Brad Paisley has long been known for creating clever, memorable music videos. Who can forget the water skiing squirrel in “River Bank” or Andy Griffith’s poignant turn in the CMA Award winning video “Waitin’ on a Woman?” So it’s no surprise that even with the restrictions of the current pandemic, Paisley has delivered an entertaining clip for his latest hit “No I in Beer.” The humorous video features fans from all over the world as well as such famous friends as Jimmie Allen, Fred Armisen, Kelsea Ballerini, Lindsay Ell, Clayton Kershaw, Peyton Manning, Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker and Carrie Underwood.
“It’s amazing how many squares you can fit on a screen,” Paisley tells Sounds Like Nashville of the clip, which includes people doing various activities on Zoom calls. “It’s a really weird thing to start to sift through all of the footage I was going to use that I thought might be appropriate for this, and I started to realize that most of the things that I spent my time doing over the course of this pandemic, it kind of worked for the theme of the song. . .everything from the Zooms that I’ve jumped into to coloring my wife’s hair.”
The video features footage of Paisley coloring Kimberly’s hair and also a funny bit where she comes in and asks for his wallet. “That’s in there at the end, really random, but not abnormal for this household,” he grins.
Paisley had fun recruiting his friends to participate in the project. He even got Underwood to do something she doesn’t ordinarily do. “I reached out to Carrie to see if she’d sing some of these lines and sent them, and then Carrie did something for me that she probably does a couple times a year, which is drink a beer,” Paisley says. “She’s not a beer drinker. She likes her wine, but she actually downed a beer for me, which was really nice. I think probably [her husband] Mike finished it.”
In addition to his famous friends singing along to the song, the video also includes clips of the various Zoom crashes Paisley has done in the last few months when he’s joined people to celebrate birthdays, cancer free celebrations, happy hours, nurse meetings and other gatherings.
The video also spotlights fans singing along to the song as well as hilarious footage of the social phenomenon beersketball and clips of some amazing guitar players. When he asked fans to participate in the video, he received submissions from 39 countries. “It took me a long time. There are countless squares. There are 225 or 230 people in this video,” says Paisley, who edited the clip himself. “I’d love to know how many Zooms I’ve jumped in since this began. I bet it’s hundreds.”
Paisley says he’s enjoyed getting to know his fans on a more personal level during the pandemic, thanks to the Zoom calls. “I don’t remember five people out of 700 in a meet and greet, but I won’t forget any of these Zooms,” he says. “When you pause this video on any of the Zooms, there’s a story and a reason that I jumped in them. They are all in their homes and I’m talking to them from mine and that is a unique thing. They are way more at ease. They are giving me flack in a great way. They aren’t afraid to make fun of something in the background or be a little irreverent with me in a way they would never be in a meet and greet… In this time period, everybody has been inviting everyone into their own respective situations and the great equalizer being a lot of us are drinking through this pandemic. So when they invite me into their little drinking party, it is immediately warm and fun and a free-for-all.”
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I am so humbled to have gotten to meet these guys. I thought you should see the love between these two best friends on this call. One of the most moving zooms I’ve ever been on. Benjamin & Marcus, you inspire me. They set up chairs in the driveway with a sign saying ”Black or White, relax and have a beer”-and asked people to come talk. So we just wanted to make sure they had enough beer to keep the conversation going. Also, thanks to those of that texted me about this and got this going. You rock.
Some of the most memorable scenes include grocery store workers at a Wegman’s in New York who dressed up like super heroes and a clip of heroic woman who had been battling cancer. “There’s a Zoom with a woman —and it was her last day of cancer treatment—named Trina that I will be friends with for life,” he says. “Her husband is the one where the little boy bounces the basketball and he catches the beer from the little boy… Also it’s her mother or mother-in-law, one of the two, that jumps out of the truck and sets the six-pack on the sidewalk next to them. That’s because they were celebrating her last day of chemo. That’s the day I Zoomed in. It looks in the video like some really neat footage, but it’s truly very memorable stuff for me.”
Paisley treasures the experiences he’s had with his fans during the pandemic as they’ve allowed him into some of their most personal trials and triumphs. “To be a part of those moments in life, I think it’s a gift in these times and I feel way closer to fans than I almost ever have,” he shares. “It rivals the way it was in the beginning when you first realized you have fans and you are like, ‘Wow, those two have been to five shows,’ but now these people are inviting me into the most intimate moments in their life from proposals on here to weddings to cancer treatments and you name it, teachers, nurses, one of the places where you pause it is 600 Vanderbilt nurses. I was on a Zoom to say thank you to them. That’s one of those things in the video. I’ll never forget these people.”