Eli Young Band’s Mike Eli Talks About “Love Ain’t” & “Break It In”

eli young band
Photo Courtesy John Shearer

With megahits like “Love Ain’t,” “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and “Crazy Girl,” the Eli Young Band is one of the best country acts out today. They have a long track record of producing tunes that are both catchy and relatable, thus garnering the band multiple awards and nominations including Song of the Year and Group of the Year. If you haven’t gotten to catch the Eli Young Band live, you have several chances locally this weekend. Read on to learn about their inspirational “Love Ain’t” video, new single, “Break It In,” and how that particular song applies to both their lives and careers.

Mike Eli Talks “Love Ain’t”

EPR: So first I’m going to ask you about the video for “Love Ain’t” and what was your inspiration? I mean what made you guys decide to cover that subject matter?

Mike Eli: We do a lot of work with the Wounded Warrior [and] we were brainstorming. We wanted to find kind of the ultimate love story because “Love Ain’t” is obviously a song about what love is. We wanted to find that ultimate love story, whatever it might be, whether or not it’s something that we create in a video format. And at the time we were working with the Wounded Warrior Project and talking about what we’re doing with the single and they said, “You know what? Let us let us look around because we may have something.”

So they started streaming us some of the footage of Taylor and Danielle Morris and we were incredibly moved by what we saw and what we were told about them and it kind of just started snowballing after that. It was such a huge opportunity to be able to be a part of telling their story to a lot of people who didn’t necessarily know…a lot of people don’t realize that a lot of these men and women, when they come home from serving their battles, a lot of relationships don’t survive. The Wounded Warrior Project and a lot of organizations out there do their best to help families and circles survive from the war.

EPR: Yeah, they do seem like such a wonderful and dedicated couple and it’s really amazing to see what they’ve been through and how they’re able to, you know, work through that together.

Mike Eli: They are every bit as awesome as you think they are.

eli young band
Photo Courtesy Cal Quinn

Eli Young Band And Their College Days

EPR: Well, okay, so to switch subjects, you guys started as a college band, is that correct?

Mike Eli: That is right. We started the band in North Texas, back in the day. In the beginning we were, obviously this was a hobby and really an outlet for us to be able to make music while we were getting our degrees and it turned out that we were able to continue.

EPR: So did you all meet in college because I know that two of you did for sure but was that the case for all of the band members?

Mike Eli: Actually yes. So James and I ran into Jon and then Chris which is part of the story. The other three guys had met prior to that, and had kind of started jamming and making music together before we started the band. and I started college ’99 and they had been jamming together and I said, “Hey man, I sing. Maybe I can join in.”

So James and I had started writing music, a few songs, and so we started kind of playing acoustic at some of the local places in Denton [Texas] where we started the band and it was working until October of 2000 when the other two guys jumped on stage with us and they played about four songs, and it all snowballed from there. ‘

Mike Eli On “Break It In”

EPR: That’s really cool that kind of fate brought you guys together like that. A lot of groups can’t stay together that long because they just can’t get along. Being that y’all met in college and have been through a lot together, can you tell me how that applies to your single “Break It In?”

Mike Eli: Yeah, I mean, I think that “Break It In”, is one of those songs that is an incredibly appropriate song for where we’re at in our lives and our career. We feel like we’re kind of just drinking this thing in. You know, I think over time, we’ve figured things out and we’ve become better musicians, better performers and better entertainers and we kind of feel like we’re hitting our stride 20 years later. And there’s not an awful lot of bands that can can feel that way as far as being the same four dudes making making music together.

On The Road & Time Off For Christmas

EPR: Will you get to take any time off for Christmas?

Mike Eli: We will. Yeah. This is our last weekend and we’re ready to play our show in Charlotte and then we are off for about a month.

EPR: That’s great any big plans?

eli young band
Photo Courtesy Cal Quinn

Mike Eli: Yeah! A whole lotta Christmas and some traveling and family and those things that we’ve been neglecting too much over the first of the year. So we’ll be playing some catch up will be a lot of with that. That will be a lot of what that month is all about.

EPR: You already mentioned the show in Charlotte. But you also have a show in Greensboro this week. Do you want to tell me about your shows and what people can expect to see?

Mike Eli: Obviously, the show, will be revolved around the hits, but we play a lot of those old songs that maybe just the fans who have been with us a long time will know. will find that maybe you know. So, it won’t just be the radio hits. It will be a lot of the stuff that the hardcore fans that have been with us and supporting us for a long time will know.

It’s an old school rock’n’roll show. We’re a band that’s very rooted in old school rock and roll and I think that when people come to our show, that’s what they see. You know, we’re just getting up there and turning our amps up and having a good time. And we really feel like that we’ve hit our stride and the shows have just been a ton of fun and and hopefully people come out to just have a really good time.

Catch the Eli Young Band TONIGHT at Cone Denim Entertainment Complex in Greensboro, TOMORROW NIGHT at The Fillmore Charlotte and at House Of Blues in Myrtle Beach on SATURDAY. Check out the rest of their touring schedule here.

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6 Music Themed Restaurants In Myrtle Beach

6 Music Themed Restaurants In Myrtle Beach

On Thursday I am headed back to Myrtle Beach to go to Carolina Country Music Fest. Last year was my first time attending and I tried to keep the restaurants music related to make it a whole themed trip. Because I am cool like that. If you are like me, and I might be making your acquaintance at this year’s music festival, be sure to check out my favorite music themed restaurants in Myrtle Beach and plan your food festivities accordingly.

6 Music Themed Restaurants In Myrtle Beach

Hard Rock Cafe – If you haven’t been to Myrtle Beach in a few years, you might not know that Hard Rock Cafe changed locations. They used to be in the pyramid building but now they are at Broadway at the Beach. I asked why they moved and was told that they are trying to streamline the look of the Hard Rock Cafes, to make them more uniform, so that the focus can be more on the music. So RIP pyramid and hello brand new Hard Rock Cafe.

I always buy and/or trade souvenir pins when I go to Hard Rock Cafe and now have quite the collection. Unfortunately, I never got one at Gatlinburg before they closed down that location, so if any of you want to hook me up with one, I sure won’t be saying no. πŸ˜‰

Wahlburgers – I remember when I went to Coney Island a few years ago and laid my eyes on my first Wahlburgers [a franchise co-owned by Paul, Donnie and Mark Wahlberg]. It wasn’t completed yet but I had been watching the show [still do] so I was at least familiar with the franchise. Fast forward to last year and I finally got to eat at one – in Myrtle Beach. If you are able to make it, be sure to order something with “government cheese.” Soooo good.

And for any of you who might not consider this restaurant to be “music themed” I beg to differ. Who can forget about New Kids On The Block and Marky Mark? In the restaurant, you’ll find tons of memorabilia from their music days [as well as their acting careers] hanging around for you to peruse.

House Of Blues – Some of my absolute favorite memories of Myrtle Beach include House of Blues. I remember one time, a few years ago, leaving for Myrtle Beach kind of late and being really exhausted when we finally got there. So, we headed over to House of Blues for the Murder Mystery Dinner Theater and then we hung around to listen to the Journey tribute band that was playing afterwards. It was the perfect way to relax after a 5 hour car ride.

And last year during Carolina Country Music Fest, we tried out the Sunday Gospel Brunch for the first time. I know that many of you who are attending this year’s music festival will be looking for Sunday church. Why not go to House of Blues? There you will find amazing gospel music singers and a buffet full of fantastic southern food. If you really want to immerse yourself in southern culture, be sure to try chicken and waffles. It was a first for me [even though I am from the south] and I left a fan.

Margaritaville – Anytime I travel, I make it a point to stop by Margaritaville. And, after years of promising me they would soon have them available for purchase, they finally have souvenir pins. I believe I now have pins from both the Pigeon Forge and Myrtle Beach locations. But I will be checking my pin collection before I head out to make sure. Otherwise I will be picking up one on this trip.

Anyway, who doesn’t love Jimmy Buffett? Even if you don’t love his music, if you are headed to a beach, you are probably down with his vibe. Seriously though, if you don’t love “Come Monday” can we even be friends?

The Bowery – I mean, come on people! How can you go to the 5th annual Carolina Country Music Fest, where Alabama will be playing Thursday night by the way, without going to The Bowery? Did I mention it’s Alabama’s 50th year and they got their start at the legendary Bowery. Plus, it’s located right next to the music festival. So, if you aren’t driving, you don’t even have to worry about paying the Uber fare. Just walk on over. Convenience. I got you. πŸ˜‰

I stopped in last year and you can trust that I will stop in again this year. Who knows? Alabama might even drop by The Bowery, too!

Dave and Buster’s – I am throwing Dave and Buster’s in, too, because they have music themed games and the TVs play music videos that you can watch while eating. So, even though it might not be predominately music themed, they offer enough that I think all of you music aficionados will still really enjoy the atmosphere there. Plus, they have really good food and offer money saving deals on food and game combos. I recommend joining their email list for specials.

And did I mention cocktails? Dave and Buster’s has some super fun drinks to choose from, too, many that come with fun monsters on the side! Yes, I am an overgrown child. πŸ˜‰

These are just some of the music themed restaurants that I have tried out in Myrtle Beach and, of course, I haven’t been everywhere. Do you have a favorite to suggest that I missed? I’d love to hear about it if you do!h

Still don’t have your tickets for Carolina Country Music Fest? What the heck, people? Get on it already before they run out and you are left sitting at home, watching my Instagram for updates!

Murder Is On The Menu At The House Of Blues Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre #ad @HOBMB

Murder Is On The Menu at the Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre at House of Blues Myrtle Beach #sponsoredEat Play Rock

One thing that Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has an abundance of are dinner theaters. However, there is one dinner theater in particular that is different than, and we feel stands out above all the rest, the House of Blues Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre.
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