Chase Rice is entering his outlaw era with the release of his latest tune, “Way Down Yonder,” and its accompanying music video.
The video embraces a shift from his recent productions as Rice embraces his “rowdy” character that’s always prepared for a fight. He puts his acting skills to the test as he goes back in time and embodies the western heritage of the filming location, Fort Worth’s Stockyards National Historic District.
During a writing retreat in Florida, Rice wrote another recent release, “Key West & Colorado.” On the same day this song was penned, he joined forces with Hunter Phelps, John Byron, Blake Pendergrass and Corey Crowder to create “Way Down Yonder.” Through Rice’s unrestrained vocals, the final product delivers a clear portrayal of some dedicated characters who are suspected to remain at large and a narrative that gets down to the nitty gritty truth.
The first time Rice played this outlaw anthem live, fans began itching for more. He also got the chance to showcase it during a recent performance at the Grand Ole Opry.
“It’s awesome. I mean, obviously, people aren’t singing along ’cause they’ve never heard it, but we’re energetic ’cause we had never played it and we were fired up to play it,” he shared. “There’s that nasty guitar riff at the very end and everything goes black and everybody cheers like crazy.”
“Way down yonder where the outlaws wander / You can feel that thunder in your bones / Rippin’ hot rod runners under moonlight cover / Just some back glass gunners on the road / Where you buy your bud with your moonshine money / Make your love where the bees make honey / When the cut’s where you’re born and raised / Man it’s in your blood, we were born this way down yonder,” he sings in the chorus.
“Way Down Yonder” and “Key West & Colorado” will be featured on Rice’s upcoming no-track record. Co-written by Rice alongside Brian Kelley, “Key West & Colorado” was the start of this new musical chapter Rice is stepping into, and “Way Down Yonder” elevates that notion. In this collection, he’s putting aside the love songs and getting to the core of who he really is.
“It’s me. It’s like I put out so many love songs and I finally looked at this record like, what am I doing?,” he told Country Now. “To be honest, I’m still learning about love. I never had a relationship longer than three years. One day I wanna get married, but I ain’t there yet. Let’s put out something that’s me. It’s dirty, it’s grimy, it’s nasty and it’s fun to play live.”
The country hitmaker realized he needed to make a change in his life by stepping away from his usual writing process to create on his own, in the peace and quiet of his home. He began writing music for his next project during the pandemic and in doing so, made some discoveries about himself and the direction he wants to take his music.
“I was like, ‘okay, now I’m starting to act in a way that isn’t me.’ So what I did was, I had a dinner with a family one night, you know, quarantine friends that December, and I just kind of hit a wall. I said, ‘guys, I’m outta here. I’m gonna go home. I need to be by myself for a bit.’ So I went home and it all just kind of hit me at once where I was just fed up with the way the world was working, I was fed up with the way social media was working and I was fed up with how it was making me act. The way the world works, I couldn’t control and I knew that, but I knew I could control how I acted.”
After reaching this epiphany, Rice was inspired to write his song, “If I Were Rock & Roll.”
“It was the first song I’d written by myself and eight, nine years probably and that’s what started the process.”
This new music is just a taste of what’s to come from Rice’s time spent recording during a two-week period alongside producer Oscar Charles and a live band at his farm outside Nashville.
“This is genuinely my best record ever,” Rice previously shared with Country Now.
Between his latest releases, there is a clear indication that there’s a shift happening right now in his career. Although this level of vulnerability and change can appear to be daunting, Rice was feeling at ease with the whole process.
“It was pretty easy because I loved so much when I was writing with just me and a guitar, and I was so done with how I’ve done it. I’ve listened to a lot of songs that I’ve put out in the past and I’ve had some great stuff and I’ve had some stuff that I’m not proud of. I knew for a fact the new stuff that I was doing was awesome.”
He added, “I loved it. I personally loved it, and I believed me when I sang it. So when that happened and when I was fed up with how I was starting to act or how I’ve been acting, I realized that the other way was so much more realistic and so much more real to who I am as a person. I found so much joy from it that there was no way I was going back to the other way.”
The “Lonely If You Are” singer has yet to share when the new project will be available but based on the response from his latest releases, fans can expect him to follow a similar path of raw vulnerability on the full collection.
Chase Rice is currently on the road in support of Jason Aldean for a few stops on his Rock N’ Roll Cowboy Tour. He joined the trek on Oct. 7 and will continue on the road until their final stop in Wichita, KS on Oct. 29.