Whiskey on My Breath

Album: Whiskey on My Breath (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • The title track from Whiskey on My Breath is a melancholic tune that signals a new direction for Love and Theft. "In some ways, we've played it safe in the past, and I think we're over that now," Stephen Barker-Liles of the duo observed. "I don't mind that songs like 'Whiskey on My Breath' may be a little controversial because they're honest, and I think that they'll make people think about how they feel about life."
  • Barker-Liles told The Boot why the duo chose this as the album's lead single. "We really wanted to put something out there that represented us vocally and showcased that we can sing... We wanted to put out a song with depth, a song that really means something, a song that would touch someone in a personal place," he said.

    "You know, I fell in love with country music because of songs that meant something, so for me, that song, it's got a lot of depth to it, and it meant something that we wanted to show, that side of us other than the party," Barker-Liles continued. "Life's not always like that, and the thing about the song is that it tells the struggle of someone; it shows the struggle of an addiction, being addicted - and it doesn't have to be alcohol, but people that are addicted, they really don't care about anything other than what their addiction is."

    "Even [the person in] 'Whiskey on My Breath' never really evolves," he added. "The only thing he really cares about - he doesn't care that he, you know, lost his friends and his family and everything else; the only thing he cares about is, 'Alright, well, when I do die, as long as I make it to heaven, I'm good.' I think it really shows you how dark [things can be for] someone with an addiction, how dark it really is, and the guy's kind of in denial. And I think it shows how deep an alcoholic can really be, but he also still has that hope, and the only hope he has left is in Jesus, which also shows a positive side of it. So we wanted to come with that... and I think it's good timing to have that song out there, and I hope it has that impact on a lot of people."
  • The song struck a personal chord for Barker-Liles' Love & Theft colleague Eric Gunderson, who made the decision to quit drinking during the making of the album. "In the industry we're in, it's pretty easy to find yourself drinking every night," Gunderson told People. "It's easy to fall into that hole and hard to get out of it. I am also Type 1 diabetic, so drinking too much could be dangerous, and I decided to be sober. It's been a life-changing decision."
  • The song's music video is a poignant story of redemption as we see an older man struggling with his alcoholism, a nearly empty bottle of whiskey in his hand.

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