You Look Like I Need a Drink

Album: Kinda Don't Care (2015)
Charted: 79
  • Penned by Nashville songwriters Rodney Clawson ("Bartender," "Burnin' It Down") Matt Dragstrem ("Sippin' On Fire," "Turn It On") and Natalie Hemby ("Pontoon," "Automatic") , this cut finds Justin Moore singing of the impending feeling of a breakup about to happen. It was Hemby who suggested the idea during the trio's writing appointment at Big Loud Shirt Music. The threesome paired the lyrics with an instrumental track that Dragstrem had worked up prior to the session and Clawson then recorded the vocals for the demo that same day.

    Their first port of call was Blake Shelton, but it never drew any interest from Shelton's camp. Big Loud Shirt creative director Matt Turner then played the demo for Justin Moore's long-time producer Jeremy Stover, who emailed it onto the singer. He loved it and within around an hour of getting the email, Moore responded to Stover, "Love this, make sure we have this locked down."

    Moore recalled to Billboard magazine: "When I saw the title, I was going, 'Man, I've got to hear this song,' and I had a completely different thought of what it would probably be."

    "Then after I heard it, I thought it was just a great hook and it's unique, and one of those songs that as a songwriter you go, 'I cannot believe nobody's written this before.' More specifically, 'I can't believe I haven't written this.'"
  • The song was announced as the lead single to Moore's fourth studio album. When he played it live for the first time on October 23, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the singer knew from the reception it got that he'd made the right choice. "By the second chorus, everybody's singing the chorus, which is just crazy because I think it had been out on iTunes for maybe a day or two," he said. "That speaks volumes of the songwriters' ability to do what they did."
  • Moore noted that while the song is about a break-up between two lovers it was written loosely enough that it can take on a wider meaning. "It actually says absolutely nothing about a romantic relationship," he said. "It could be a boss walking in and you go, 'Oh, no,' or a coach coming in about to rip on a player. A romantic relationship is inferred."
  • Moore told The Boot the song's subject matter no longer resonates in his own life. "My wife and I have been together 13, 14, 15 years, and we've been married for eight or nine years, so hopefully I'm out of the woods as far as being dumped. That's at least the goal," he said with a laugh. "I've never been dumped, but I'm sure that the way I would have coped would have been to grab a drink."
  • Directed by Shane Drake and shot in Los Angeles, the video finds Moore playing a wild west cowboy trying to hunt down a woman named "Mad" Mary Mona Lisa. Unfortunately, the singer doesn't find it easy to track her down. "He keeps repeating the day only in different ways and different forms and shapes," said Drake of the plot. "We had to keep redressing the same set and have Justin do a lot of the same actions."
  • It was Natalie Hemby who brought the "You Look Like I Need a Drink" title to the songwriting session with Rodney Clawson and Matt Dragstrem. She recalled to The Boot: "At first, it could have been such a funny song, but I was telling Rodney - I can't remember who said what - why don't we make it more about a breakup song, like someone's going to give you bad news on a relationship?"

    "So, we basically wrote it, but when we wrote it, we did two different versions: We did a girl version and a guy version," she continued. "Rodney's voice is amazing, first of all; he's got a voice like Don Henley - just a very nice, warm tone to it. He sang the one demo, and I sang the other one. Even when I sing it live, I sing it a little slower and a little sadder; I try to bring my Chris Stapleton out, when I sing it live."
  • Hemby said of the finished recording: "If you listen [to Moore's version], it's not a huge departure from the demo, which I actually like, because sometimes you can get a song cut, and you're like, 'Wow, where did that guitar loop go?'"


Be the first to comment...

Steve Morse of Deep PurpleSongwriter Interviews

Deep Purple's guitarist since 1994, Steve talks about writing songs with the band and how he puts his own spin on "Smoke On The Water."

Francesca BattistelliSongwriter Interviews

The 2011 Artist of the Year at the Dove Awards isn't your typical gospel diva, and she thinks that's a good thing.

Johnette Napolitano of Concrete BlondeSongwriter Interviews

The singer/bassist for Concrete Blonde talks about how her songs come from clairvoyance, and takes us through the making of their hit "Joey."

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.

Kerry Livgren of KansasSongwriter Interviews

In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."