Chase Rice was in Indiana, hours away from going on stage with Jason Aldean, when he stopped for a chat to promote his new song. He loves everything about it, from the name “Way Down Yonder,” to the moonshining theme to the saloon/carnival vibe layered throughout.
“I’m not overthinking this record,” Rice told Outsider. “It’s like I want to keep hearing it. And (when) I want to hear my own record, well, that’s a good music thing because usually you just you get sick of your own stuff. Yeah, this one I just want to keep hearing it. And it was just a lot of fun.”
Rice already has tried out “Way Down Yonder” on stage in the last few weeks. Back in late August, he tweeted about the experience in front of an audience. “Sh-t got western, Free beer for all.” So, if a song is worth free beer for everybody, then crank down the windows y’all, and turn up this new country tune.
Late Tuesday, he teased the song and the video on his official TikTok account.
Chase Rice Celebrates Release of New Single, Wednesday
On Wednesday, Chase Rice releases the single, with the music video dropping early Friday morning. Outsider got a sneak peak. And let’s just say that Rice wasn’t kidding when he talked about the western part of the song and the video. He filmed it last month in Fort Worth, Texas, at a dive bar called Brand Room in the middle of the Stockyards National Historic District. Back in the 1800s, cowboys used to stop here in Cowtown to gather supplies before they’d drive their cattle north from Texas over the Red River and into Indian Territory.
Rice said there was a process in picking Fort Worth, which could be the most western town in the most western of states. He thought about sticking close to Nashville. But “Way Down Yonder” needed a true cowboy vibe as you can see from the cover art for the new single.
Rice’s video is about as cowboy authentic as you can get in the year 2022. Actors and other extras from Yellowstone prequel 1883 helped him with the video, which takes place in a saloon. There are cowboys and saloon girls drinking whiskey, smoking cigars and playing poker. You half expect to see Sam Elliott step out of the shadows and demand to play a hand.
And there’s Chase Rice, the tall, lanky cowboy, singing, almost growling, “way down yonder, where the outlaws wander, you can feel that thunder in your bones.” It’s raw and fun. The beat even sounds like the pling of a spur as a cowboy strides by.
Rice Said Video Is Inspired by John Wayne and Movie Lawless
Singing his own song, dressed up as a cowboy, was like a “childhood dream come true.”
“I grew up watching all the John Wayne movies,” Rice told Outsider. “There’s more inspiration … This one came from the John Wayne movies back in the day, as well as the movie Lawless, which is one of my favorite films. That gives us the moonshinin’ and then the John Wayne movies give us more of the cowboy side.”
Rice said it took he and his team about two hours to write the song.
“They wanted to write a party song,” he recalled. “And I really had no interest in writing a party song. Because I’ve done plenty of those. And I just kept saying y’all, this ain’t gonna be a song about a party in the field on a country night or all that bullshit. And so I really start talking about moonshining and how much I love moonshining and in the movie, Lawless, so that’s kind of how we faced it.”
Then when it came time to record it, Rice thought it sounded “cliche.” So there were more changes, an acoustic guitar was added and “started playing that kind of Carnival sound thing. That’s when the song really came to life and became a different deal than just the same old sh-t.”
“Way Down Yonder” follows “Key West to Colorado,” the single Rice released this summer. And he’s worked on far more music as he prepares for a new album. But those are details for another story. On Friday, let’s all head “Way Down Yonder” for a spell and enjoy some cowboy cool music.