Parker McCollum joins The Kelleigh Bannen Show to chat about writing ‘Burn It Down’ and shooting the fiery music video. Plus, they chat about his Apple Music Session, including why Parker decided to cover Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl.’
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Parker McCollum Tells Apple Music About the Day He Wrote ‘Burn It Down’
I was so burnt out with writing songs. I was really done. Because, Liz Rose walked into my house that day, she’s a dear friend of mine, and she said, “Well, what are we writing today P?” And I said, “I don’t know.” I said, “I don’t even want to write today. I’m kind of over it.” And, I was pretty much done with the record at the time. And she said, “Well,” this was a true story. She said, “Don’t say that. You might write the biggest song on the record today.”
Parker McCollum Tells Apple Music About Lighting His Boots on Fire for the ‘Burn It Down’ Music Video
They really lit those boots on fire. It was a brand new pair of Luccheses. They call them the peanut butter steppers… I had to take my boots off and my socks off, and he rubbed this really cold gel concoction mixture of chemicals and stuff all over, all the way up to my knees, just covered in it, like jelly… And then, [I] put my sock over that, put the boots over that. And then, we did one shot. Off camera, there’s 10 dudes with fire extinguishers, and I had a safe word, which I think was “off” or “out” or something like that. And they, “Action,” he has the torch, lights my boots on fire. I took about 20,25 steps, one take and… it started to get pretty hot.
Parker McCollum Tells Apple Music About Struggling to Relax
I really struggle to relax. I always have to be going somewhere or doing something, and it kind of becomes unhealthy at a certain point. It’s good to take some time off, but that just kind of seemed like that’s how I always felt. No matter how many, we sell 20,000 tickets in Dallas and then have a number one song and win an award and all this stuff. And then, it’s like you’re still sitting there going, “All right, what next?”
Parker McCollum Tells Apple Music About Writing ‘High Above Water‘
I remember the day I wrote that song, I had read something about John Mayer and how he’ll write songs looking in the mirror, playing guitar and write songs looking in the mirror. And, I just so happened to where I was living at this time… I had the sliding closet doors like on your closets on the wall, like in an apartment, and all four sliding doors were big glass mirrors, floor to ceiling. And so, I stood there that day and looked in the mirror and wrote Hive Above Water in 30, 40 minutes. And, I didn’t know what I was writing about. I didn’t know what the song was about. I was just trying to be a clever, poetic songwriter and put together a good melody.
Parker McCollum Tells Apple Music About Covering Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl’ for Apple Music Sessions
Everybody sang that song forever, and it’s such a massive classic hit. And, that opening lick is so, just identifiable with everybody. I think every generation’s probably heard that song and probably knows the hook at some point or another. So, it’s just a fun song. We’ve always struggled to find covers.