Eric Church did something Thursday he rarely does. He took off his sunglasses and took to the stage at the Omni hotel in Nashville for an intimate conversation with legendary radio host Lon Helton at the 2020 Country Radio Seminar. The session was called "Chasing Creativity" and I was right on the front row!
Church and Helton discussed the bumps in the road of Eric's rise to stardom like that time Rascal Flatts kicked Eric off of their tour for playing too long and too loud as an opener. He was replaced on the tour by two other newcomers at the time, Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean. Eric shared that Taylor later sent him an interesting thank you.
"She wanted to make sure there was no bad blood. She had just had the 'Tim McGraw' song. I joked with her and said 'You owe me your first gold album.' I think it was about four days later ... sure enough, she came to a show of mine and she had a gold album plaque. I still have it. It's in the Hall of Fame, I think. It said, 'Eric, thanks for playing too long and too loud on the Rascal Flatts tour. I sincerely appreciate it.'
He also discussed the creativity behind his various album covers, tour posters and even the creative calculation of introducing "the guy in the sunglasses and a ball cap" that fans saw on stage to the rest of the world.
He is working on a followup to his 2018 album Desperate Man and shared that instead of recording in East Nashville at Joy Joyce’s Neon Cross studio like he’s done for his previous projects, he took over a restaurant near his hometown of Boone, North Carolina that is closed in the off season. He and his team of songwriters and musicians took out the furniture and converted it to a studio.
“The goal was to write and record 28 songs in 28 days. I’d write a song in the morning, we’d cut it that night. We removed all the barriers. Chase that as hard as you can, move on. For me, it’s as far out there as I have gotten."
“It was kind of like The Shining,” he added. “Looking back at what came out of it, everyone needed to be uncomfortable. The writers had no clue what they were in for. All that is what made it great.”
He also shared a work-in-progress - an acoustic song about a girl named “Jenny"