By Amanda Wicks

Zac Brown promises that Zac Brown Band’s next album will be a return to the roots sound they incorporated into 2008’s The Foundation, but in the meantime he’s exploring other directions as one third of Sir Rosevelt, a side project involving Niko Moon and Ben Simonetti that brings a greater dance feel to southern pop.

Related: Meet Zac Brown’s Alter Ego Sir Rosevelt

Speaking with Billboard about Sir Rosevelt, Brown opened up his new project. “It’s fun, we get to explore all the other influences that we like and I think it’s just got a lot more international appeal,” he said. “It’s not shoved in a bucket like country music is.”

A range of EDM artists and DJs influenced Brown. He mentioned listening to Jack U, Diplo, Skrillex, Calvin Harris, DJ Snake and Avicii before he began working on the tracks that he, Moon and Simonetti would release under Sir Rosevelt.

And he has big plans for bringing Sir Rosevelt to the masses. Brown hopes to bring the project to stages at Coachella and Bonnaroo. Perhaps there’s even the possibility of sharing the bill with Zac Brown Band, which isn’t going anywhere. In fact, he plans on releasing that new album before Sir Rosevelt will release anything official like an album. For now, it will just singles.

Never one to mince words, Brown didn’t hold back when asked how he thinks people will respond to the new direction he’s exploring. “Some people are gonna hate anything, they’re gonna hate when anybody tries to go or do anything and that’s usually the people who don’t ever create anything themselves,” he said. “That’s okay, they can sit and spend their time writing review of other people’s art when they themselves don’t do anything besides probably still 40 living in the basement waiting on mom to finish dinner to go upstairs and eat.”

He added, “They’re not losing Zac Brown Band, they’re gaining Sir Rosevelt.”

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