An excellent interview of Drink In My Hand co-writer, and (former) fellow Illinoisian, Michael Heeney!
The Story Behind The Song: Eric Church, “Drink In My Hand”strong
By Doug Waterman
February 15th, 2012 at 11:26 am
Walk us through a typical day in the life of Michael Heeney.
Heeney: I’m up by five A.M. most mornings, pounding down coffee in my studio. I work on current songs I’ve written in the previous weeks and hunt down grooves and ideas for upcoming co-writes (reading). I do all my mixes and demo overdubs at the house. Then it’s a 30 minute trip into to Nashville where Sony/ATV fills my days with writing appointments. I’m booked five days a week but I’ll bail if I’m burned out. I work in the studio a few nights week and/or check out a few showcases, but I like being a homebody with my wife Susan.
When and where did you write “Drink In My Hand?” Anything in particular about the vibe or your frame of mind while writing it?
Eric, Luke and I were in I believe in North or South Dakota writing while Eric was out out on tour with Miranda last year. I recall we wrote most of it after one of his shows and buttoned it up the next mornng. It fell out pretty fast—we were just jamming. We had been out for several days and the song was pretty much was just a reaction to his crowds…turn it loose and rock and roll.
What inspired the song?
It wasn’t drinking. Luke doesn’t drink. I barely drink anymore. Eric was just pumped up from the shows he had that week. His fans inspired the song.
How much or little did you edit it, during or afterward? Were there any phrases or words you can remember that were especially tough to make a final decision on?
We got most the song that first night. Added a few things the next morning and then I believe I sent a few email suggestions to Eric a week or so later. We finished a half dozen songs and started just as many others that week, so some of them run together.
What do you most like about writing with Eric Church?
I love writing a great song. Eric is a great, great writer and a real artist—not just a singer. He inspires me.
Step outside of the song for a moment. How would you describe “Drink In My Hand” as a music fan.
It’s not brain surgery. It’s a party.
After we wrote it I thought it was an obvious radio thing so I didn’t think Eric would cut it…ha ha ha…it turns out radio was his friend this time.
Any words of wisdom or advice for aspiring songwriters, regarding both the craft and business?
Read books. Study songs. Stay inspired. Learn the craft well enough so you can forget it and follow your heart …