"I've been that person," Eric Church says of the misfit, the outcast and the outsider.
That's what tells Billboard of his career and his newest single, the title track to his upcoming album The Outsiders. Church and his posse are featured on the cover of the magazine's current issue of the magazine.
In the article, Church talks the new album, the single and its message of empowerment. He says he's aware of the irony of his current situation after becoming country's critical pick with his award-winning Chief. The title of his new project is The Outsiders, yet by all appearances, he's anything but an outsider in the industry.
But he'll tell you it was a journey to get to this point in his career, and it didn't happen overnight. He built his career by building a fan base on the club circuit and concentrating on his songwriting to become an artist who is more concerned about creating great albums than receiving radio airplay.
He's also not bothered by the fact that his biggest professional moments didn't happen until fairly recently. He tells Billboard he's "not afraid of the fact that I'm 36. I'm proud."
Church is more concerned with uplifting others he feels like he has a strong connection with. For him, "The Outsiders" is a song "for a 13 or 14-year-old kid who doesn't quite have it all together yet, and he's the outcast."
The song is more than just a chance for Church to blare some heavy rock guitar and pound his chest to fire up a crowd in his famous fashion.
"It's a gladiator song," he said. "It's a locker-room song. It fires you up."
If the song makes you feel invincible, that's exactly what Church was going for.
"I certainly have a place in my heart for anybody who is different, anybody who is doing things that other people aren't doing," he said. "I've been that person."
Haven't we all? Still, it's just nice to be reminded that one of country's most dynamic artists has been right there with us. The Outsiders will be released Feb. 11.