in ,

High Valley Shares the Unexpected Inspiration Behind New Hit “Never Not” (Exclusive)

Brad Rempel dished on the romantic track, their other new single, “Whatever It Takes,” and more!

Photo Credit: Crystal K. Martel

From flipping houses to writing hit songs, High Valley‘s Brad Rempel has worked on a ton of new projects this year.

After spending a significant amount of time in the recording studio, the Canadian band dropped two new tracks on Friday (November 12) titled “Never Not” and “Whatever It Takes.”

The songs — different in their style with “Never Not” being more pop-centric and “Whatever It Takes” being rich in bluegrass style — both share the same addictive quality that hooks a listener.

And while it’s easy to hear what makes these songs so good upon first listen, Celeb Secrets Country was ready to do  “Whatever It Takes”  to find out more behind these infectious new tracks!

In an exclusive interview with Celeb Secrets Country, Rempel shared that the inspiration behind the new love song “Never Not,” was anything but romantic.

“Yeah, it is beautiful and romantic, but it did not start out that way at all,” Rempel dished.  “I can tell you I got to live the dream as a hockey fan. I got to fly up for this show on Sportsnet to hang out with a bunch of NHL hockey players and watch the Stanley Cup finals. Amazing! Well, the whole time I’m hanging out, Colby, Ryan and Anson, these three NHLers I’m with, are like pitching me song ideas because the way we’re enamored with pro-athletes, pro-athletes are enamored with songwriters, you know. So they keep pitching me these horrible, horrible titles and I’m like, ‘No, I’m not writing that,’ and finally later on that night after we’re done filming Colby starts doing push ups in this steak joint of all places and then it was pretty late at night and he’s doing pushups on the floor and we’re like, ‘Colby you just get a workout in?’ and he’s like, ‘Never not bro, never not, you know what I mean, man, I’m always working out, I’m never not,’ and I said, ‘There you go; that is the title that I’m actually going to write.'”

And while a steakhouse workout may be the most shocking way to find your next song, it may shock fans to know that “Whatever It Takes” was almost not written!

Rempel explained that while on a writing spree with John Knight and Ben Stennis, the incredible track came to fruition after they had wrapped up.

“My buddy John Knight, [is an] amazing writer,” Rempel said. “He’s got this gorgeous beach house and me and my best friend, Ben Stennis, he wrote ‘Make You Mine,’ ‘She’s With Me,’ he’s been just a massive part of our career. So he invited Ben and I down. We go down to Florida and we wrote for a few days. I think we had wrote three songs and we were calling it. That was, that was it. We were good. We were happy. We went for dinner, kind of went back to the house to pack stuff up and I was just sitting on the couch, looking at the water, not being a songwriter, not being an artist, just holding a guitar because there was a guitar there and just started….just mumbling. We’re like, ‘You know what, maybe we would write one more.'”

Trust us when we say we are glad they did! As the popular band looks to the future, these two unexpected favorites are the first to release before a brand new album.

“We’ve got a full record coming out in spring and I’d say we’re about 80% done right now,” Rempel said. “We had to kind of pick what the first two would be that we’d released before the end of the year and for me, I wanted people to know that we’re always evolving. We’re always moving forward. We’re always thinking about what’s next.

Rempel shared that the upcoming collection of songs will hold what High Valley finds to be at its “best,” pulling from all different types of music styles.

“My kids listen to Post Malone and NF and Kid Laroi and so I’m hearing all those influences, but at the same time, that’s what ‘Never Not’ was for. [It] was to let people know where we’re headed. Whatever it Takes’ was to remind people, ‘Guess what? We’re not sick of Bluegrassy, stompy, clap-your-hands, jump-up-and-down, Chant-these-lyrics, we’re not sick of that at all…as a matter of fact, we still are in love with doing that.’ So that’s going to be the focus of the record. If you want to call ‘Whatever it Takes’ a bullseye, and you’re going to have that pop leaning more for on the slower drive and stuff like ‘Never Not’ and then you’re also going to have the more kind of Americana singer-songwriter call it what you want, hipster, bluegrass, you know, the more nineties country leaning stuff, all of that stuff is going to be on there too. But I think we’re at the best when we mix those two worlds together. So that’s what we wanted to show people with these first two tracks.”

Celeb Secrets Country sat down (virtually) with Brad Rempel to learn about High Valley’s success, what’s next for the band and what other exciting projects they have in the works.

Check out the full interview below! Don’t forget to let us know what you think of “Never Not” and “Whatever It Takes” by leaving a reaction at the bottom of the post or by sending us a tweet @CS_Country.

Photo Credit: Crystal K. Martel

Celeb Secrets Country: How does it feel to have new music coming out?

Brad Rempel: “It feels awesome. I mean, I think it always feels great to have new music. This is a little different than ever before though, because anytime it feels like you kind of been locked up for a little bit, now, we’re ready to rock. So I’m ready to hit the road, ready to record all of it.”

CSC: I want to touch on “Never Not” first. Talk to me about the writing process behind that song. I would assume it’s safe to say that your marriage maybe played some inspiration in the creativity behind it.

BR: Yeah, it is beautiful and romantic, but it did not start out that way at all. I can tell you I got to live the dream as a hockey fan. I got to fly up for this show on Sportsnet to hang out with a bunch of NHL hockey players and watch the Stanley Cup finals. Amazing! Well, the whole time I’m hanging out, Colby, Ryan and Anson, these three NHLers I’m with, are like pitching me song ideas because the way we’re enamored with pro-athletes, pro-athletes are enamored with songwriters, you know. So they keep pitching me these horrible, horrible titles and I’m like, ‘No, I’m not writing that,’ and finally later on that night after we’re done filming Colby starts doing push ups in this steak joint of all places and then it was pretty late at night and he’s doing pushups on the floor and we’re like, ‘Colby you just get a workout in?’ and he’s like, ‘Never not bro, never not, you know what I mean, man, I’m always working out, I’m never not,’ and I said, ‘There you go; that is the title that I’m actually going to write.’ So I get back home to Nashville and I got these co-writers Ben West and Matt Willis and Ben’s like known for writing, ‘Try’ by Pink. He’s real, you know, amazing at country, but also on the pop stuff and I’m telling them about the idea for this song and we started writing it and my wife and I have gotten into like flipping houses and all this stuff. So, I’m literally on Zoom in my wife’s SUV, outside of a construction project that I’m supervising and every once in a while I put them on mute and run in there to make sure like everything’s up to code and all of a sudden my phone dies after like verse one and chorus one. I’m like, ‘Shoot, what do I do?’ I guess my phone charger wasn’t working. So I drive to this like, you know, shared workspaces where there’s cubicles and you can pay. So, I give them 20 bucks and one guy’s probably doing his taxes and another guy’s working on graphic design and I’m whispering, ‘Hey guys, my phone died, um, what about this for the second verse?’ And I literally wrote and recorded the voice memos and the audio in this shared workspace. So it’s pretty much the weirdest way to write a song ever and I love it so much.”

CSC: I have to say at no point did I think that you were going to pull out a story like that for explaining that song, but wow! Can we anticipate a music video for it?

BR: “Yeah, definitely! We’ve got a lyric video that we’re going to bring out at first and I mean all the hockey players that inspired it, they all think they’re going to be in the music video. So I’m trying to figure out how to break it to them gently that we’re probably gonna use like, you know, supermodels instead, but you never know they could, if they put all their teeth back in, maybe we can get them in the video somehow.”

CSC: For “Whatever It Takes,” what was the creative process like behind that song?

BR: “My buddy John Knight, [is an] amazing writer. He’s got this gorgeous beach house and me and my best friend, Ben Stennis, he wrote ‘Make You Mine,’ ‘She’s With Me,’ he’s been just a massive part of our career. So he invited Ben and I down. We go down to Florida and we wrote for a few days. I think we had wrote three songs and we were calling it. That was, that was it. We were good. We were happy. We went for dinner, kind of went back to the house to pack stuff up and I was just sitting on the couch, looking at the water, not being a songwriter, not being an artist, just holding a guitar because there was a guitar there and just started….just mumbling. We’re like, ‘You know what, maybe we would write one more.’  So they kind of reassembled the makeshift kind of portable studio and I always will say this hopefully forever that I think High Valley is at its best when, when I can find those like old school bluegrassy things that I grew up on and my co-writers can find like the, anthemic almost European-soccer-stadium chant kind of vibes and we melt those two together and this might be like the world record for fastest released song ever. Cause we just wrote it a few weeks ago and now it’s already coming out. So I do love the fact that in the first verse we were able to incorporate, cause we’ve been like when the studio was shut down, we built this cottage that we call, ‘Cottage at the Ridge’ and then we started flipping houses. I wasn’t going to just sit on my butt and call my dad back home and say, ‘Hey, I’m just waiting for things to open up.’ So we were literally no pun intended doing whatever it takes just to stay sane and find work. So there’s a line in the verse that says, ‘Swing a hammer, climb a ladder, come on darlin it don’t matter. I’ll do anything for you,’ and I’ve been doing a lot of both of those things in the last year and it has been so fun. Honestly, flipping houses and writing songs, isn’t that different. One of them is a little more tangible than the other, but you’re kind of taking nothing and trying to envision it and dream it up and then present the new and improved version later on. The song’s really true and it just feels like a natural for us.”

CSC: You’re the highest selling Canadian group in country music. When you reflect on that, what do you think?

BR: “I don’t know what I think. I think that our PR team does a really good job of bragging about us. I think we have a lot to be thankful for. I know everybody says it and it’s overused maybe, but without our fans, you know, clearly we’re not the ones buying our own records. So we have them to thank for making that happen. I do honestly feel like we have our own sound and for that I owe a lot to Ricky Skaggs and, and to Diamond Rio and for the old school stuff I grew up on, Buck Owens and The Everly Brothers and people like that, and I owe it to my Mennonite parents for not having me in front of a TV growing up or not having radio and just forcing us to create our own music….when I got to town, now I owe all of that thanks to the cool, very hip, very modern people that I get to hang out with. I can take my old school stuff and take it to a place where people would actually want to hear it on the radio. So it’s very surreal, very strange that things worked out the way they have and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m just thrilled about it and probably the thing I’m the most thrilled about is that these two songs have so much real life in them and they can be the way we launched this. You know, like anybody who knows me at all knows that it doesn’t really matter how massive the schmooze fest is or how cool the people are who you know, I can rub shoulders with at the after party. I’m probably still gonna to duck out if my son has a basketball game and I’m going be getting on Facebook Live or FaceTime or something on an iPad to watch it in the hotel and that’s where the verse of like, ‘It’s a crowded room, but baby, I still feel all alone and I just had to hear your voice on the phone call and I’ll be home in the morning, but right now I just need you to know that I’m never not thinking about you.’ And that is so ridiculously true for me. So no matter what, where the career takes us, it’s pretty cool that people can support it. But we, we feel like we’re helping people, hopefully be reminded to love those around them and to connect on that kind of level. And that definitely makes it, makes it feel like we’re on the right path.”

CSC: Is it safe to say that you’re sitting on more music beyond these two?

BR: “We’ve got a full record coming out in spring and I’d say we’re about 80% done right now,” Rempel said. “We had to kind of pick what the first two would be that we’d released before the end of the year and for me, I wanted people to know that we’re always evolving. We’re always moving forward. We’re always thinking about what’s next. My kids listen to Post Malone and NF and Kid Laroi and so I’m hearing all those influences, but at the same time, that’s what ‘Never Not’ was for. [It] was to let people know where we’re headed. Whatever it Takes’ was to remind people, ‘Guess what? We’re not sick of Bluegrassy, stompy, clap-your-hands, jump-up-and-down, Chant-these-lyrics, we’re not sick of that at all…as a matter of fact, we still are in love with doing that.’ So that’s going to be the focus of the record. If you want to call ‘Whatever it Takes’ a bullseye, and you’re going to have that pop leaning more for on the slower drive and stuff like ‘Never Not’ and then you’re also going to have the more kind of Americana singer-songwriter call it what you want, hipster, bluegrass, you know, the more nineties country leaning stuff, all of that stuff is going to be on there too. But I think we’re at the best when we mix those two worlds together. So that’s what we wanted to show people with these first two tracks.”

CSC: Since we are Celeb Secrets is there any behind-the-scenes secret you can share?

BR: “The place where I’m sitting right now. The cottage that we built that was supposed to be the creative space for us, you know, because the other studios were legally shut down. As soon as we opened this place, the first thing that happened is a wedding took place right here and Luke Combs was one of the guests at the wedding and Brittany Aldean came here not too long ago to do a photo shoot here at our cottage. So yeah, you can follow ‘Cottage at the Ridge’ on Instagram and some of your favorite celebrities have already been here. Here’s the real secret. We’re launching a contest soon where a fan is going to win a chance to come and stay here. Cause I use it to write songs and stuff, but sometimes it’s open. So we’re going to block off like a weekend and somebody is going to win a chance to stay here and I’ll kind of give them a tour of the farm and let them hang out here and catch some fish, ride a four wheeler and do the whole nine yards. So you’re the first one that I told that to.”

Written by Kelly Gilmore

Kelly is a senior broadcast journalism student at the University of Central Florida! She has an unquenchable passion for all things pop culture and entertainment news. When she isn't writing articles, hosting interviews or working on entertainment news, Kelly can be found binge-watching her favorite shows.

New Music Friday: Taylor Swift, Luke Combs, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Gabby Barrett, Dolly Parton, And More

Morgan Wallen Announces “The Dangerous Tour” with HARDY and Larry Fleet