Describing Chase Rice’s new song “Bench Seat” as “powerful” would be an understatement.
“Bench Seat” is the next installment of Rice’s new chapter of music which includes a growing catalog of true stories that reveal his most authentic self. In his latest release, the country star pays tribute to the longtime friend that inspired the story about one man’s battle with mental health, and the dog that ultimately saved him.
When his friend pitched him the idea to write about “a guy and his dog driving around together,” his first reaction was to brush it off. “That cliché was exactly the type of thing I was trying to avoid on this album,” Rice recalled.
Based On True Events
However, upon second glance, Rice uncovered something much deeper than what he initially saw on the surface. With just him and his acoustic guitar, the talented singer/songwriter crafted what would become one of three solo writes on the forthcoming project, I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell.
“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 explained in a press release. “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.”
Realizing that the song was written from the dog’s point of view will stop you in your tracks, as the story suddenly takes on a whole new meaning. Rice’s moving vocals cause a goose-bump effect with his overwhelming ability to convey a heartbreaking melody through words that hold a tremendous amount of weight in the current state of the world, where addiction can be found just about everywhere.
Spotlights Mental Health
His message is further conveyed in the official music video, directed by Kaiser Cunningham. Because of the sensitivity around the subject line, Rice opted to create a short film, that both highlights the ongoing struggle with mental health and encourages those who have been affected to seek help when needed.
“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.
The vulnerable video opens with Rice, who shows up for a meeting in an effort to overcome what he’s battling internally. While he doesn’t seem to have too much faith in the idea initially, something good does come of the experience. A love interest suggests he should get a dog. While his character was hesitant to welcome in a new life and the added responsibilities, the bond between him and the dog eventually grows stronger. With a newfound joy in his life, things start to look up for Rice…until the darkness takes over once again.
This video contains images and language that may be graphic to some viewers and is intended for mature audiences only. Viewer discretion is advised. TW: language, self-harm, addiction, substances, death.
The chart-topping star continued, “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.”
After a tear-jerking turn of events, the video concludes with a statement pointing to available resources via wannatalkaboutit.com and encouraging anyone in crisis to call/text 988.
Ahead of the video’s release, Rice took to social media to share a few words about what people can expect from the film. Along with his statement, the post also included a photo of him and his beloved dog, Jack, who also served as a form of inspiration for the new track.
“The Most Real Thing I’ve Ever Done”
“The video that comes out tomorrow for Bench Seat is the darkest but most real thing I’ve ever done in music. I wouldn’t show your kids, and I want y’all to know it covers addition, self harm, depression etc.,” Chase Rice warned.
“Too many people struggle with it, and it’s time to shine some light on it. A dog saved my best friends life, and my dog Jack has blessed mine more than I ever thought he could. This is based on that story. Just know, you’re never alone. Talk to family, talk to friends ,hell talk to me. Love y’all,” he said in conclusion.
The moving song will be featured on Rice’s 13-track album, I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell, set for release Feb. 10, along with his previous releases, “I Hate Cowboys,” “Way Down Yonder” and “Key West & Colorado.”
Chase Rice 2023 Tour
These authentic melodies were all recorded at Chase Rice’s farm outside Nashville. Within a two-week period, Rice, producer Oscar Charles and a live band came together to create the magic that will soon unfold in this collection that’s expected to be different than anything he’s created in his career thus far.
Chase Rice will bring his new music to the stage during his headlining Way Down Yonder Tour, which kicks off March 3 in Laughlin, NV. Recent dates have been added to the trek, extending its run to July 1.