Men’s Journal Reads Saving Country Music Quotes to Eric Church

February 20, 2014 - By Trigger  //  Random Notes  //  99 Comments

eric-churchLike my grandpa always said, you haven’t made it until another man has thoughtfully perused an assemblage of weapons and pondered your demise. And I know what ol’ grandpa Trigger would say if he were here today: “Who the hell is Eric Church?”

There’s been a few interesting opportunities bestowed to Saving Country Music over the years: Interviews by by The New York Times and the BBC, quotes by CNN and Fox News just to name a few, and then there was that time when I was cited in a Playboy Magazine article about Eric Church …. though it was actually in reference to Luke Bryan having a vagina. It’s a long story.

While I’ve never thought of being quoted in Men’s Journal as being a crowning achievement, the idea by writer Erik Hedegaard to read inflammatory quotes from Saving Country Music to Eric Church and then capture his reaction is a pretty clever one. Of course, Men’s Journal couldn’t have quoted the many positive things I’ve said over the years about the Sunglassed One. It would’ve been no fun to read to Eric Church how he “… deserves tremendous credit for creating an album that is this far off Music Row’s well beaten path, and goes beyond the simple back and forth between love ballads and braggadocios laundry list songs.”

So instead Men’s Journal pulled some snippets from the only “Über Rant” I’ve ever written. It’s fair game though; I wouldn’t have written it if I wasn’t willing to stand behind it, or at the least, take responsibility for it. Eric Church, or at least his marketing peeps, had crossed a line releasing a video that showed somewhat psychotic imagery in reference to Taylor Swift while the ink was still drying on numerous creepy stalking stories involving the young starlet. I don’t have any particular love for how Taylor Swift’s been at the forefront of eroding the integrity of the term “country” with her pop songs. But wrong is wrong, and it seemed like a pretty dim bulb move to release that type of imagery rife for misunderstanding about a young woman, despite whatever the intentions were behind it.

And apparently Eric Church’s peeps agreed, and pulled the video mere hours after my expletive-fueled rant demanded they do so, and then posted an explanation to head any press drama off at the pass. Now that’s an accomplishment this sweet, innocent little independent country music writer can hang his hat on.

In fact if the Eric Church teaser video that was taken down by my demand was so harmless, I encourage them to post it back up and let the people decide. Eric Church Inc. should probably thank me for pulling their bacon out of the fire before the video spurned a media frenzy, which probably should have happened anyway, and was on the very brink of happening before they pulled it. In hindsight, maybe instead of demanding they take it down, I should’ve given them more rope by saying nothing and leaving them a clear path to leave it up. But I digress.

So Erik Hedegaard of Men’s Journal reads Eric Church this quote from the Saving Country Music über rant:

Eric Church isn’t an ‘Outsider'; he’s a fucking conformist. He’s a marketeer . . . who has Svengalied a bunch of disenfranchised country fans into believing he’s offering any type of alternative to pop country, when in truth he is more of a tool of the mainstream pop-country industrial complex than anyone.

Eric Church’s reaction according Men’s Journal:

“Wow, that’s a rough one,” says Church, hearing this for the first time. He’s in a trailer parked on his property, where he’s building his dream house. Resting on a table in front of him is the Gerber knife, the pistol, and the .25-06 Remington with a sweet Leupold scope. Scratching his neck, he looks seriously irritated for a moment, like he’s about to grab one of those nearby tools of destruction and go after the messenger. Then he seems merely at a loss for words. Finally, he gets his small-town North Carolina twang working again and says, “Have we done it our own way? Yeah. How we are is popular now, but it wasn’t when we first did it, so what am I supposed to do?” He puts his hands on the table. “I mean, it’s a possibility that we’re marketing it now. But we’ve been that person the whole time.”

Grandpa would be proud …. Actually Grandpa told me no such thing. He just told me to mind my mother and slipped me $10 bills when she wasn’t looking.

We’ve known for a while that Eric Church is a reader of Saving Country Music, or at least that he’s read the site before. There was the time back in 2010 or 2011 when Church read an article on the site, misinterpreted it, and wrote the song “Country Music Jesus” (See Eric Church talk about writing “Country Music Jesus”). But he seemed genuinely shocked that even I would go that far this time. Then again, there’s a good chance he never saw that teaser video with Taylor Swift as the (seeming) target, either.

Eric Church goes on in the Men’s Journal article to paint a pretty sinister picture of himself.

I have a pretty good understanding of how I am. I’ve always been pretty laid-back and easygoing, until I’m not. When I get going, you’re never going to stop me. When it gets going, I’ll destroy everything.

Eric explains his nickname on the road is “Chief.”

It’s a real thing. I’m a different guy. I’m a different hang. Some people are intimidated by it and cut me a wide berth. I’ve noticed it.

But if I saw Church walking towards me, in Chief mode or not, I’d stop to shake his hand. After all, it’s just music, and musical opinions aside, he deserves respect just like anyone. Unless he’s doing something that could potentially result in the harm of others. Then I might stand in his way, whether that meant my detriment, or demise. And that’s just the way of things.

Thanks for the ink Men’s Journal.

99 Comments to “Men’s Journal Reads Saving Country Music Quotes to Eric Church”

  • “I’m a different hang”? What the hell does that mean?

    • Man, if there was ever a sign of a guy trying to be cool, that was it. I laughed out loud.

      • Well I do know “hang” is a very commonly used term in Nashville to describe how people act towards others on and off the stage. Nash puts huge emphasis on character and likability, probably because there is more than enough talent to choose from so you want some cool cats to be around (as musicians are “characters”, for the most part). I have seen many different ads on Nashville Gig Finder and the like where an included desired trait is “someone who is a good hang.” Just my $.02

    • My first thought was he was comparing himself to a nut sack, like he hangs a little to the left instead of straight down or something.

      Either Trigger is right and he’s trying way too hard to sound cool, or it’s one of those times where someone is thinking of something to say and it doesn’t come out of their mouth correctly. I guess it’s always possible it be a local colloquialism not many people have heard of. It sure sounded odd though.

      • I’m pretty sure that Trigger is right!

  • God I love this web site. It’s on my morning rotation. Love it.

    1. Dude, you called him a “two-faced prick”. That’s some serious hate. I respect that it is your opinion and based on your perspective, but WTF. Do you base that on personal interaction?
    2. EC did a free show at Joe’s Bar in Chicago last week (one of six free shows) that was offered to his fan club members. Yes, it probably generated tens of thousands of dollars in revenue because everyone jumped online to join the fan club at $20 each, but it was still a badass thing for EC to do, and the show was awesome. Nobody else in country music is doing stuff like this that I am aware of.

    • “Do you base that on personal interaction?”

      I based that off of the material he posted online for public consumption that is meant to convey the persona he wants to be known for. I do not know Eric personally, but if I did and it was markedly different from his public persona, then this would only speak to him being two-faced, not refute it.

      Also, this was my reaction based off of a very specific instance with the Taylor Swift video. I don’t think it is fair to portray it as my global view of Eric Church as it was somewhat in the Men’s Journal piece. Overall, I have no idea what kind of person Eric Church is. I can’t tell where the man ends, and the marketing begins.

      It’s great that Eric Church played some free concerts, and I’ve never doubted the man as a performer, and even commended him for it. And there’s no doubt he’s built tremendous loyalty with his fans, and has worked very hard to earn that. And I respect him for that.

  • Congrats! Good job. Keep up the good work!

  • Sweet! You helped sensor an artist! That’s a great accomplishment. Maybe I’m a fan of people expressing themselves, no matter what. That type of behavior led to bands being banned from some countries, like Throbbing Gristle. Yes you should have said nothing. You should have let his fans decide to stop listening to him. You should have criticized, but to call for sensorship is horrible.

    • …said nothing about taking the video down…

    • Dang it. …censorship…I hate when I type angry.

    • Censorship? Come on man, I’m a stupid blogger. Eric Church’s camp released their content, and I gave my opinion. That’s is free speech at work. They chose to take the video down. I have no authority to remove content against anyone’s will. THAT is censorship.

      And hey, like I said above, if the video is harmless, then put it back up, I’m all for it. The absolute media frenzy that would ensue could be nothing but good for business around here. Zac Brown vs. Luke Bryan, eat your heart out. It would be World War 3, with Eric Church as the loser.

      • Noun
        1. the act or practice of censoring.
        2. the office or power of a censor.
        3. the time during which a censor holds office.

        You did not censor the video, but according to your article, you certainly requested it be taken down. This is the same as advocating censorship. I know you consider yourself a “stupid blogger”, but I wouldn’t be proud of supporting the denial of someone’s right to express themselves. That includes you.
        Did I say that I didn’t support your right to free speech? I thought that I encouraged it. I’m not a stupid blogger, so maybe I don’t quite understand how to compromise my principals.
        “And apparently Eric Church’s peeps agreed, and pulled the video mere hours after my expletive-fueled rant demanded they do so”
        According to you, I can demand censorship if I’m a stupid blogger. The term “demand” scares me. To demand people follow your edicts seems authoritarian.

        • Trig helped the guy by telling him he had done something foolish.

          EC and his people must have agreed.

        • I did request the video be taken down because I thought it was in the best interests of both parties. But censorship is the removal of content against someone’s will. I can’t see in any way anything I did being construed as such.

          • Of course you didn’t censor this clown.

            If he hadn’t done something stupid and he was as bad of a dude as he claims he is, he would have let it ride.

            If you want to learn about censorship, talk to the gals of Pussy Riot (in Russia) and they can explain the difference between censorship and a private party’s demand that an artist not do something that person (and countless others) find offensive.

        • A company pulled a product because they decided it sucked. By your definition of censorship I censored Coke when they brought out new Coke and I joined the masses saying “Hey, this sucks, give me my Coke back!” Man, I had no idea I was so evil…..and powerful. “First Coke, then Eric Church, next… THE WORLD!” (insert wicked laugh here)

          • So, for about the fifth time. Neither Trigger, nor any of you censored the video. Trigger did advocate and call for it to be taken down. He promoted censorship. It’s a hard concept for people to understand apparently. If you advocate censorship, then you defend your own right of freedom of expression, then you are being hypocritical and have shown lack of principal. Again…Trigger did not censor the video, he did support and “demand” that it be taken down. I’ll gladly respond if you need a better explanation of my criticism.

  • Trig, have you ever submitted an interview request to Church? We’re always dissecting the things he’s said to general-interest publications. I’d kind of like to hear what he would say about the issues that this readership is concerned with. And I think you would ask smart questions.

    If all fails, you could always goad him into it. “Ten-minute time limit? The publicist has to be there? Is that how an outsider does interviews?”

    • I would be willing to interview Eric Church if he’d have me, but I’m not actively looking for one. I don’t do a lot of interviews, and prefer they be face to face. Who knows what the future holds.

      • Isn’t he playing that Iheart thing in Austin next month? Would love to read an interview of him that comes from your perspective. Put in a request and see what happens.

      • Watch out for his hang.

    • I for one would love to see this manifest.

      Let’s be clear here: as reflected by the universal acclaim “The Outsiders” has received among mainstream publications, I feel Eric Church’s place in the cultural psyche as a transformative figure in the country genre has been sinewed, regardless of how much a listener believes he deserves such merits or not. Unfortunately, many are lazily paying lip service to him as opposed to actively doing their jobs as music journalists, and lobbing softball questions at him.

      You are a rare breed that can actually keep a respective artist honest and deliver hardball questions while also maintaining an air of civility and respect. I already concede it will be a challenge allowing EMI Nashville to grant any access to Church ever meeting you, but it doesn’t matter. It’s Church’s call. And if Church accepts and is willing to directly confront his critics and their chief criticisms of his image and much-heralded artistry………and he responds in a thoughtful, classy and considerate manner while also willing to stand up for his output………….then if not necessarily prove the markings of a true outlaw, at least my respect for him will grow. And if he gets overly defensive and retreats to the script, then it will be on full display and he’ll be exposed more than ever before.

      • This ^^^^^

        • I am more than willing to try. But let’s be very realistic here folks. The publicity people around Eric Church will not, or do not like me or trust me, and Eric Church I’m sure is a very very busy man.

          • I understand.

            But to me, EMI Nashville is irrelevant here. This is Church’s call and his alone. If he’s the outsider he claims he is, shrugging off the insistence of EMI executives to meet (if you succeed in getting through to him) is a damn fine place to start. At the very least we already know he is willing to fight for certain single releases including “Smoke A Little Smoke” in the face of EMI pushback, as well as self-financed his own video for “Lightning”.

          • True, but a lot of it still comes down to logistics. How do I get a message to Church that I want to interview him? Will he comply? Since this concert is being done through iHeartRadio, they may have certain stipulations on press, backstage access, etc. There’s going to be a ton of stars there, so it may not be the best forum. I’m not saying I won’t try, but I think it’s important to keep expectations realistic.

          • Ahh, he’s not all that busy. Or do you really want to say very important. Well, he’s not all that important either. He’s probably sitting on his couch reading everyone’s comments right now and posting his own. That’s what I would do if i was famous. How long of an interview are we talking, 20 to 30 minutes? Am sure he can manage that. I’ve read so much about him here, an interview would be awesome, You should pursue it, Who knows he might find it refreshing to interview with someone like you

  • I’m impressed with how both Eric and Trigger handled this situation. Eric didn’t fire back. Trigger didn’t use the opening to bash him some more.

    Well done, gentlemen.

    As for “I’m a different hang,” it obviously means that, like most entertainment professions, a person has to get in character when he’s in the middle of it. Church is laid back when he’s not on tour. That’s what he’s saying. I believe him.

  • Trailer? Check
    Gun / Knife? Check
    NC / Twang Reference? Check
    We might actually be related…..

    “has thoughtfully perused an assemblage of weapons”

    (rough translation: highest bidder(s) received product placement)

    Gerber / Remington / Leupold

    As he sips on an ice cold NASHCOLA – the most outlaw of all carbonated beverages lolol

    I’m curious about the direct interview request as well, ever given it a shot? I doubt this helped your odds lol…

    • Gerbers are for poseurs. They are crap.

      • Benchmade. Enough said.

        • Until they started raising prices.

          • Haha, yeah they’re a little pricy. I found mine out on a hike at SOI Camp Geiger. Somebody must have left it on the roof and driven off. It looked like it had been run over a couple times but the push button mechanism still worked fine. Granted, I wouldn’t have paid $225 dollars for it though, lol.

      • & babies….

        • I don’t know enough about knives to know about that brand … babies was the first thing that popped into my head.

      • What? My Gerber cuts like razor to this day, and I use it a lot, more than most folks do. I normally go through 5 or 6 pocket knives in a year. This Gerber’s damn near lasted a year on its own.

        • I’ve had some good gerber knives too that took a beating / lasted quite a while…

          I remember reading / hearing that the majority are now made in China though (and are much cheaper / lesser quality…I try not to set my expectations too high with anything that’s $10…aside from this new sturgill simpson album;)

          I’m pretty sure a few of (the more expensive / better quality) models however are still made here in the good ol’ US of A…

  • Wow. I’m genuinely impressed. With both parties. This had the potential to get filthy-shitty-nasty, but it didn’t. The thought that he might not have ever seen the teaser never even crossed my mind.

    • Eric Church said in an interview that he doesn’t even know what’s going on in the videos for the album.


      I’d bet Eric had little or no part in that Taylor Swift teaser video. Did he sign off on it? Who knows. In the end he holds some responsibility because his name was on it, but I’m seeing a bunch of peons at a marketing firm scurrying around making those things.

      I also want to point out that I wasn’t the only one crying foul about that video, I was just the loudest voice. Taste of Country wrote a story about it, and Taylor Swift’s fan base was mobilizing against it. I’m telling you, if that video had been up for another 24 hours, there would have been news stories about it on every major outlet.

      • Spot on. Even if he did not know about the Taylor Swift video, his name is on it and that’s where the buck stops.

        They were quick to get rid of it. And like they say, “there’s no such thing as bad press”. It got people talking about EC even if it was negative, which I guess, helps the brand, and that’s what it is after all, a brand.

      • lolTasteofCountry. Billy Dukes is such a fucking clown. He gives positive reviews to every shitty song on the radio.

  • If I ever saw Eric Church walking toward me, I’d tell him how much I love his rendition of “If Tomorrow Never Comes” or whatever the hell it was he sang in that high school talent show video.

    • You better be careful Tom, that it is Eric Church you’re talking to and not Chief, because Chief is sooooo crazy! Chief can grow facial hair and that makes him a wicked wild super tough outlaw!

      • Laughed so hard at this comment. I love it Oliver! I cracked up too the first time I saw that EC tryout or whatever video. What a badass!!

  • I actually read the original article from Men’s Journal. I wished I didn’t. What a jackass. Who the hell brags about having fights and orgies at one’s live shows? I’ve been to some of the nastiest roughest venues and no self-respecting musician would put up with that shit during their performance. There is nothing “Outlaw” about putting your fans in dangerous situations.

    The other thing that got me pissed was when that pompous prick was talking about his alter-ego “Chief”. Seriously, who the hell has an alter-ego? Does he think he is Beyonce all of a sudden? Chief is so crazy, he can drink a bottle of whiskey in one sitting. Chief is a natural leader of men. Chief dresses up in designer jeans and muck boots and shoots guns and cuts down trees while drinking whiskey. My wife can’t stand chief. Seriously, I think I really hate this guy now.

    • That’s kind of how Eric is though.

      You like him or you don’t at first, and then the more you listen to him you sway to one extreme or the other.

      Also, this is the second time on the site I’ve seen that the artist should be responsible for stuff that happens in the crowd. I was never a believer of the artist stopping a show because some guy is fighting or doing drugs. That’s maybe less than 1% of your audience that is being disturbed and the rest are locked in to your performance. Why should everyone else be pulled out of a performance because a few guys are being assholes? You should be able to handle your own issues at a show. And even then he even said in the interview he doesn’t endorse it.

      That’s security’s job to jump in the crowd and take care of fights, drugs, sex, or whatever. I believe the musicians should just play and entertain.

      • No man, it’s on him now. He knows about it. If some kid gets killed or raped at one of his shows, the victims are going to sue the hell out of him because he had prior knowledge. He’s on record now and cannot deny it.

        • Apparently you have no idea how concerts are booked and operated? The venue is liable for the safety of the guests AND musicians.

          Seriously, some of the commenters here make Taylor Swift diehards look like professors in music appreciation.

          If there’s one thing worse than unearned praise, its uneducated hate. There are many things Eric does/says that can be criticised and Trigger usually finds and drills them. But unfounded schoolyard shit talking from behind a keyboard makes you look like a fool and you really add nothing of value to the discussion save for the fact that other asshats like you will thumb up your comment and you will gain some sort of approval for once in your life.

          Seriously its pathetic.

          • Sugarland is one of the many entities being sued for that incident in Indiana a few years ago. I guarantee that if something really bad happened at an acts concert they would be sued also. Maybe it wouldn’t hold up but that would be after thousands of dollars in legal fees. Maybe that’s the cost to be an outlaw.

          • Besides your anger issues, you should brush up on the law. Eric Church can be sued if a tragedy happened at one of his shows. Some of it falls on the venue, but if he is aware of violence at his shows he too can be held accountable. Great White’s manager was brought up and I do believe ultimately convicted of wrongful death. The Rolling Stones defense at Altamont was they were UNAWARE of violence happening at that festival. There is case law on this, but you are the most educated man on the planet, I assume you are aware of this; and we aren’t even talking yet about a civil law suit. Any lawyer worth his salt would have a field day with Eric Church’s quotes. His label will have to settle. Please man, stop being naive.

          • Security isn’t always near and the artist on stage often sees things before they do. If they can get security to where they need to be to prevent someone in the crowd from getting hurt, why wouldn’t they?

        • I am not angry. I do however get irritated by stupid people trying to sound smart.

          The Great White incident was a direct cause of the BAND’s pyrotechnics. No shit the manager got sued, he was directly responsible to the cause of death.

          And the Stones won the Altamont case several times. They even admitted to the knowing about the scuffle and they still won. (Familiar?) They ended up paying the victims $10,000 just to stop bringing the case back up with other lawyers and I believe out of sympathy honestly.

          You act like case by case situations don’t exist and that the above situations prove your point somehow. If Eric Church concerts how they are described in the article(Which in itself I think was an exaggeration) Nothing would be successful in the court of law. It would be a civilian v. Civilian/venue case and he wouldn’t be involved. For an example look to the destruction resulting the Eric/Kenny concert in Boston. No lawsuits after all those brawls and misdemeanors to the artists. From the city to the arrested? Sure. Kenny and Eric? Nope.There’s a difference between being naive and having common sense please don’t confuse the two.

          However you want to prove me wrong go to one of his shows and get your ass kicked. It should not be a problem finding someone to do that with your current demeanor. Then afterwords try and sue Eric for it, if you are successful I will eat my words.

          • Uh-oh someone must have put on their aviators and turned into Chief! First, The Stones settled with the victim’s family for a lot of money. Second the band manager of Great White was charged with criminal negligence manslaughter or some shit like that; basically the law says if you do something even if it’s legal but know it can cause a risk to life you’re going to get arrested if something God awful happens. Listen, I really don’t care at this point anymore- you obviously have Eric Church posters all over your house and arguing with a fanatic is pointless. Let’s both agree that nothing happens at one of his shows.

            P.S. If i want to see shallow country rock I’ll go to the .38 Special show when they tour with the rodeo. At least there will be some real dudes in that audience that could kick my ass and not some drunk fratboy in a crocodile polo.

      • Saginaw, Michigan, we had four or five fights that night, and up on the railing, eight or 10 couples screwing, everyone responding like this is the last show they’ll ever see. I don’t think we encourage any of this. I’m just very aggressive and intense onstage.

        …Or is it because he brags about it in the press on multiple occasions making it a self-fulfilling prophecy?

        Every time this guy opens his mouth, he comes across as such a tool. Chief? Is he in high school drinking Jack for the first time? An app to shoot deer remotely? Even if it is a joke, it is completely against the spirit of hunting! People I’ve never met usually don’t irritate me, but this guy really gets under my skin for some reason.

      • I don’t think artists necessarily should be responsible for things that happen in a crowd, but it’s not like he’s turning a blind eye to it. Eric’s conveying this information to a reporter that he knows is going to print it. And this is actually the second time I heard that story about that concert. The same story was told in Eric’s Playboy Magazine article. They want to portray his concerts as fight-fueled gross displays of recklessness. This came up with the Jason Isbell story about him stopping down a fight from earlier this week. This is part of his marketing.

    • Yeah referring to an alter ego “Chief” version of yourself is right up there with referring to yourself in 3rd person.

  • I could give a shit on how “outlaw” or pansy-ass he is. I’m still seathing on the comments and general attitude he has against the elderly in the Rolling Stone article! Screw the comments about Blake and Miranda that stole the press, their young and can defend themselves… The greatest generation was totally disrespected and that is wrong…. Therefore he needs to explaine…or an ass kicking!

  • Different Hang = who’s hanging out with you or who you’re hanging out with…or who’s simply hanging onto you.

    • Oh I get it now… it’s the middle aged version of saying you’re cool because you’re in a high school cliche’. Thank You :)

      • But we already know he’s cool cuz he wears sunglasses all the time.

        • You know a year or two back there was some story or PR statement (something) where Erich Church claimed he wore those aviators because of something like stage lights drying his contacts out and giving him eye problems. I always wondered if that was based in truth or just typical PR crap aimed at disguising the fact that he might have been wearing the shades just to look cool.

          I’m not sure what to think on that one honestly, but it just always sounded suspicious to me. I can’t remember ever hearing of another story where someone wore sun glasses because of stage light issues though.

          • I believe Hank Jr. wears sunglasses because of the resulting injuries of his fall so there is that. As for Church, who knows. I have far bigger issues with his marketing than with his music which is hit and miss to me but not terrible. But his imaging is SO pretentious. Jeez it’s annoying.

    • Different hang = Balls descend from abdomen

  • Different slant – right now Eric Church does have maybe the only song in the iTunes Country top 10 that isn’t about drinking beer or chasing tail.

    Cole Swindle (the Luke Bryan prodigy) has the #1 single and album spot for (vomit) “Cillin’ It”. It’s hard to spend much time thinking about Eric Church when there are much bigger douche bags like Cole Swindle running around right now. Eric Church might be the only thing in the top 10 right now keeping the country chart from being a complete beer-drinking/skirt-chasing joke.

    There, I found something good to say about Eric Church. I’m still eagerly awaiting the day when Trigger puts a target on Cole Swindle. For some reason that dude bugs me more than most. It’s like Music Row has created a Luke Bryan country douche clone machine or something lately.

    • Who the hell is this Cole Swindle? Normally I at least know of who is currently terrorizing country music but have never even heard of this guy.

    • Cole Swindle, as well as some other songs and artists at the top right now are certainly on my radar. There’s just been so many other pressing issues recently that I haven’t given these guys their proper due. Hopefully I will get that chance soon.

    • There’s only one decent song on his entire eponymous debut album.

      I always go out of my way to give mainstream releases a fair shake and listen to them thoroughly once……….and “Ain’t Worth The Whiskey” is the only track that did anything for me. I suppose “A Dozen Roses & A Six-Pack” is passable too, though I wouldn’t recommend it either.

      Besides that, it’s a travesty. Pretty much every song on the entire album is driven by second-rate hip-hop beats from the studio next door, and is frat-country at its most aggressive, with gems like:


      “When you’re up for anything A to Z,
      no you don’t need no plan B.
      Go on pop the cord, go on tap the keg,
      go on get some red up in your neck.” (“Hey Y’all”)

      “I can see you gettin’ my tailgate rockin’
      Moving your hips like wind moves cotten
      You can get the whole wide country side hoppin’
      ooh, ooh, bring the beat back, ooh, ooh…” (“Lemme See Ya Girl”)

      “Everybody’s working out doing twelve ounce curls.
      Boys buzzing, hung up on the country girls…” (“Brought To You By Beer”)

      “Get up, get up, get up on my shoulders.
      Here, take my cuzzi so your can stays colder.
      Be my country song sing-along beer holder.
      Hurry up baby, ‘fore this song’s over.
      Get up, get up, get up on my shoulders.” (“Get Up”)

      “If there’s a full moon hanging high
      you can bet there’s a jacked up four wheel drive.
      Cruising with the crew with a beer on ice,
      looking for the girls that’ll let their hair down.
      Lead us on, get us thinking they might
      share a little sugar on a Friday night.” (“Down Home Boys”)


      Cole Swindell is attempting to mint Florida-Georgia Line’s formula. The thing, however, is that even though I can’t stand either act, Florida-Georgia Line at least know how to consistently pen strong hooks and earworms and are buoyed by a producer who is obsessed with making them sound massive. Cole Swindell’s album, in contrast, sounds like a full-length mixtape.

      • This is for real? Seems almost like really good trolling…I read this shit to my girlfriend last night (lyrics) and she could not believe that this passes for music / songwriting…

        She’s not all obsessed like I am (with this music) and listens to a good bit more pop / mainstream music but still could tell that this was CRAP how is this fucking happening BURN IT WITH FIRE

        Pretty ballsy putting swindle in his name too, considering the fucking swindle he’s pulling on everyone** and is probably about to go to the top of the charts with…..

        **the primary “swindle” being that this passes for music and/or songwriting

  • “I mean, it’s a possibility that we’re marketing it now.”

    A possibility?? That is exactly the marketing strategy for this album. I’m not even saying that’s a bad thing necessarily, but come on, there is no “possibility” about it.

  • If your recognized it is probably a good thing.
    Did you “Bold” the guns on the counter portion or is that the magazine print?
    Big deal…I do believe he was shocked.
    1….no one puts him on the spot like that.
    2….the people he now surrounds himself with tell him how awesome he is.
    3….like it or not he did play shitty clubs to “move” up.
    The most important question is this…
    ” why in the Hell is Men’s Journal interviewing Eric Church?”
    By the way…I do appreciate his Dark Side reference…per his own song
    have a pretty good understanding of how I am. I’ve always been pretty laid-back and easygoing, until I’m not. When I get going, you’re never going to stop me. When it gets going, I’ll destroy everything

    Rakor 1932

  • “Sitting with a Gerber knife, and several guns on his table.”

    God, fuck off. Could anything be more contrived than that? Oh wow, look at how backwoods, outlaw this guy is, he sits around with guns and knives on his table for a fucking interview that’s designed to get him press for being so outlawish.

    • ….you left out “…in a trailer” (lol)

      • If I was a betting man, I would guess this trailer isn’t the double wide you’re imagining it to be. But point taken, just adding more to all of this nonsense.

        Oh, and I was told today that he doesn’t like the “outlaw” label, but prefers “outsider.” What the difference is, I don’t know.

        • I wasn’t really thinking it was a doublewide. When I wrote that I was trying to decide if it was an RV or a construction office. But, I wondered if the writer was hoping readers would infer park trailer. It completed the visual for me.

    • I’m betting he had his pants unzipped and his hand on his “pistola” too!

  • To put this in perspective, try to imagine the folks at the American awards banquest going to such great pains to project themselves as hard guys.

    I love guns and knives, too (I have one in each pocket now, as usual), but I don’t display them and they don’t make me a bad dude.

    This guy needs to lose the glasses and cap and act real for a change.

    He may be a good guy and he may be a good musician.

    Hiding behind a stupid persona that he has created blocks him off from me.

  • Gerbers are for poseurs. They are crap.

    Whoa, gear snob much? I have owned several Gerber folding knives & multitools and they’ve never let me down.

    Interesting that the brand of pistol was not mentioned. I bet it was a Hi-Point. Or Taurus. ;)

  • Kenny Chesney before “How forever feels” was different than after that song. Eric Church was different before Chief and now after its release and outsiders he has conformed to the mainstream. His first two albums were awesome. He had a cult following similar to David Allan Coe. I used to really love his music. But now, he has turned for the worse. Its almost like finding out your deer hunting, fish frying friend you grew up with is now a proud member of PETA and eats nothing but carrots, lettuce, and tomatoes four times a day. You just scratch your head and say WTF happened to him.

  • How many times are we going to keep bringing up Eric Church’s image before we can just move on to another topic. I feel like most people like to compare someone like him to someone like Waylon or Hank 3 strictly on image and what happens outside the music…I wouldn’t give a shit if the guy liked to wear guy-liner and part his hair like Ellen Degeneres (Keith Urban), if even one of the songs on a record means something to me then I will listen to it, and if it doesn’t that’s why there’s a skip button…why does someone have to be a “true outlaw” before you can accept that you like their music

    • “How many times are we going to keep bringing up Eric Church’s image before we can just move on to another topic.”

      I totally agree. The Men’s Journal piece barely talked about his music, it was all about his image.

      Oh wait, you’re talking about me, aren’t you?

      • Hahah yes but not just you, it seems like a lot of traditional country fans (which I love traditional country as well) like to look down on people who like Eric Church cause he’s a “fake outlaw”. I’m just sick of it becoming more about the person than the lyrics in the songs which is the only thing I will judge a musician on

  • Wow. It sounds like that comment really bothered him. I guess at one point he thought he was someone this website would have said good things about (and it has, on and off, when it was due) It seems to have hit him hard that this website (and the people commenting) more often than not are now critisizing and making a joke of him. Ouch.

  • Here’s my deal with Eric Church. First off, just because someone was a part of the industry machine at one time doesn’t make them forever damned, it’s well known that Waylon and Willie both tried the Nashville way and then did their own thing. On the surface, that’s what it appears Eric Church is doing. But when you really look at it hard you realize that he’s just another tool of the Nashville complex. That being said; while this album is not country, it’s not neccesarily bad. I don’t really get the whole concept part of it, but there are some good songs on it. That being said, all of the promotion of this thing as being totally different is bullshit. This is like Hank III’s Risin’ Outlaw, the Nashville complex might think it’s so different, but in reality it’s not. The difference is that Eric Church is promoting this album as totally different and rebellious to what Nashville wants, where Hank III said himself that his own debut was corporate garbage. And one last thing; I really do hate when this site turns into a shitfest over one artist. The whole Shooter Jennings fiasco and now this Eric Church deal resembles a bunch of 15 year old kids at a mall bitching about their lame ass pop punk bands. I can’t blame Trigger as he has a duty to report this stuff since Eric Church is the big story in Country music right now, but I wish people would focus more on the great artists and music that we’ve all discovered through this site. Let’s not be hipster conformists and hate things just for being popular, but take things at their value and judge them through unbiased, non-jealous lenses.

    • Ah, just because 99% of what’s popular sucks, doesn’t mean we hate things just because they’re popular.

      I think a lot of us really loved Eric Church’s first album and most of us loved his 2013 ACM “Like Jesus Does” performance. Most of us like Kacey Musgraves and she’s popular. A lot of us really like some of Miranda Lambert’s popular songs. I think a lot of us really enjoy The Zac Brown Band and they are very popular.

      Crap, I’m having thinking of more examples… :)

  • Once again, another Eric Church article brings more comments than anything on the entire website. As always.

  • Triggerman-


    check out my comment..


    now, check out the release date…

    coincidence?…i think not. thanks Saving Country Music.


    • That is funny.

  • “I have a pretty good understanding of how I am. I’ve always been pretty laid-back and easygoing, until I’m not. When I get going, you’re never going to stop me. When it gets going, I’ll destroy everything.”

    Typical tripe from a classic hot head…the classic “laid-back and easygoing” redneck.

  • I’m more afraid of Norman Bates and his mother than Eric Church and Chief with his product placement weapons. I understand that some people may like his music but if anyone believes his outlaw gimmick they are ridiculously naive about marketing.

    • Spot on Ron. Couldn’t agree more. I feel like I’ve been saying this for a while. He’s a made outlaw for all the people that hate Rascal Flats, Taylor Swift, Lady A, etc. A big marketing scheme to make someone money. Anybody who is big out of Nashville is that way for a reason. Their making their boss or bosses a lot of money.

  • I knew the moment I read this article that this would be a topic on here. Trigger you can say over and over again that you only produce material about EC because he has dominated the news cycle due to a new album, but there is no way possible that’s true. If it was when Keith Urban released Fuse or Dierks Bentley upcoming album we should have seen a ton of stuff…but it didn’t. Face it Urban is boring. Dierks is boring. EC is not and garners a lot of traffic for this site. I guess in a way Trigger you are marketing as well. Look, I can’t blame you one bit. If every time I wrote an article about someone it increased the traffic to my site and revenue in my pocket then you bet I would cover it like crazy.

    I am not saying anyone is right or wrong in this article. In fact, I think his statement about marketing is spot on. It wasn’t in the beginning – and I believe that. It may be a little bit now – I believe that. I watched the back and forth on your site now for weeks and I think it is fun. You have people who like his music but don’t care for him. Then there are the ones who follow Trigger in step and seem as though they have no opinion of there own. The fact is I come to your site because you, Trigger, have introduced great music to me that I may not have known existed if it wasn’t for you. Turnpike Troubadours, Stoney LaRue, Matt Woods and many more.

    I don’t think in this day and age of country music we can assess EC albums fairly yet. Would you grade Chief different today than 2011. I for one would. I think his new album is great. Some EC fans hate it. Some love it. Some think it is the greatest ever. I like what he is trying to do. I get the feeling that he is trying to break from the pack. And for the most part he has.

    One final note about your last paragraph on shaking hands. I was at his Opry at the Ryman performance on Jan. 11 and he did “A Man Who Was Going to Die Young” and “Dark Side”. As I was leaving he was coming out and signing autographs in between Tootsies and the Ryman. He had already walked past me when I yelled “Hey Eric all I want is a handshake”. He stopped signing autographs came back and shook my hand.

    • “The Outsiders” was the biggest release in country music in the last 6 months, and unless Taylor Swift releases an album this year (which I anticipate her doing, likely in November), then this will be the biggest release in country music in all of 2014. With all due respect to Keith Urban, his best days have passed, and Dierks Bentley has always been a 2nd tier country star. Eric Church is the reigning Album of the Year winner, and arguably the most powerful male personality in country music right now. Because of this, it is imperative for me to cover this topic.

      There are MANY other articles I could be writing on the Eric Church thread at the moment, and eventually may: the clarification of Rascal Flatts about their conflict with Eric that happened recently, the chart performance on this album and what it means that I would love to comment on. But I’m not writing these stories, despite them being relevant topics because of this perceived forced focus on this issue.

      This same exact criticisms happened when Taylor Swift released “Red,” and then lo and behold, a few weeks after the release, there were virtually no Taylor Swift stories for months and months afterwards.

      The reason I commented on the Men’s Journal article is because I think it painted Saving Country Music in sort of an unfair light. I’m happy and appreciative they posted my quotes and I was in no way offended, but I think I could have came across as a reactionary asshole to people through that, and so I wanted to offer a deeper context, that is all. And I’m not going to not do this because of some chirping online about how much I’ve talked about Eric Church lately.

      As for the accusations of traffic bating: First off, people need to stop judging how much traffic articles get based off of the amount of comments. And in the grand scheme of things, this article got less comments than most of my Eric Church articles, or other hot button issues. This was not even the biggest story of the week, it was 3rd after the Ameripolitan Awards live blog and the Jason Isbell concert fight story. Furthermore, I’m not sure why I should be criticized for writing stories that people want to read and engage with, and that stimulate conversation. That is the point of this site.

      And lastly, I can create all the traffic I want, but since SCM is not really a monetized format compared to most other online outlets, it really doesn’t effect my pocketbook. SCM continues to be a losing proposition financially, and Eric Church coverage won’t change that. The problem is I’m too hot to touch for sponsors, and I refuse to put pop up ads or click-throughs, so despite the high volume of traffic this site generate, I generate 1/4 of the income some sites 1/2 my size do.

      • I understand where your coming from with Dierks; still I hope you can find some time to give us your 2 cents on Riser. Found the free stream http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-dierks-bentleys-most-personal-album-yet-stream-riser-20140220 . Probably more pop than most would hope for but I think he comes across way more genuine than EC.

        • I’m planning to do a review for Dierks, and haven’t ruled out doing one for Keith Urban either. I just wanted to reiterate why Eric Church has been receiving so much coverage here lately.

      • I agree. Dierks has always felt like a second tier star, but I can’t figure out why. He is one of the newer singers that I can tolerate.

  • Very diplomatic. Thank you for shedding light on your format.

    I know you don’t do this for the money but I wish you were making whatever it takes to keep you afloat.

  • I’ve been a country fan since I heard “A Boy Named Sue” and “Ode To Billie Joe” when I was ten. This whole shift in country music makes me miss Johnny Cash so much. As conflicted and complicated as the man was, he (just as many of his compadres as well) was consistently true to himself and his own principles. Wish he was here to carry off a little bit more darkness on his back. I also wonder if George Jones would have advocated violence at his concerts.
    Several years ago I saw The Eagles headline here in New Jersey, with the Dixie Chicks second, and Keith Urban as the opener. My whole family agreed that Urban was the highlight of the night, a better show than the Eagles and far superior to the Chicks’ performance. I liked his stuff before that, but I’ve been a genuine fan ever since. He appears to be a really good man, and nothing I’ve seen leads me to believe otherwise.

  • That messenger better watch out, the narcissistic Eric church is going to come find him!!! My God this article is just ridiculous, i think that part of this article was so bad it should be censored!!! ” He looks like he wants to attack the messenger”….. are you serious???? Yeah Eric is going to jump right over the table and take that son of a gun right out. Sorry if he seemed a little irritated, you did call him an arrogant prick without even meeting him.

Leave a comment

Del Maguey
Old Soul Radio Show
Hillgrass Bluebilly
Best Of Lists