the week I didn’t. I remember showing up to the write walking in going, ‘Man had this been a regular write I would’ve bailed cause I’m on the struggle bus.’ Funny thing is that he had flown in from Sweden and was on the struggle bus too.”
“We looked up the title and couldn’t believe nobody in country music had written this title before. I’ve been using this word forever, mostly about being hungover, but for other reasons too. We knocked the song out in a couple hours, I thought it was pretty catchy but didn’t think too much about it. Just kinda tucked it away.”
When did you know you had something special with the song?
“I was at Indiana University promoting a show and for college shows we usually do a sorority tour, and one of the houses I’d never been to DM’d me and asked me to come by their house too. At first I thought it was a joke, but I showed up and this sweet girl Tamara opened the door and was crying. She was so excited and it honestly made my year.”
“I was starting to question if I was doing the right thing anymore and if I should just give up on this music dream. But that day changed my thinking. It literally pulled me off the struggle bus I was currently riding.”
“I’ve always tested new songs out when doing these sorority tours, its instant honest feedback, so these girls at AEPhi had made my day and I was feeling it so I thought I would give them something a little extra and sample this new song, “Struggle Bus” for them and see what they thought. They flipped! They loved it! The reaction this song got was way bigger than any other song I’ve ever put out before. I remember leaving there and texting Bryce saying, ‘Bro we got something with this song.’ It needed a little more work to be done, so I flew out to LA and finished it with Bryce and Daniel Webber, another IU guy. So really, Indiana University has a huge part to do with this song.”
Why is this song so special for you?
“This song is so much more than just about getting drunk with your friends and being hungover the next day. How many of us have been on the struggle bus? Struggles come in all shapes and sizes. Relationship struggles. Business struggles. Job struggles. Health struggles. On and on and on.”
“It’s difficult to admit that we struggle, but we all need to remember that we are not alone. 1-God will help us through it. 2-We will help each other. 3-You can help yourself. There’s nothing you can’t accomplish if you put your heart, mind, and soul behind it. Hop on the struggle bus to realize that life will not be perfect. Then, hop-off at the first stop you come to that provides the opportunity for you to get out of your comfort zone to strive for success.”
Out of all the songs to record and release, why did you choose “Struggle Bus?”
“This timing just felt right for this song. The lyrics are more relationship-focused, but obviously we have all been riding the struggle bus this spring in some sort of fashion. It ain’t been easy.”
How’s the reception been so far?
“It’s been incredible out of the gate. I’m completely independent with no label, publisher, or management team right now, so we just have to focus on what we can control and hopefully find a way to get this song out to the world. It’s so hard to break through all the noise and clutter out there today.”
What do you want your fans to feel and experience when they listen to this new jam?
“Honestly, I just want it to bring a big ol’ smile on their face. It’s an incredibly fun song. I hope it lets them know that they’re not the only one out there struggling, and that we are gonna ride this thing out together and have a blast while doing it.”