Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Florida Georgia Line

Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Florida Georgia Line

Being from a small town, I listen to country music. Names like Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney are commonplace in my hometown. I knew I was from a small town when I saw kids driving tractors to school. John Deere tractors, to be exact. The older I get, the more I like and the more I listen to country music. Thanks to Spotify, I find bands that I have never heard of. A few weeks ago, I heard a song called “Cruise” and fell in love with the sound. I listened to the album, and knew these guys would be big. They are starting to showcase that and are hitting the road with Thompson Square and Luke Bryan on the Dirt Road Diaries tour. They are about to release a new single, and have big plans for 2013. Last week they were actually in Indiana and a lot of my friends were going to the show. I can’t get enough of this band, and I am stoked to see them live. They have a bright future ahead of them. It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to Florida Georgia Line.

Florida Georgia Line is an American country music duo composed of Brian Kelley (from Ormond Beach, Florida) and Tyler Hubbard (from Monroe, Georgia).

You guys are kicking off the Dirt Road Diaries Tour with Luke Bryan. Looks like most of those dates are already sold out! Tell me more about the tour.
We had a great night last night to kick it off. It’s going to be a great year. Everybody brings something different to the table show wise, and I think the fans are going to be pumped. It’s going to be a party every night.

Are you from Florida or are you from Georgia? Where did the name come from?
(Brian Kelley) I’m from Florida and Tyler is from Georgia.

I am originally from Indiana. It looks like you play in Indiana quite a bit. Do you ever make it out west, or are you focused on the Midwest for right now?
We are all over the map. We’re going from East Coast to West Coast; all over. We were actually in Indiana last night.

Cruise might be the best song I have heard in 6 months! When you wrote/recorded that, did you think it would be such a big success?
We knew we had something special. We knew we love the song, but we didn’t know how big it was going to be. It has been really cool to watch this thing grow and build. It’s incredible to see fans cling on to it and love what we’re doing. Fingers crossed we get to keep doing it for a while.

Where was you the first time you heard your music on the radio?
I was actually at home. I got a text from a friend and ran out to my Tahoe at the time, cranked it up, opened the doors, and stood outside in my driveway. I about freaked out; it was pretty cool.

You guys are all over Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Who manages all of your social media campaign?
Social media makes our lives a lot easier. It’s great to be able to connect with people and to build a fan base that way. It makes it a lot easier than it used to be.

What is the biggest crowd you have ever played for?
Oh, I don’t know. Probably 12,000-15,000 people.

Did you get nervous?
Not really. You get in your own world and just get on stage and do your thing. It becomes the same show every night. The crowds are always great. It’s awesome how big they are. We are just up there doing our thing.

People can sign up for a meet and greet on your website. Do you do a meet and greet at every stop on the tour?
Yeah, I think so.

Do fans get anything more than the meet and greet? What about pictures and autographs?
It’s usually just a picture and a quick, “Hi,” because of the amount of people. We try to get as many people as we can. It’s not as much time as we would like to spend with our fans, but we try to get to as many people as we can. We want to make it special.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Oh, man. (Laughs.) This was self-induced, but we pulled a prank and came out in diapers. We put on adult diapers. That was a good time. It was on purpose!

What is it like being on the road all the time? Do you ever get homesick?
A little bit. Everybody needs a break and a night in their own bed. Not necessarily homesick, but there are times we are just craving to be back in Nashville. It’s nice to get back to the other part of this thing; write some and see some friends. It is a job, and sometimes it is hard to write on the road. We are based out of Nashville, so we have to get back there to make sure everything is right.

The album just came out and you are on a pretty impressive tour. What else do you have planned for 2013?
We have a new single coming out, and we are excited about that. We are going to be on the road tearing it up and making fans. We will also be shooting some music videos. Planning on being out there working hard the whole year.

What are you drinking on stage?
Usually whiskey; some sort of whiskey drink.

In all of the interviews I do, I always give the artist the last word. Go.
We are just thankful for our fans. They have changed our lives. 2012 was unbelievable and we are looking forward to a huge 2013. It seems like we have an army of fans that are ready to go to war with us. We are ready to hit the road and keep this train rolling. Thanks to the fans. Look forward to meeting more of them every night and putting on a show. We will keep this party rolling.

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Photo credit: Adam Taylor for Republic Nashville