Matt Stell's new song "If I Was a Bar" is a country-certified breakup track that finds its protagonist imagining themselves as a bar in order to move on, so it only makes sense that the video for the song was filmed in its namesake setting. Since the video was filmed during the coronavirus quarantine, Stell and director Dustin Haney had to get creative, and Haney suggested the idea of Stell portraying each of the bar's occupants, from the bartender to the band to the variously clad patrons for a total of 13 different characters.
"The only thing I can take credit for is all the clothes in there," Stell joked to PopCulture.com about the video. "I just dug through my closet and packed like I was going to Europe and went downtown to a bar." The 36-year-old explained that he and Haney wanted to make the video in the safest way possible and made sure to follow all the recommended guidelines. "We were trying to figure out a way to make a video that was conscious of the situation and followed guidelines for, you know, working and congregating in spaces," he said. "So we had to figure out a way we could do it with very limited people there and do it in a single location, pretty much. And so that was what Dustin came up with and we just executed it. It was so much fun."
"If I Was a Bar" was written by Dan Isbell, Zach Kale and Jonathan Singleton and is the first song Stell has released since his 2019 EP Everywhere But On. While the Arkansas native typically co-writes all of his songs, he shared that when he first heard "If I Was a Bar," he "knew that it was something that I would love to be the artist that got to sing it."
"I was really lucky that they trusted somebody relatively new out the gate with a song that, to me, seemed like a just kind of a home run," he said. "And it does what my favorite country songs do. It's like this kind of fun party heartbreak song. I love that vibe. I think that's kind of unique to country music in a lot of ways so I really loved that."
Earlier this year, Stell was out on the road on his first headlining tour, the Everywhere But On Tour, and was able to finish most of the run before he was pulled off the road due to the coronavirus pandemic. He started testing out "If I Was a Bar" on the trek and shared that he can't wait to get back to playing the song live. "We got to play it live some too and it goes over real well," he shared. "So I cannot wait to get back and plug the amps in, put 'em up too loud and play."