Track is inspired by true story
When Chase Rice’s longtime friend came to him with an idea for a song about “a guy and his dog driving around together,” the Diamond-certified songwriter laughed. “That cliché was exactly the type of thing I was trying to avoid on this album,” Rice remembers. And yet, once he sat down with his acoustic guitar to craft what would become one of three solo writes on the forthcoming project, the result was anything but cliché. With “Bench Seat,” Rice pays tribute to that friend – and the dog that saved his life.
“My buddy was in a really dark place – to the point where he was ready to end his own life. It took a lot for him to take me back to that moment, but when he told me what stopped him it stopped me in my tracks: his dog came and laid his head on his lap, and that connection saved him,” Rice explains. “I wrote this song by myself with the point of view from the dog’s perspective – which might not be obvious right away – and what that moment might have meant for the two of them if not for that intervention.”
Building upon the emotional backstory of the song, the official music video directed by Kaiser Cunningham offers a seven-plus-minute short film spotlighting the mental health struggle that affects countless people. The video’s intention is to encourage viewers to feel comfortable talking about the topic and seeking the assistance they need, with its conclusion pointing to available resources via wannatalkaboutit.com and encouraging anyone in crisis to call/text 988.
“For the first time in my career, I could envision the whole video as I was writing the song,” notes Rice. “I wanted to shine a light on the topic of mental health because this is something that makes way too many people feel alone and especially when addiction becomes part of the picture, one bad moment can have horrible consequences. I personally know how hard it can be to ask for help when you need it, but I hope this helps start a few more conversations and lets people know they really aren’t alone.
“When my friend was in that moment, it was impossible to see anything but the heaviness. He was able to get the help he needed, though, and now he’s living a beautiful life and starting a family. That’s what this video is really about – showing you the potential for a happy end to the story if you are able to find a way to get help through the dark times.”
The powerful song is one of 13 tracks on Rice’s forthcoming album, I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell, set for release February 10th and showcasing a more raw, vulnerable side of the man than on any of his previous studio projects. Recorded during an immersive two-week period at Rice’s farm outside Nashville with producer Oscar Charles and a live band using a makeshift recording setup, the album ranges from admiration of a Western way of life in recent releases “I Hate Cowboys” and “Way Down Yonder” to emotional reckoning in “Key West & Colorado” and “Bench Seat.”
Soon, fans will get to hear the new music live on Rice’s Way Down Yonder Tour, set to visit iconic venues such as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Boston’s House of Blues and Athens’ Georgia Theatre beginning March 3rd.