Love and Theft is making a stand about addiction with their latest single “Whiskey On My Breath.” The duo, comprised of Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles, has dealt with losing family members to alcoholism.
“It’s a pretty heavy topic,” Stephen said. “But it’s not all about drinking. It’s just about addictions in general. Almost everyone has their own addiction. It doesn’t have to be alcohol. It could be social media.”
The single skyrocketed from #200 to #2 on iTunes with a little support from the Bobby Bones Show.
“Bobby heard ‘Whiskey On My Breath’ and really related to it,” Eric said. “His mother died of alcoholism at 46.”
Eric struggled with alcoholism and was proudly 311 days sober at the time of our interview.
“Singing about it every night when I was still drinking was almost like I was giving myself a guilt trip in a way,” Eric said. “I was getting up there singing about the one thing that scared me to death more than anything – whiskey on my breath. It’s been good to get away from it and change my lifestyle.”
Eric’s new go-to drink is soda water or Diet Coke with a few limes. Stephen still enjoys an adult beverage every now and then.
“I drink vodka and water pretty much because you’re hydrating while you’re drinking.”
Good strategy, Stephen! That’s not his only advice about drinking.
Stephen, since you’re a year older and so much wiser than Eric, give us your words of wisdom. This is your legacy!
Eric: Give us like half of a tweet – so you get like 13 characters or something. Make this count, this is it. This will live on forever. Ladies and gentlemen, Stephen Barker Liles’ words to live by.
Stephen: You’re not drinking alone if your pet is with you.
Stephen: It’s for all the pet lovers out there.
Eric, what’s the deal with your Twitter bio: “Life coach, alien expert, ceiling fan collector…follow me”?
Eric: Oh just two things I’m really passionate about. I’m really obsessed with aliens and area 51. No I’m kidding… I just put it on there as a joke. And then I watched an episode of something on TV where this guy collected oriental fans, and I thought it was so weird and strange. So I thought I’d put it on there, too. None of that’s true.
Stephen: CMA Fest we could get Love and Theft fans… for the fans.
Eric: Oh yeah the ones where you mist yourself!
OK guys… back to the important stuff. What do you have going on this year?
Stephen: We’re traveling all year playing tons of shows. We’ve been doing about 100 shows a year for 6 or 7 years. Some years we’re gone 200 days. There’s no telling how many shows we’re gonna do this year. We’re on pace for a lot.
Eric: It’s been the busiest beginning of a year for us as far as acoustic shows go.
Stephen: I’m gonna have a Companion Pass at the end of the year if I keep flying Southwest!
“Whiskey On My Breath” soaring to the top of the charts, drinking with pets, aliens and a busy year ahead. There ya have it, folks – Love and Theft!