If he has it his way, 2012 will be even better for the country star.
“Ever since ‘Chief’ came out, everything changed, almost like somebody flipped a switch,” Church said in an interview with the Daily Journal. “Then all of the sudden, it’s award nominations, then Boone came along, which was a whole other element of crazy. Then the tour kicked off, ‘Springsteen’ is the biggest hit we’ve had, and it’s just been one thing after another. ...We’ve never really changed what we do, which makes it sweeter. I’m proud it took a longer journey. We built our foundation on a stronger ground.”
“Chief” is the North Carolina native’s most successful record to date, spawning hit songs like “Drink in My Hand” and “Springsteen,” and winning him a ton of critical praise. His first child, Boone, was born in late 2011. Now he’s on his “Blood, Sweat and Beers” tour.
“It’s been crazy,” Church said. “We went from clubs to arenas almost overnight. It’s nervewracking, thinking about making that jump. We’ve had 27 shows, and 22 sell-outs. People responded and bought tickets. It’s been a wild tour and a weird time.”
Churning out a hit record, traveling and being a new dad is a lot of work, so Church parties on stage.
“It’s very much in-your-face. We’re unapologetic. When people walk through those doors, I want them to leave whatever troubles them at the door. When they’re in that room they get to go crazy for a while. It’s an escape from whatever’s going on in the world,” he said. “We do the same thing when we step on that stage, we check it at the side of the stage. I just love that we’re all there to party.”
He’s passionate about what he does, and wants fans to feel just as strongly.
“I’ll never be a guy that puts on a show where people sit and clap. That’s not what we do. Everybody’s up, beers in the air. If they wanna fight, they can fight. If they wanna sing, they can sing. I don’t care, as long as they’re passionate,” he said.
Though “Chief” has been such a hit record, Church isn’t looking forward to hitting the studio any time soon.
“I hate making records,” he said, laughing. “I’m such a perfectionist about music, it consumes my day, consumes my life. I’m so focused on it, it just paralyzes me. I’m the happiest guy on earth when a record’s done.”
That said, Church is going to enjoy every minute on the stage in Tupelo – and hopes his fans enjoy the ride with him.
“It’s intense. It’s not a casual thing. It’s kind of punch-you-in-the-face music, different than what most people are used to,” Church said. “We’re there to party and there to give it to you. It’ll be fun to have everybody out there, and it should be a good show.”
WHO: Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Blackberry Smoke
WHEN: 7:30 tonight
WHERE: BancorpSouth Arena
COST: $42.50, $34.75, plus fees
INFO: bcsarena.com or (662) 841-6528
FROM KEITH TO ERIC T0 …
When Keith Urban came to Tupelo last year, he said Eric Church’s “Chief” was playing non-stop on his iPod. So what’s Eric Church listening to these days?
“I love the Black Keys’ new record, ‘El Camino.’ It’s a great record to work out to. It’s just cool stuff. It’s different. I love anything unique and different, and at the same time it’s very progressive sounding. At the same time it’s also retro.”