Dan + Shay's latest single might not be suitable for the under-21 crowd, but it definitely is not a party tune.
The song, "Tequila," which says, "But when I taste tequila / Baby I still see ya / Curled up on the floor in a Serotta t-shirt / The same one you wore when we were sky-high in Colorado / Your lips pressed against the bottle / Swearing on a Bible I'd never leave you / I remember how bad I need you / When I taste tequila," was, perhaps surprisingly, inspired by duo members Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney's decision to stop drinking so much.
"We did like 200 shows last year or something," Smyers recalled to PopCulture.com at a recent media event. "And all us band guys, we're like, 'We should try to not drink ten beers tonight, cut some calories."
So instead of drinking beer, the band first tried vodka, before settling on tequila as the drink of choice.
"It's cool," Smyers said. "Gives us a little burst of energy before we go on stage. We'll do a celebratory little shot and sip on it all around stage. It naturally became our drink of choice with the Dan + Shay band and crew. And it's been a part of our lives."
Little did Dan + Shay know, their choice to imbibe would become the inspiration for the debut single from their upcoming third studio album.
"We were in the writing room and our buddy Jordan Reynolds, who we write a lot of songs with, and he brought up that title, that idea," Smyers recalled. "He said, 'What about a song called 'Tequila?' And at first we were all like, 'That would be cool.' It's symbolic of partying and having a good time and us being on stage and late nights and positivity. But then we thought, 'Let's try for a second to spin it and go the other way, and your senses like smell and taste and things like that are triggers for nostalgia and that was one thing specifically.'"
The pensive song, which Nicolle Galyon also helped write, is a sign of what fans can expect from their next record.
"Shay came over to my house and we hashed it out on my little mini keyboard," Smyers said. "We were programming all kinds of wacky sounds to make it more dramatic and more emotional, and ominous in the production. I think the way it turned out, we're super proud of. It's Dan + Shay 3.0. It takes what we do best, narrative, telling a story, invoking some nostalgia in people with the lyrics and I think we just stepped it up to the next level. We still have our harmonies and still have the Dan + Shay signature melodies in there, but I think in production we moved on a little bit and stepped it up."
Dan + Shay will have plenty of opportunities to perform "Tequila" on the road this year. The guys have just been announced as the openers for the upcoming Rascal Flatts Back to Us Tour, which kicks off in Hartford, Conn. Dates and venue details will be announced shortly. A list of all of Dan + Shay's upcoming shows is available on their website.
Download "Tequila" on iTunes.
Photo Credit: Instagram/DanandShay