OFFSTAGE: Eric Church on the “Roughest Path”

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

By now, the whole world knows how Eric Church feels about reality TV music competitions. He’s just not that into them. So what is he into? How does he think an aspiring artist should go from nobody to somebody? American Songwriter magazine has a few of his answers. And the one I love the most is about being the first one to cut a path. “Man, if anyone knew the path that we’ve been on, no one in their right mind would ever try to duplicate it. That’s something Nashville always tries to do, though,” Church says. “If something is successful, they try to repeat it by telling other people, ’Hey, do what that guy did.'” But Church doesn’t agree it always works like that. The way it works, he thinks, is by being the first one to cut a path. “It’s always the roughest path, but I think it’s got the most reward at the end.” He also talks about how record label people are not the industry experts — the fans are — when he says, “You figure out that the real experts are out there in front of you every night.”