Behind the Music: A Glimpse into the Writing of Ashley Wineland's Popular Single "Drive Me to Drink"
Between Me & You, every now and then I get asked what my process is when it comes to writing songs. To be honest, I wish I could tell you an exact routine that I execute to come up with the next set of bops for my albums. However, the reality is that every song is usually a completely different process. Sometimes, a similar approach can be taken across the music, but every now and then, you get ideas that just stick with you and take their time to come to life: “Drive Me to Drink” was definitely one of those songs.
I’m gonna throw us back to the year 2017. Yes, you read that correctly 2017. I won’t be naming any particular person or thing, but I will say my experiences in certain circumstances led me to the thought, “You could drive me to drink!”. Which was ironic for the time since I was only 19. However, it was in those moments I understood how maddening some things could be and how alcohol could sound like a great idea to manage those pressed buttons.
After the initial thought, which would become the title of the song, I pondered over how I could write about this intense feeling while also giggling about the irony. Like magic came the lyrics, “Now I don’t find solace in Maker’s or Jack, but you could drive me to drink with an attitude like that!”. BINGO! I had found a great launching point to flesh out this song. And I did, but the rest of the tune wouldn’t come to life until the end of 2019.
For 2 years, this line sat in a lyric notebook I kept. Every time I would sit and open my book, I would see that line and try to write around it, but I never jived with the words that came. Time jumping back to 2019, I was writing songs for my 2021, ‘I’m Gonna Ride’ album. In a session with my long-time co-writing friend, Bryan Kuban, he asked if I had any ideas I wanted to write. I knew right then and there that this was my opportunity to take my little line and finally make it a song!
I gave him the scope of my vision: a sing-a-long, old-school, spaghetti western-sounding song that played off of the dramatics and exasperation of dealing with too hard-to-handle things. We were off to the races once I gave him my lyric and melody concept. Bryan helped bridge the missing pieces of the tale. His ideas opened the pandora’s box in my head to finally write lyrics that captured everything I wanted!
We finished the write for “Drive Me to Drink” in an afternoon (which I think was a favor from above considering the key hook sat in a notebook for almost 3 years). I knew as soon as we were done that this song was going to be a single and a music video HAD to be made!
When this post was published, the song had over 200,000 streams on Spotify and over 1.5 MILLION streams on VEVO for the official music video. Make sure to visit the links below to experience “Drive Me to Drink”!
"DRIVE ME TO DRINK" is featured on the 'I'm Gonna Ride' album!