Matt Stell found a way to film a video for his newest single (photo by Matthew Berinato)

As his Platinum smash “Prayed For You” continued to break hearts, and his second single “Everywhere But On” was breaking into the top 25 on the country charts, rising star Matt Stell found himself in a predicament: How do you make a music video for your third single, smack dab in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic? Especially if the scene the song sets is of a honky-tonk filled with plenty of loud friends?

Well, first you grab some beer. Then you grab a skeleton crew, and head for the Fleet Street Pub in Nashville. And play all the parts yourself. 

“If I Was a Bar” debuted on Friday June 12—and Stell took a few minutes to tell us about it.

Was there some alcohol consumed during the filming of the music video?

MATT STELL: There was a little bit. (Laughs.) We cracked a couple of cold beers on the set. I’m pretty sure Anheuser-Busch sent us a box of beer, so we had a good time with that. But in all honesty, we had a skeleton crew because of all the social distancing guidelines, so there really weren’t a lot of people to drink with.

These days, what is your go-to drink before a show?

I’m typically a bourbon drinker and I don’t like to mix too much with it, maybe a little bit of ice and that’s about it. Before a show, there is always some tequila involved, because for some reason, it’s a stimulant and in general, it helps the show. (Laughs.)

Stell, in costume, played all the parts, even the dejected businessman. (photo courtesy of Midtown Motion)

You didn’t write “If I Was a Bar,” but obviously it spoke to you. How did you find it?

A few of my favorite songwriters in town—Dan Isbell, Zach Kale and Jonathan Singleton—wrote this song and sent it to me and my manager the night they got it done. And as soon as I heard it, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. It does what a lot of my favorite songs do. It’s like an upbeat heartbreak thing with a little humor underneath it. Country music always has had a way of doing songs like that.

It seems like a perfect time for some humor, right?

Totally. When there are hard times, I want to listen to something fun.

Got a favorite spot?

There is a place back home in Arkansas called Yesterday’s. It’s a restaurant/bar sort of thing in a small town where you walk in and you just know you will know a lot of people in there. There are plenty of TVs on the wall and Busch Light in the bottle.