Tonight (Jan. 19), Eric Church kicks off the first arena tour of his career in Fort Smith, Ark. In a recent interview with the Associated Press, Church explained just how aptly named his Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour actually is. It seems the moniker is more than a clever play on words meant to arouse feelings of a good time. It's more literal than that.

"It’s taken a lot of all three for me to get here,” Church spills. “Somebody asked me what it was more of, and barely I would say beer. But then it would be sweat and then there was a lot of blood [laughs]. There’s been some blood along the way. I think it’s fitting for the kind of tour it’s gonna be. You know, it’s gonna be very in-your-face like the rest of our stuff. Probably some parental guidance will be needed, but that’s OK. It’s the kind of show that we’ve always put on and the kind of show I enjoy. I like the shows, and it’ll be a little unsafe from time to time.”

Church is taking Brantley Gilbert on the road with him for this tour, and he says he's excited about the partnership, especially since he can relate to the way Gilbert launched his career. "He’s another guy that’s built his career in clubs and theaters, and that’s hard to do," says Church. "I know how hard – we did it, so I understand having success at that without having the benefit of some of the other things -- it’s tough. I admire and respect that, and I think it’s gonna be a good match and, you know, I think it’s going to be one of the best tours of the year.”

Riding the coattails of his song 'Drink in My Hand,' which became Church's first-ever No.1, the rising country star seems to be watching his stars align. Taking a second to reflect on just how far he's come in a short amount of time, he says, “It’s funny, I was just thinking – I told somebody – I said, ‘I feel like we were just in clubs last year,’ and then I said, ‘Wait a minute. We were in clubs last year.’ You know, so it’s been a big jump. It’s been a fast ride since ‘Chief'’ came out.”

Watch Eric Church Talk Blood, Sweat and Beers