Contributed to Country’s Chatter by Andrew Griffin, reviewer The Norman Transcript
Norman — OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s been a year since the release of Eric Church’s second studio release, “Carolina,” and as Church describes it, it’s been a whirlwind of touring, positive press and attention in both rock and country music circles.
Church was a little late to the phone interview on the day POP talked to the 32-year-old North Carolina native. But he had a good reason.
“This was a rare day off,” said Church. “I’m doing a songwriting session. Working a little bit for the next record.”
“I don’t know what the next record will be yet,” he said. “It takes me a while to put it together. I write all my songs. I expect the record to be out at the beginning of next year.”
And if “Carolina” is any indication of coming attractions, it will definitely be worth the wait.
As this reviewer noted here in POP last year, “Carolina” is a solid, diverse and engaging country music album. He already hit the Top 10 last year with “Love Your Love the Most” and is riding high again with “Hell On the Heart.”
“I like changing up,” Church said. “The first time I heard it, it was addictive. Kind of cool. If you heard it I don’t know what you’d say. There’s pop, rock and country in it. I like that. It shows a lot of the influences I have. And it blows by in like two minutes and 40 seconds.”
And as for that aforementioned chart topper, Church sounds pleased when he replies, “It’s good to get over that hurdle.”
Asked about the title track, Church said “Carolina” is “one of my favorite songs I ever did,” which led to that being the album title.
“You don’t have to be from North Carolina to get that song,” Church said. “It’s about wherever home is. It started out as a melancholy, lonely kind of song. It’s about where I’m from and when I’m there my soul is at rest.”
Church channels his inner outlaw on the hard-hitting honky-tonker “Lotta Boot Left to Fill,” the song that calls out poseur pop-country artists and people in country music who put style over substance.
“It’s like with first record, “Sinners Like Me,” with songs like “Two Pink Lines” or “Lightning” … I like to write about stuff that’s real. I’ve always been honest about that.”
Church continues, “I think, putting (“Lotta Boot”) out there allows us to have success we’ve had. And we’ve had a lot of success, out-performing people who’ve had more success. Songs like that really help shape a career and it’s not even a number one song.”
Writing from a guy’s perspective inspired the hard-hitting “Ain’t Killed Me Yet,” Church says.
“I have a male fan base. I’m a guy and it’s an in-your-face type track,” he said. “It’s the opening song in our set.”
Asked about what folks can expect at an Eric Church show, he said: “There’s beers in the air, crowd surfing, a fight or two … it’s pretty rowdy. You’ll be covered in sweat. We attack the crowd and I shake my fist a lot.”
Noting that he is performing at the Diamond Ballroom, known primarily as a venue for rock and metal shows, Church chuckles and says, “We prefer rock rooms. We always play those. We prefer standing-room shows.”
Church concludes, noting confidently that he and his band have refused to change or alter their sound. “We kept doing what we do. We’ve had success because of that. We were the only country band to play Lollapalooza and I thought we rocked harder than the rock bands. I know we’re out there on the fringes but we like to bring people into country. Some think it’s not a cool (form of music). It is cool,” Church said.
Eric Church will perform at the Diamond Ballroom in Oklahoma City, with special guests the Joel Wilson Band, on Friday April 30. Tickets are $19. Doors open at 7 p.m. For more information call 866-977-6849 or go online to protix.com or to ericchurch.com.
Thanks to Andrew for sending this article,. Hope you will all visit Eric’s web site to find out where he’s going to be next, and keep up with everything going on with Eric.
I’ll talk to you guys soon!