When Dierks Bentley wrote ‘Here on Earth,’ for his upcoming album, ‘Riser,’ he found an unlikely fan in the song — U2 front man Bono.
The two singers became friends in 2011 when Bono performed in Nashville, and quickly realized they had plenty in common.
“I had a chance to sit next to him at a dinner he did with [Tennessee] Senator Frist and we talked a lot about country music and the country audience,” Bentley recalls to Country Weekly. “He loves country music and he’s been to the Station Inn, he’s been to the Bluebird. He was friends with Johnny Cash. He wanted to learn more about the country audience.”
Bentley, who wrote ‘Here on Earth’ after the death of his father in 2012, sent the song to Bono, who replied with lavish praise for the song, going so far as to say the lyrics remind him of a prayer.
“I was like, ‘Wow, he totally gets it,’” Bentley boasts.
The Arizona native, who hopes to collaborate with the rock icon on a future project, says their dinner encounter left him inspired to bring Bono to his own musical world.
“I feel like I really got a chance to tell him what our country fans are like and what’s important to them, what they value. He obviously has these big causes [he supports] and he’s trying to find a way to relate that to our country audience,” Bentley adds. “I’d love to find a way to introduce him and bring him more into the country audience, because the more you get to know him, you realize what a great guy he is.”
The new set of tunes, Bentley admits, is a bit of a career risk, but one he was happy to take.
“I’m really excited about the album. It kind of goes against the grain of what’s working out there right now,” he notes. “I’m just trying to make what’s inside of me come out, and if it works or not, I can’t control that.”
Bentley premiered a new documentary, ‘Dierks Bentley: Riser,’ over the weekend, which chronicled the two-year process of making the album, while spending time as a husband and father to his three children. ‘Riser’ will be released on Tuesday (Feb. 25). Pre-order the album here.