…from the Triggerman:
But if (Eric) Church is so enamored with rock and so dismissive of country, why is he even be pushed on country radio and winning country awards? “I didn’t grow up listening to Hank Williams Sr. or Earnest Tubb,” Church told Playboy. “I grew up with rock and roll.” If this is the case and his sound is so rock, why is he surprised when country fans come out and say he doesn’t belong?
The short and snarky answer would be that he has his head so far up his ass that the lack of oxygen has muddled his thinking…
…but seriously, it’s worth discussion. I didn’t grow up on Metallica or Iron Maiden either, but if I was going to start my own metal band, I wouldn’t be suggesting we throw a fiddle, steel guitar, or Western swing beat up into our music, let alone trying to rationalize my actions by saying, “I didn’t grow up listening to metal.” I only discovered metal later in life, but if I was going to make a go at it in some alternate universe where I could sing like Todd La Torre or Russell Allen, I’d at least try to remain true to the genre.
So, seriously, how exactly does one explain Eric Church? Between him not growing up with country music and his co-opting Blake Shelton’s argument that people who don’t like new “country” music are, as Shelton put it, “old farts and jackasses,” surely those of us who don’t buy that Church is sincere in his desire to be a country artist can be forgiven for looking at him with a cynical eye. Now that I think about it, another good question might be, “Since Eric Church is so dismissive of country music as a genre — going so far as to market his artistry as a mix of ‘Jack Daniels, weed and Metallica’ — why is he pushing himself on the country genre?”
The answer, of course, is that Eric Church is the same thing Jason Aldean is: a frustrated ’80s rocker born 15 years too late, who only markets himself as a “country” artist because “country” is where all the money is anymore.
“I hear down there, it’s changed, you see. Well, they’re not as backward as they used to be.”