Eric Church’s ‘Monsters’ Became ‘More Real’ After Las Vegas Massacre
"Monsters" is one of the most stirring tracks on Eric Church's forceful Desperate Man album, and the story behind the song is as emotional as its lyrics.
The song — a co-write between Church and Jeff Hyde — uses imaginary monsters as a metaphor for monsters in the real world. "
I killed my first monster when I was seven years old / He melted like butter in my bathroom's sixty-watt bulb," Church sings in the first two lines, leading into a chorus that says:
"Anymore when a restless feelin' keeps me up at night / Fallin' on my knees is my new turnin' on the light / I keep my faith intact, make sure my prayers are said / 'Cause I've learned that the monsters ain't the ones beneath the bed."
In a new video, Church reveals that the song was inspired by a simple, yet powerful moment he recalls with his eldest son, Boone. Since the Route 91 Harvest Festival last October, it has taken on a new, darker, more tragic meaning.
"I think ‘Monsters’ after Vegas became more real to me," Church says, reflecting. The singer shares a story about how one night, Boone asked his dad to adjust the brightness of his bathroom light before he went to sleep.
"That stuck with me that all he needed was more light," Church recalls. "That little bit of light is what made the difference, that’s the key. The overall theme of 'Monsters' is that it’s not a big blinding light — it’s this much light that made the difference."
"That little nugget is what I carry with me," he adds.
Church was closely tied to the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, because he had headlined one of the three nights of the Route 91 Harvest Festival before Jason Aldean's closing night, which is when the shooting occurred.
During an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in the days that followed, Church delivered a five-minute monologue about the tragedy and performed a song he wrote for the victims called "Why Not Me," specifically with Sonny Melton in mind. He was one of Church's fans who was killed while protecting his wife during the shooting, and he had bought tickets to his show at the Opry.
"Something broke in me ... when that happened, and the only way I've ever fixed anything that's been broke in me is with music," Church said.
Desperate Man was released on Oct. 5. Church is set to embark on his Double Down Tour in 2019.
Never Forget the 58 Victims of the Route 91 Shooting: