Eric Church Almost Went Crazy Making His Triple Album

He opens up about the metal challenge of Heart & Soul to Kelleigh Bannen

Written by Chris Parton
Eric Church Almost Went Crazy Making His Triple Album
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 07: Eric Church performs onstage during the 54th Academy Of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 07, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rich Fury/ACMA2019/Getty Images for ACM)

Eric Church pushed himself to the limit for his latest album project, changing everything about the way he made music to create the upcoming triple album, Heart & Soul (out in April). And it almost cost him his sanity.

The daring country hit maker famously set himself up in a North Carolina cabin with his band, some songwriting partners and a recording crew, and set to work with a bold plan. Each day, the group would write an entire song from scratch and record it, hoping to capture the initial spark of a song coming to life. It took him 28 days and when he finished, the result was the just-announced Heart & Soul project, so fans will soon be able to judge the results for themselves. But the hectic speed of Church’s plan eventually put him in a weird place, he told the Apple Music Country podcast Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen.

“One of the best things about this, I forgot what we had done,” Church told his host. “I mean, when you write a song in the morning and you record it, the next day, you’re writing a song, the number of times I went, ‘What did we cut yesterday? What was the name of that? I mean, ‘what was that?’ So it’s almost like you have no clue what you’re doing. You get to the end and you go, ‘What have we done?’ And you start hearing it back. And that was when I thought, ‘Oh shit, I didn’t even know we did that. I forgot about that.'”

The “Hell of a View” singer went on to say that feeling has a double edge. He could have woken up the next morning and hated what they had made the day before, but that’s not what happened. In the end it actually re-affirmed what he believes about music — which is basically that pure creativity should always lead the way. Church says he’s committed to go whichever way a song takes him, regardless of whether it sounds like a “hit” or not, and with Heart & Soul that approach paid off. But it was so intense that eventually he couldn’t turn his songwriting brain off.

“I mean, I didn’t sleep and I got to a point that it was three or four days,” Church explains. “Because I mean, so we’re recording til two o’clock, three o’clock in the morning, and then I got to write at 10:00 AM the next day, because I have to have a song by the evening. I got to where I could not turn it off. I mean, I was writing songs in my sleep. I was dreaming about songs. Everything was a song to me. I mean, anybody that talked to me, I would go, ‘I gotta make that a song.’ I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I got quite manic, but it worked. At the end of it, it took me a while to shut it down.”

Heart & Soul is a 24 song album split into three parts, set to come out in stages on April 16 and 23. Eric Church goes on to share more about the album during his time on Today’s Country Radio with Kelleigh Bannen, and he also talks about his upcoming gig singing the National Anthem with Jazmine Sullivan at this year’s Super Bowl, and more. Listen to the full episode on Friday (January 29) at 9 am ET.