10 Questions with ... Florida Georgia Line
August 3, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley met while attending Belmont University in Nashville and immediately formed a songwriting bond and strong friendship. They signed with Republic Nashville in 2012 and had instant success with the single, "Cruise," which has sold more than seven million digital downloads to date. Later that year, their debut album on Republic, "Here's To The Good Times" was released and went on to yield three more #1 singles while selling more than two million copies. In addition to radio, sales and touring success, the talented twosome has been racking up numerous industry awards from the Academy of Country Music (ACM), Country Music Association (CMA) Country Music Television and (CMT) Music Awards. Their most recent single, "Dirt," from an upcoming album made history on its July 14th impact date, garnering 127 Mediabase adds. The song is already in the top 15 and rising, after just three weeks.
1. Was any of the success you've had with the first album in your wildest dreams?
Tyler Hubbard: Oh man, I don't think so. We knew we had something special, but we always worked hard. That's been our goal and things happened but we couldn't have imagined anything this big - it's been a dream come true.
2. Authors and musicians have said in the past, whether it's an album or book - that you have your whole life to write the first one and six months for the second. Has that been the case for you?
Brian Kelley: That's the thing - finding the time, making the time. What's most important to us are the songs. We've been writing for record two since record one. Joey Moi, our producer has been pushing us even harder - we've been writing up until the deadline and it has come together beautifully. We have songs that we feel are going to make a great album. And we're going to work our butts off
3. Everyone else is talking about "Bro-Country' so we have to ask you guys. What do you think of that tag? Good, bad? Does it matter?
TH: That term doesn't offend us at all. We could care less what you want to call it. I think music is bigger than putting a label on a song or a feel. It's funny that Country music is coming out with all sorts of genres - but it is what it is. For us, our goal is to make the best music we can, throw the biggest party and sell the most tickets. If that's called Bro-Country than let's call it that - doesn't bother us at all.
4. Why would some people criticize the music and the lifestyle while it's all so popular?
BK: Everybody has their opinions but the majority of people like it and are showing up ready to party. People like to have a good time. To us, Country music is where your life is. Album two is where our life is right now. Country music is a lifestyle; how you go about your business and your family. Our alums represent that; we like to dream and have a good time. Music is always changing and we're just trying to do our brand of Country music - that's why it's so special. Because you can have so many different sounds and voices.
5. I'm guessing you both listened to all kinds of music growing up?
TH: Absolutely - we grew up listening to hip-hop, rock, country Christian - a little bit of everything. As songwriters that gives us the creative freedom to bring all of that together and make the kind of music we enjoy writing, recording and performing live. It's come together nicely and we enjoy the heck out of it.
6. How different is the next album - did you stay close to each other as songwriters or go outside your usual comfort zones?
BK: I think album two picked up right where album one left off. It's a natural progression of where we are and where the music has taken us. It's been an easy process for us and we've pushed ourselves. We wanted to take chances; retain the same FGL sound but we're covering a couple different topics while pushing boundaries with lyrics and melodies. There is a lot going on with a lot of influences and we want to create a sound our fans will continue to love.
7. It's rare that a debut single is such a career maker - is there another huge impact song out there for you?
TH: I think so. I think "Dirt" is gonna be a big impact song. It could change the game up even more and hopefully, anybody that has, or does want to say anything negatively about what we're doing will get a reality check with this next single. When stuff takes off and is successful, there are always people who want to doubt and degrade you. That's part of it all. Honestly, it's something we learned early on. But if you don't have those people, you're not doing something right. I think "Dirt" can be a game changer. I think this whole album will continue to push boundaries and continue to sell tickets.
BK: Anybody that's been successful has had backlash.
8. When you first met at Belmont, did you hit it off right away?
BK: For us it was pretty instant. We started writing immediately, moved in together and we hit the road trying to develop a song base.
9. If all this wasn't happening, what would you be doing?
BK: We'd probably still be trying to get a publishing deal and make records.
10. What has being on the road with Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan taught you about playing to big crowds?
BK: The more you do something, the more comfortable you get. We go up there and let the music take over. We grew up leading worship in church. If you can gain their trust and lead them in worship, you can definitely get a stadium of fans to have a great time and get the fans ready to rock. We just demand everybody has a great time.
TH: Church is where we developed our love for music. Me and BK both helped out with the youth worship band. Any opportunity we had during college, along with writing songs we enjoyed doing that for a youth group. We had a big heart and a lot of passion for that. Any opportunity to play, we took.