As country continues to broaden in sonic scope, Eli Young Band have teamed up with pop star Andy Grammer for a remix of his danceable good-guy anthem, “Honey I’m Good.” With its energetic, quick-stepping beat, sky-high vocals and positive story about staying faithful to your significant other, the song hit grabbed the EYB guys’ attention — as did the numbers on its YouTube video: 34 million views (and counting).
“We’re constantly trying to evolve, mainly because we’re musicians and we get bored really easily,” lead singer Mike Eli tells Rolling Stone Country. “This song is one of those ones that’s like, ‘Someone is giving me the opportunity to be attached to an incredible song? Heck yeah, I’m in.'”
“And if feels like there have been quite a few songs that have crossed over the other way from country into pop,” bassist Jon Jones adds. “But very rarely do you find a song that feels like it’s gonna have a chance to flip the other way.”
Both the band and Grammer think the original “Honey I’m Good” had quite a bit of country in it already — like the positive, relatable story and ridiculously infectious beat — so not a whole lot of changes actually had to be made. Some keyboards were swapped out for guitars and Eli added his vocals to the mix, but that was about it, which might say more about modern country than the song itself.
“The thing is, people loved this song so much already that you don’t want to change it too much,” says Eli. “I had this kind of counter-melody thing I was working on, but it was like, ‘Is it pulling away from what people love about the song?’ Ultimately, I think we did enough to it to put our stamp on it to make it feel like ours, as well as keeping what was so special about it already.”
Arguably, what has made “Honey I’m Good” a Top 10 pop hit is also what will help it connect to country fans: its story about turning down a romantic tryst, even though you could probably get away with it.
“There was something really special and endearing about what he said,” Eli relates. “I think Andy put it best when he said, ‘It’s not like it was rocket science,’ but everyone goes through this and to be the bigger man. . . I love that the song flirts with that dirty idea but goes the other way.”
“I think the reason (cheating) songs work is because that’s real,” adds Grammer. “Everybody has that desire to be like, ‘You look really good right now,’ and everybody also has the desire to be noble. So if you can get them both in there like, ‘Yeah, she’s totally hot, and I’m still gonna be the bigger man about it,’ people are like, ‘I believe you.’ If you just go, ‘Monogamy’s awesome!,’ I don’t believe that.”
Fans did believe it, and even sent in video clips showing how long they and their partners had been together for the official music video. Grammer and the Eli Young Band hope to do the same for the remix’s corresponding video montage, but are looking to beat the record for the oldest couple (age 71) on the first installment.
“That’s one of my favorite parts of the video,” says Grammer. “When it starts to get way older and the cute couples are holding up their signs and like, ‘What is this? What’s even happening right now?'”
The Houston Texans’ cheerleaders have also added a layer to the song’s story, coming up with a line dance for it and challenging the collaborators post a video of themselves trying out the choreography. To their credit, Grammer and the Eli Young Band members seem on board to try something fun and unusual, which is basically how they ended up here to begin with.
“It’s gonna be messy, but we’re gonna do it,” Eli says. “Andy’s got that dip down.”