When Eric Church’s debut album, Sinners Like Me, came out 10 years ago, there were 70 people in his fan club. Now there are about 99,930 more.
So it made sense to Church and his team to let more people in on the video that his manager John Peets shot all those years ago for the title track.
Nick Barnes, Church’s director of fan engagement, told me the decision to share it was just for the nostalgia of it.
“Eric has always thought ahead. Not just a year ahead or two years ahead, but a decade ahead,” he said. “So he and John shot this when ‘Sinners’ came out, all around Eric’s hometown of Granite Falls in North Carolina. You can see the restaurants, the churches, the intersections.”
And more importantly, the fans.
“There are fans in this 10-year-old video that are still fans today,” he said.
Church posted the video on Monday (July 18) on social media, explaining that he’d held it back just so he could share it now.
We've been holding this video back for 10 years, just for today. "Sinners Like Me" turns 10! https://t.co/9jFIteAPMw
— Eric Church (@ericchurch) July 18, 2016
Jeremy Spillman, who co-wrote the album’s title track with Church about 13 years ago, told me that when they wrote that song, Church didn’t have a record deal yet.
“We wrote it in an old house on Music Row, and in my head, that was just always such an Eric song,” Spillman recalled. “It wasn’t the first song we wrote together. We were buddies, doing all the crazy things you do when you’re new to Nashville.”
The day they wrote the song, Spillman remembers coming in with the title and said Church had the idea to make it a waltz done in 3/4 time.
“And then when we got to chorus, and we put in the ’la de dah de dah’ part, we thought that was so emotional and so cool to not have words there. It was almost like a songwriting breakthrough because we were doing something we weren’t supposed to do.”
Spillman still writes with Church all these years later and says it’s because he’s extremely loyal to the people he started out with.
“Eric brings new people into the fold, but if you look at the songwriting credits,” Spillman said, “you’ll see a lot of the same guys who wrote on first record wrote on his last record and all the ones in between.”