Interview: Pat Green Loves the ‘Sing-a-long’ Quality of New Single ‘Drinkin’ Days’
With more than 20 years in the music business under his belt, Pat Green has certainly made plenty of memories — and thanks to the music video for his latest single, “Drinkin’ Days,” the singer got to recount a number of them. Green recently took a few minutes to chat with The Boot about the crazy moments behind him and what’s to come.
A stripped-down tune that’s made for barroom sing-a-longs, “Drinkin’ Days” is the perfect track for Green as he begins his 22nd year in the music industry. Jaron Boyer, Ben Burges and Phil Barton wrote the single, and Green’s longtime drummer, Justin Pollard, produced the song; the decision to keep the demo’s simple musical arrangement came organically.
“Those kind of calls on feel just happen naturally while we’re sitting there doing it,” Green tells The Boot. “This song really lends itself to a sing-a-long; it’s not the type of song that you necessarily turn up and blare on the radio driving down the road … but you can if you want!”
When Green sent out a call for photos for the “Drinkin’ Days” video on his social media channels, he and his management company had to sift through piles of submissions to find the best ones. They were only able to use a fraction of what came in for the video.
“Some of the pictures were mine — maybe a third or so — but a lot of them came in from fans that they had taken through the years,” Green says, adding that seeing the photos brought back a lot of memories. “The memories were what I truly enjoyed — I had a big laugh looking at all of them.”
Some of Green’s favorites in the long list of unforgettable moments he’s experienced during his career so far? Touring with country icons such as Keith Urban, performing at Farm Aid in 2000 and, of course, sharing the stage with the Red Headed Stranger himself.
“Sharing the stage with Willie Nelson certainly stands out,” Green recalls. “I got up there and sang with him so many times and have really just enjoyed making music during his time. Getting the invite to play Farm Aid and getting to do tours with Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban and Dave Mathews — those moments were also huge moments for our band.”
Considering his long and tireless touring career, it’s no surprise that Green and his team had a lot of material to work with for the “Drinkin’ Days” video. The singer and his band have been performing together for more than 20 years, and Green says they’ve come to enjoy the routine of playing a lot of their shows in the same places around the same time every year; it helps Green find a home on the road and gives fans the opportunity to build a relationship with the singer. And while he admits that life on the road can be a little monotonous, Green says he wouldn’t have it any other way — unless he could somehow bring fans from all over the country to his own house.
“There are times when the pattern gets a little too recognizable, but that said, that’s all part of it,” he says. “I don’t know any other way to do it. I keep telling my wife that I would stay home a lot more often if I could figure out how to get all those people in our backyard. But we can’t do that 60 nights a year … that would be a huge drag on the neighborhood!”
While Green says the days of big arena shows have “come and gone for our little band,” the “Wave on Wave” singer also says that he enjoys the current state of his career more than any other time in his life. He finds peace in a slower pace and freedom in the ability to release new music exactly when he wants to.
“There was a day when we were riding on top of the world, but I think we’ve kind of settled in now,” Green says. “I’m very comfortable with where I’m at; I’m very at peace, and I kind of understand my place in the world a little better, and I just don’t sweat things very much …
“When we were with RCA and big record labels, it was always ‘what’s next, what’s next, what’s next,'” Green adds. “But now, as I’m making new records, we’re really not going for Top 40 airplay, so obviously it’s not quite as grueling.”
Green says that he’s got a followup to 2015’s Home in the works, but he’s not putting any parameters on how long it will take him to perfect his new music. The fluidity and flexibility of this project is what helps Green’s music thrive.
“We’re just keeping things moving, for sure. We haven’t really discussed [a specific timeline] … pretty much my whole life is just to take things as they come,” Green says with a laugh. “Things just seem to happen naturally most of the time for me, and I just kind of let it float along the river. That would drive a lot of people crazy, and there’s definitely the ups and the downs to it, but all in all, my goodness, what do I have to complain about?”