Jason Aldean won't be tackling the horrors of the Route 91 Harvest Festival massacre on his new album, revealing most of the project was completed when he hit the stage in Las Vegas.
The country star was headlining the event in October (17) when a gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing 58 people.
Aldean, who avoided injury, accepts many fans - especially those at the festival - will be looking for hidden meanings in the songs on his new release Rearview Town, but he insists he hasn't revisited the shooting incident in his lyrics.
"As far as cutting songs for this record, or feeling like I needed to go back in and put an exclamation point on the record of what happened in Las Vegas, I didn’t feel the need to do that," he tells Billboard. "Ninety-five percent of the record was completed before that ever happened.
"I think we went in and cut four more songs after the fact, but it was things we already had."
But Jason has named the victims of the massacre in the album's liner notes, adding, "I wanted to dedicate that to the people who were there - the victims. That was something I wanted to do, on a personal note."
Meanwhile, Aldean is still mulling over the possibility of returning to Las Vegas and completing the show he was forced to abandon at the Route 91 festival. Fans have started a petition online urging the star to do just that, but six months after the fact, he insists it's not just as easy as putting on a gig.
"I think you have to weigh a lot of that stuff out, and make sure that if you do go back... you handle it the right way," he tells the outlet. "If you go back and play it, you want to make sure that the people who were there, and the victims and their families, that those are the ones that are getting to come to the show. It’s a little bit of a process. It’s certainly something we're open to."
Aldean will be back in Sin City this weekend to perform at the 53rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards.