The 47th Annual Academy Country Music Awards will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 1st, beginning at 8pm ET/delayed PT on CBS. Watch for performances by Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town and many more. We will continue to roll out soundbites with our nominees and performers leading up to the ACM Awards.
Eric Church is nominated for both Album of the Year for Chief and Music Video of the Year for “Homeboy.” He’s currently scaling the country charts with “Springsteen,” the third single from his ACM-nominated Chief.
AUDIO: Eric Church says “Homeboy” is his favorite video.
Eric Church (Homeboy video) OC: …rest of it. :25
“I love the video. It’s my favorite video. I think Peter Zavidil, the director, did a fantastic job. I mean I love the way he shot it. I love the actor, the kid in the video, and I told Peter I would do every video with you if you keep writing treatments like this. I had to be there for about an hour, and that’s it, two hours, I mean videos are never like that. I said “You really know how to get an artist to fall in love with you.” I just had to go in and perform, and he took care of the rest of it.”
AUDIO: Eric Church talks about his ACM-nominated video for “Homeboy.”
Eric Church (Homeboy video) 2 OC: …love that shot. :24
“Seeing the story line develop, and being in the place, I mean I’ve been there. I was feeling the stuff the kid was feeling, that despair. I think we have all been in places like that. It just came across great. I love the lighting. I love the angles. I love the slow motion. The slow motion is one of the coolest things. There’s a scene with a match where he lights a match and throws it at the camera, and you can see the match extinguish itself, in super, super, super slow motion. I love that shot.”
AUDIO: Eric Church says the Tennessee State Prison, the location where the video for “Homeboy” was shot, lent itself to the feeling of the clip.
Eric Church (heaviness of Homeboy video) OC: …there, you know? :25
“It’s my second video here, at the Tennessee State Prison. We shot ‘Lightning’ here off the first record, so I’ve been here twice now. It’s just a heavy place, which I like. And I know as musicians, you pick up on energy when you write songs and when you perform, and I think the same thing happens when you shoot videos in a place that’s got a little bit of heaviness. It certainly happened with ‘Lightning.’ And there’s a little bit of heaviness in ‘’Homeboy,’ in the message, and I like that heaviness. I don’t know if some people would listen to that and pick up on that, but there’s a little bit of that there, you know?”
AUDIO: Eric Church talks about making his ACM-nominated album, Chief.
Eric Church (making of Chief) OC: …its heartbeat. :59
“We have built our career on the backs of our fans. We have not cared what else was going on around us. The other thing, we went and played shows, and we have given those fans the keys to this vehicle, and we said, ‘Drive it!’ And they have told people about it, and they’ve spread the word, and they’ve preached that gospel, and they’ve just become an army out there. This record when we made it, it needed, for me, to sound like a live show. It needed to sound like we had recorded it live, like you were watching something that we didn’t rehearse, that we didn’t think out. And there’s so many tracks on this record, where I am interacting with the musicians, because I am in the room with them, and either I will sing a melody line or the guitar will be playing a melody line, and we’ll pick up on each other, and it will turn into this little jam moment. And that is where the magic happens. We didn’t plan it, we didn’t talk about it, there’s as much unrehearsed magic on this record as we’ve ever had. There’s a lot of mistakes on it, and I think that’s part of a live show. We mess up every night live, and we talk about it after a show. We left it on this record. Those mistakes are in there, and I think that’s what gives it its heartbeat.”
Eric Church explains why he took time off the road to write most of the songs for his ACM-nominated album, Chief.
Eric Church (taking time to write) OC: …in that cabin. 1:09
“Well, it’s the first time taking a month off to write this record; it’s the first time I’ve taken a month off in the middle of any kind of touring season in a long time…ever. And it was for me, I thought it was time, and we, I put so much into the record making process, every time we do it, I empty the tank doing it. And this time, two records in, I felt like our career had really got to a point that, it had gotten to the next level, I wanted to make a record that was indicative to that. The only way I knew how to do that, was to pause, and just take time, and figure out where we go from there. That month in the cabin, there was no television, cell phone service, which in the middle of football season is brutal. I spent a lot of time at a local bar [laughs] in Banner Elk [laughs]. But I sat there with co-writers, got them out of their element, and sometimes we’d write a song at 3 am, sometimes we would write a song at 7am, sometimes we didn’t write a song, we’d just ride around and drink beer in a four wheeler. It was really, really cool to just let the creative process, just un-harness it, and let the creative process flow. I think that “unharnessed” really became part of what the record was. It just is, there’s no rules. It’s unchained, it’s loose, it’s wild, and I think that started in that cabin.”