Eric Church is known as a bad boy -- an industry outlaw who doesn't like playing by the rules and isn't afraid of making bold, controversial statements.
"For me, it's autobiographical," Church said when asked why he chose to name his fifth studio album Mr. Misunderstood. "It's about the music industry, how it sometimes misses artists who are different. It's a celebration of it's OK to be different, it's OK to be not like everyone else. It's important to be who you are."
The album received great critical acclaim and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart.
Church had even more to say about modern, mainstream country music when asked about why the genre continues to thrive. "Country music is the song that speaks to the American condition," he stated. "It's middle America. Eight out of 10 people. Maybe it's not the No. 1 choice, but they listen to country. Consistency, as well."
He also expressed some concern over the current state of country music. "Country has become a bigger umbrella. It's good and bad," Church explained. "Country has become too homogenized and too commercial. It has lost what makes it special. It's great that it's popular, but then it starts to become watered down."
Hey, he's not alone in his opinion of the genre. Many country fans feel the same way, but we have been seeing a resurgence of artists hoping to bring country back to its roots over the past few years. Let's hope that's the path the genre continues to head down.