Love and Theft Reveal Why RCA Dropped Them

Following Love and Theft‘s Number 1 song, “Angel Eyes,” the country duo released the record “Runnin’ Out of Air.” Unfortunately, “Runnin’ Out of Air” barely charted on the Billboard Top 40 chart. The record debuted at Number 60 on the Billboard Country AirPlay charts, and it debuted at Number 50 on the Hot Country Songs chart. Love and Theft released the song almost three years ago, and they believe “Runnin’ Out of Air” was before its time. “If we put it out now, it’d have done better on the charts. It was a Maroon 5 vibe, and now you have Sam Hunt and his stuff is similar,” Stephen Barker Liles of Love and Theft said. 

The duo’s next single, “If You Ever Get Lonely” didn’t do well on the charts either. The song also debuted at Number 50 on the Hot Country Songs chart when it was released in 2013. “If You Ever Get Lonely” would eventually peak at Number 43 on the Hot Country Songs chart. After a couple of failed singles, the duo went back into the studio and recorded “Night That You’ll Never Forget.” The song faired well enough on the charts, and RCA allowed the duo to shoot a music video for “Night That You’ll Never Forget.” In the end, the song didn’t move beyond the Number 34 position on the US Country AirPlay charts. 

After three unsuccessful records on the Billboard charts, RCA dropped Love and Theft from their label in 2014. The duo said they were trying to figure out how they went from an ACM (Academy of Country Music) nominated duo that toured with Tim McGraw, to an unsigned independent act. “RCA’s goal has always been to be a number one label and they’re trying to build their empire. I think we were victims of that in a way,” Gunderson of Love and Theft said. 

Eric Gunderson also said it was challenging being on the same record label as Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, and their music didn’t get the push it deserved. Gunderson still believes “Night That You’ll Never Forget” was a good single, it just needed to be marketed the right way. “It was the most format-friendly song we’ve ever released. It touched on all the buzz words that people are wanting to hear these days, and it was written by two hit songwriters, Dallas Davidson and Ashley Gorley,” Gunderson said. He continued, “But as soon as they [RCA] met any resistance, and the song had a couple bad weeks, it was ‘sorry, we have to work the Garth and Trisha singles now.’ Shortly after that, for whatever reason, they decided to cut ties with us.” The band has since released the song “Whiskey on My Breath,” which was released on iTunes yesterday. Love and Theft will also release the album Whiskey on My Breath through Sony Red Distribution.