Pat Green Reflects on Careers and Talks New Single, ‘Drinkin’ Days’
Highly respected country artist Pat Green has just released a new single, “Drinkin’ Days,” which is the lead single to his upcoming record. The project is the follow-up to 2015’s Home, and while two years have passed, the singer has not stopped the creative process. Making music in the studio is something that is as natural to the Texan as anything he does.
“For me, the process never stops. Recording is something I do constantly. When I get 10 of them, that’s when I put out the record. But, when you get a good single, like we’ve got with ‘Drinkin’ Days,’ which is my Rowdy friends song – it’s one of those things that you have to just get out. It also forces my hand to finish up the record quickly because it’s time to get the product to the market,” Green tells Sounds Like Nashville. “It’s so much more comfortable to me than when I was working with the big labels, and everything was so formula driven with timelines and all. Right now, we’ve got five songs recorded, and are very happy with it. In the next 60 days, we’ll finish it up, and then put the whole album out.”
After a string of successful albums for BNA and Universal, Green is now on his own as a recording artist. He released Home on his own Greenhorse imprint, and he says that at this point in his career, that business arrangement suits him just fine.
“The biggest luxury for me to have is a 25-year career. When people ask me how I’m doing, I like to say, ‘I’m unemployed.’ I love being unemployed. For whatever reason, the lucky bone landed on me,” he shares. “I enjoyed my time on a major label because I got to have a few really big hits, and go on tour with Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, and Dave Matthews. I got to do some incredible things in my life that set in motion where I am right now, where I can record and tour on my own terms. I’m just a very happy and relaxed person.”
That happiness is something that the singer says he best feels when he’s on the stage. For Green, the touring is an element of his career that never stops–though he says he does get to press pause more than he used to.
“I think that for anybody with my size of a band, that’s kind of the way it is…unless you’re on a big mega-tour. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a blast to be on those, but when you get home, you don’t want to go out because you’ve been on the road for months. I left with Kenny one year in April, and I spent something like 13 days in my house between April and September. That’s not the life for me. I’m glad I did it, but that’s too much. I miss my babies. I miss my wife. I miss my stuff. You can put more of my stuff in my house than on my bus.”
Green says the allure of the road is no different now than it was in the early 1990s, when he began his career.
“The magic of the road is that it’s the road. It’s the whole experience. I love travel, and have loved it since I was a kid. I love being on the road, and out and about, but I also love being at home. You can’t have one without the other.”
He says that he strives to keep his stage show fresh, admitting that at times, it involves playing a mental game with himself – often when he’s performing. “I think the most magical parts of it for me is that I have these really wonderful conversations with myself while I’m performing. It keeps me distracted just enough where I don’t think, ‘What’s the next lyric?’ When that happens to me, the lyric disappears. So, it becomes a cat-and-mouse game of how far can I take it without breaking it? I’m talking to myself internally the entire song. Sometimes, I’ll have to bring it down when I haven’t moved in 20 seconds, but whatever.”
One might wonder how an artist can forget such things as a song lyric they perform often, but Green says it happens more than you might think.
“Each song is a conversation, just like you are having one with your wife, or your husband, you can lose your place in the conversation. You know what you think and what you feel, but you lose track of the moment. It’s the same way in a song. Music sounds very familiar in and within itself. You might find yourself daydreaming for a moment between the first and second verse, and you think, ‘Wait a minute? Am I on the third verse?’ That’s where I make a lot of my mistakes. I’ll sing parts of the song out of position. That happens to me nightly – depending on the song.”
He hopes that “Drinkin’ Days” isn’t one of those songs. Though he didn’t write the song–Jaron Boyer, Ben Burges, and Phil Barton did–he said it’s very fitting.
“It could not be any more appropriate for me at this time in my life. It’s very true to me. After getting off the road, I’ve taken a step back from that lifestyle of being constantly on the go all the time. I look back at those days, and it was a blast. But, I put some dents in the fender, for sure,” he says whimsically.
Fans can expect new music from Pat Green soon, but in the meantime, they can enjoy his many hits, including his new single “Drinkin’ Days,” during his summer touring schedule.