On Saturday night, Brad Paisley participated in what he called The Paisley Pubcrawl, spending his night crashing fans' hangouts on Zoom from the comfort of his own home, sharing a few drinks, some laughs and even a little inspiration with the people on the other side of the screen. Speaking to Hoda Kotb on the Today show on Monday, April 20, Paisley shared that spending that time with fans had an unexpected effect on him.
"I got this idea because I started getting these invites from fans going, 'Hey, want to be in our happy hour?'" he said. "And I said, 'Well tell you what, you hold a happy hour from this time on on Saturday night and I'll hit as many as I can.' It's strangely... first of all, it's fun, second of all, it's sort of strangely very emotional for me. I finished it and felt really sort of this deep connection and also inspired by how these people are adapting and staying connected with friends and they allowed me into their houses and it's really a strange time, but it's also a time of unity where you just see a lot of people doing the best they can to stay sane."
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He added that the Zoom hangouts also inspired him to release his new single, "No I in Beer," which he wrote in 2018 with Kelley Lovelace. Kotb called the song "anthem-y" and compared it to "We Are the World," to which Paisley cracked, "We are the drunk world."
"It's funny, I wrote the bulk of this song in 2018 and performed it a few times to rousing ovations from the drinking crowd in the back," he joked, "but it wasn't until this thing happened that we ended up looking around and it's like, 'This is how people are getting through it. They're having these drinking parties and people are sitting around, they're drinking and talking.' It reminds me of college, only it's everybody's at home in their pajamas. We released this because it's strangely unifying, the concept of it."
Paisley shared that he changed a few lyrics before releasing the song, including the first line, which originally read, "There's a bunch of people coming over." He also performed a snippet of the song, proclaiming, "'Cause we're all in this together / There's always next year / Drinking oughta be a team effort / There is no I in beer."