The Pass Herald caught up with Aaron Pritchett to talk about the good Garth Brookes albums, his hit single ‘Hold My Beer,’ and the state of country music.
Q: How do you feel about playing at the Hillcrest Mine Disaster 100th Anniversary?
A: I think it’s good to remember these serious tragedies because it’s a reminder that this stuff has happened. A lot of lives were lost and even though it was 100 years ago, I think it’s important to keep that heritage alive.
Q: What inspired you to write the song, Hold My Beer?
A: I saw the saying on the back of a t-shirt when I was working at a country club in the mid ‘90s. I thought it was really funny but I didn’t think much about it for many years.
Then in 2005 I was down in Nashville writing with a couple of guys and we couldn’t come up with a good subject to write about and it just popped into my head. I said; hold my beer while I kiss your girlfriend. The guys that I was writing with wanted to do it and a couple of hours later we had the song finished.
The inspiration I get from that saying is that good Canadian guys, like myself and the guys I was writing with, we know that women in Canada are worth fighting for and we’ll do whatever it takes to defend a woman’s honour.
Q: What’s the hardest part of the creative process?
A: I think finding the right words to tell your story. It’s tough to find the right words to describe what you’re feeling or what you want people to understand.
That’s why I tend to write with other writers – one or two other guys – because those thought processes get put to three brains and three people can come up with the right lyric for that song.
Another thing is relating to the crowd that you’re playing to, not only with your songs, but also with your personality.
Q: What was the first song you wrote?
A: It was a song called ‘City Cowboy,’ and I was inspired to write when I was in this talent search. I went to the Canadian finals in Hamilton in 1993 and I met a guy named Paul Brandt – in country music, he’s been Canada’s country guy for the past 20 years now – and Paul helped me write this song, and it was the very first song I ever wrote.
Q: What do you think about the state of country music in Canada?
A: I like it but it’s a can of worms. If you talk to people out there, there are people that hate the new country and there are people who absolutely love the new country and can’t stand the old country. I’m a guy who’s a bit of a fence sitter. I’m trying to keep current with my country music and I love Dallas Smith, I love Florida Georgia Line, I love the sound of it.
The music itself, the production is so far off from what it was ten years ago. I think it’s a new brand, and with anything else, it has to develop.
But I still listen to the old Clint Black. And Garth Brookes first two or three records – not the big pop stuff – but the original albums he had were just unreal.
Q: Any plans to visit the sites in the Pass?
A: I’m not sure if you’ve heard about my schedule but on the 19th I’m in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan and then on the 20th I’m in Hamilton, Ontario and then on the 21st I’m coming to the Crowsnest. I’m hoping we’ll have some time to stop in and see the mines themselves and see the memorial for them.
You can follow Aaron Pritchett on Twitter at @AaronPritchett or visit his Facebook page.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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