Dan + Shay have been very vocal about their recent four-month separation, and how precariously close both duo members came to ending their reign as one of the most successful country music acts of the past decade.
After several months of not speaking, both Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney got together again, to decide if they were ready to make more music, or wanted to close their chapter for good.
“I headed over to his house and honestly at that point, I didn’t really know what the future of the band was going to be. And I got there, and it just was the most incredible night,” Mooney recalls to People. “That night kind of changed everything because we aired a lot of stuff out. I apologized for things in the past and he did the same. We had this come-to-Jesus moment.”
When Mooney was driving to Smyers’ house, he knew that they had two choices to make, both with lasting consequences.
“We can part as friends because our friendship is the most important thing, or we can really hash this out and work on ourselves and make this a sustainable thing and a healthier thing moving forward,” Mooney says. “And that’s what ended up happening.”
Both Mooney and Smyers are quick to point out that their time apart wasn’t the fault of one of them, but was a combination of a lot of things that had been building up over the last several years.
“I had fallen out of love with music because I was chasing the wrong thing. I was chasing social media,” Smyers says. “I needed to re-fall in love with music before I could sort out my relationship with Dan + Shay.”
“We’ve gotten to this place where we’ve gotten to do so many cool things together, but we hadn’t really gotten to take time to appreciate what we had been able to do and we were just unhappy,” adds Mooney.
It was when they realized that what they thought would make them happiest, headlining their own The (Arena) Tour, didn’t give them the feeling of satisfaction they thought it would, when things started to fall apart.
“We got to do this arena tour after COVID, and we were through a lot of stuff, and life just happened. It wasn’t any one particular thing that we were like, ‘Man, I just hate this guy now,'” Mooney says. “But we weren’t hanging out as friends like we had in the past.”
The first song that Dan + Shay wrote after deciding to continue as a duo was “Always Gonna Be,” kickstarting a new era of music for the duo.
“Now when we get together, it’s like we’ve rekindled that friendship that we had early on,” Smyers says. “What are the odds when we were both struggling so much that we found each other, that our pace and styles and talents and abilities complement each other so well and that we’ve built something so real?”
Dan + Shay just released “For The Both Of Us,” from their Bigger Houses album. out on September 15. They previously released “We Should Get Married” and their current single, “Save Me The Trouble,” Find music and tour dates at DanandShay.com.