Kenny Chesney Wants You to Put Your Damn Phone Down

Here's a guilty pleasure we'll admit if you corner us when we're three sour beers in and vulnerable: We really like the new Kenny Chesney song "Noise." To let you draw your own conclusions, we'll offer you an exclusive release of the song's music video, that's also the first single off of Chesney's new album. Maybe it's the trilling vocal delivery, catchy chorus, or the stellar drum work — but primarily it's the message. The tailgate-rocking songwriter and ever-popular musical frontman who's a staple on the country touring circuit, has some sociopolitical commentary we can get behind: People are plain rude with their cell phones. "We can’t sleep, we can’t think, can't escape the noise. We can’t take the noise, so we just make noise," he sings. We spoke to Chesney about what led to his plea for us to break free of our tech overload — and what he does to go on a technology diet. Though the singer admits he doesn't have the luxury of disconnecting completely, he's working to pare back (even if he can't disappear from the internet like Radiohead). "I turn stuff off. It’s that simple: no TV, and no cell phone if I can help it," he says. "But that doesn’t do anything about TVs in restaurants, jarring music coming out of car windows, wrecking balls and construction, and the sounds of people on their cell phones. You can go home, be still there; but we all have to live in the real world. That’s where the song came from."

In other words, you shouldn't spend your precious moments at a Chesney show Instagramming away your night: "We miss so much of what’s happening because we’re so busy trying to 'capture' it to put online. You know, I’ve never seen a YouTube clip from a cell phone that feels as good as the moment is when it’s happening." He tells us an anecdote of a woman so fixated on capturing video from her choice seats that when he reached down to shake her hand, she was so distracted by shoving the camera in his face, she completely missed his extended hand. We're hoping that kind of incident isn't "drowning out all the dreams of this Tennessee boy," as the song hums. And if it is, well, it's nothing his old parking lot standbys of Corona Lite and Blue Chair Bay Rum Coconut can't salvage.

Nowadays, when he's not working out, paddleboarding, or grinding away on his bike, you can find the 48-year-old gearing up for a summer on the road (he's looking forward to dueting “You and Tequila” with Miranda Lambert, and will also be accompanied by Sam Hunt, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, and Little Big Town), for the Spread the Love Tour, which kicked off this April.