As the summer months fades away and cooler weather signals the closure of another year, Eric Church is already plotting his next move for the new year. Though many artists try to remain in the spotlight during a high in their career, a well-deserved break from the demands of being a superstar is in the works for one of the hardest working men in country music.

“I’m going to be out of the spotlight next year, really,” Church tells Billboard of his planned hiatus. “I want to see if I can write some songs and see where we can go, musically. I’m looking forward to that. I really want to see where this thing goes.”

As far as his next studio effort is concerned, the singer warns fans that there is no specific timeline for new music. “I’m not anywhere close to a next album,” says the ‘Creepin’ singer, who told Taste of Country earlier this summer that a new record was the “last thing” on his mind. “I’m not in a hurry. I’m never in a hurry to make records, never will be.”

“I’m waiting on the creative process to tell me what’s next. I’m not going to be an artist who just makes records so the (label) can make its quarterly numbers or just to support a tour,” adds Church. “That’s the worst reason in the world to make music. I still think there has to be evolution… and it would be very disappointing for us to come to the point we’ve come to and not have that next record show great evolution, because I think the best bands and best artists do that.”

Church’s musical instincts have certainly proven beneficial to his career this year. The singer will wrap 2012 as one of the most in-demand country superstars, with his wildly successful sold-out Blood, Sweat and Beers headlining tour and a platinum certification for his third album, ‘Chief,’ which signifies more than one million in sales. Even after collecting his first two No. 1 singles — ‘Drink in My Hand’ and ‘Springsteen’ — Church admits that a personal token of appreciation from the inspiration of the latter is no doubt a highlight of his entire career.

“It’s a pretty incredible note. It’s the first time I’ve officially heard from him,” Church gushes, speaking of the handwritten note he got from the Boss. “I had heard he was a fan of the song, but it’s the first time I officially heard. It means the world to me — and the set list is three hours and 37 minutes. That impressed me, too.”

Until his self-imposed hiatus goes into the effect, Church will continue on his Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour, which extends through the end of 2012. Church is scheduled to perform an exhausting 40 plus dates between now and Christmas.

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