When Chase Rice’s longtime friend came to him with an idea for a song about “a guy and his dog driving around together,” the Diamond-certified songwriter laughed. “That cliché was exactly the type of thing I was trying to avoid on this album,” Rice remembers. And yet, once he sat down with his acoustic guitar to craft what would become one of four solo writes on the critically acclaimed project, the result was anything but cliché. With “Bench Seat” and its corresponding music video, Rice pays tribute to that friend – and the dog that saved his life.
“My buddy was in a really dark place – to the point where he was ready to end his own life. It took a lot for him to take me back to that moment, but when he told me what stopped him it stopped me in my tracks: his dog came and laid his head on his lap, and that connection saved him,” Rice explains. “I wrote this song by myself with the point of view from the dog’s perspective – which might not be obvious right away – and what that moment might have meant for the two of them if not for that intervention.”
Building upon the emotional backstory of the song celebrated by the Tennessean as what “could be, by the end of 2023, one of the surprise candidates for Song of the Year,” the official music video directed by Kaiser Cunningham offers a seven-plus-minute short film spotlighting the mental health struggle that affects countless people. The video’s intention is to encourage viewers to feel comfortable talking about the topic and seeking the assistance they need, with its conclusion pointing to available resources via wannatalkaboutit.com and encouraging anyone in crisis to call/text 988.
“For the first time in my career, I could envision the whole video as I was writing the song,” notes Rice. “I wanted to shine a light on the topic of mental health because this is something that makes way too many people feel alone and especially when addiction becomes part of the picture, one bad moment can have horrible consequences. I personally know how hard it can be to ask for help when you need it. I hope this helps start a few more conversations and helps people know they really aren’t alone.
“When my friend was in that moment, it was impossible to see anything but the heaviness. He was able to get the help he needed, though, and now he’s living a beautiful life and starting a family. That’s what this video is really about – showing you the potential for a happy end to the story if you are able to find a way to get help through the dark times.”
“As a director, it was imperative that we found certain angles, dynamic camera movements and a very specific look that makes the viewer feel the emotion the song itself delivers,” adds Cunningham. “I hope that everyone who watches this video realizes the importance of mental health. In my own life, having friends of mine from the Marine Corps commit suicide, it was an important message that I stand behind. If you need help, please get it. There’s always someone in your corner.
“The response has been overwhelming – from the film festivals to the media feedback – however more importantly the comments on the video from fans,” Cunningham continues. “These are real people, with real stories, and I’m incredibly grateful we could make a project that has had such an impact on people’s lives and their stories.
Thus far, the “Bench Seat” video has been selected for 16 film festivals, taking home six awards while being named a semi-finalist and a finalist twice each – and counting.
The powerful song is one of 14 tracks on Rice’s latest album, I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell, which also features current single “Bad Day To Be A Cold Beer.” Recorded during an immersive two-week period at Rice’s farm outside Nashville with producer Oscar Charles and a live band using a makeshift recording setup, the album ranges from admiration of a Western way of life to emotional reckoning, showcasing a more raw, vulnerable side of the man praised by Sports Illustrated for “his wild ride to redemption” than on any of his previous studio projects.
“Bench Seat” Film Festival Honors
- Afterlife (Spain) – Award Winner
- Barcelona Indie Awards (Spain) – Selected
- Benelux International Film Festival (Netherlands) – Finalist & Nominee for Screening Event in December
- Cannes International Film Festival (France) – Semi-Finalist (currently)
- F3 Queen City Film Festival (Cincinnati, OH) – Award Winner
- Feel The Reel Festival (Glasgow, UK) – Selected
- Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival – Semi-Finalist (not in official screening)
- Golden Film Festival (Italy) – Finalist
- Lulea International Film Fest (Sweden) – Selected
- New York International Film Awards – Honorable Mention
- New York State International Film Festival – Selected
- Northeast Film Festival (New Jersey) – Selected
- Oniros Film Festival (New York) – Award Winner
- Paradise Film Festival (Budapest Hungary) – Selected
- Rome International Film Awards (Rome) – Award Winner
- Rome Prisma Film Awards (Rome) – Finalist
- Sweden Film Awards (Sweden) – Award Winner
I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell Track List
Produced by Oscar Charles, Songwriters in Parentheses
- Walk That Easy (Chase Rice, William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood, Oscar Charles)
- All Dogs Go To Hell (Chase Rice, Joshua Miller, John Byron)
- Way Down Yonder (Chase Rice, Hunter Phelps, John Byron, Blake Pendergrass, Corey Crowder)
- Key West & Colorado (Chase Rice, Brian Kelley, Corey Crowder, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron, Hunter Phelps)
- Bench Seat (Chase Rice)
- Life Part Of Livin’ (Chase Rice)
- Bad Day To Be A Cold Beer (Chase Rice, Blake Pendergrass, John Byron, Justin Thomas)
- Oklahoma feat. Read Southall Band (Chase Rice, William Reames, Barton Davies, Jonathan Sherwood, Oscar Charles, Read Southall)
- I Walk Alone (Chase Rice, Jaxson Free, Josh Hoge)
- Sorry Momma (Chase Rice, Hunter Phelps, Ben Johnson)
- If I Were Rock & Roll (Album Version) (Chase Rice)
- Goodnight Nancy feat. Boy Named Banjo (Chase Rice, Oscar Charles, Barton Davies, William Reames, Jonathan Sherwood)
- I Hate Cowboys (Chase Rice, Michael Hardy, Ross Copperman, Brad Tursi)
- For A Day (Chase Rice)
About Chase Rice
With more than 2.4 million albums sold and over 2.5 billion total streams, plus a legion of passionate fans at his high-energy concerts across the globe, Chase Rice has established himself as a powerful force in Nashville and beyond. With the critically acclaimed album I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell crafted in his rural Tennessee home-turned-studio available everywhere now, Rice’s sound continues to evolve to reflect the realities of his life; from emotional reckoning to an admiration of the Western way of life. The new music, including current single “Bad Day To Be A Cold Beer,” serves as a follow up to his three-part project, The Album, featuring his latest Platinum-certified No. 1 hit, “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen. (feat. Florida Georgia Line)” and Platinum-certified Top 10 hit “Lonely If You Are.” This is the same gravelly-voiced Chase Rice fans first fell in love with years ago – but better, freer; unbeholden and uninhibited. The new music builds upon the success of his sophomore album, Lambs & Lions, which featured the Triple Platinum, two-week chart topper “Eyes On You” – Rice’s first No. 1 as an artist and the most-streamed song of his career. Lambs & Lions followed Platinum-certified Ignite the Night, which debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums and No. 3 on the all-genre chart, producing a pair of Top 5 hits; Platinum-certified “Gonna Wanna Tonight” and Double Platinum “Ready Set Roll.” In addition to guesting on sold-out stadium shows with Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks, Rice consistently sells out venues on his own headlining tours, including the recently-wrapped Way Down Yonder Tour in support of his new music, and will join both Jelly Roll and Old Dominion for arena shows later this year.