Fireball whiskey and moonshine drenched Florida Georgia Line's double-platinum debut Here's to the Good Times, but bandmates Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley are finding inspiration elsewhere — for one song in particular at least — as they finish work on their second album, set for a fall release, in Nashville.
Sporting a Bob Marley tank and a backwards "FGL" baseball hat, Kelley, with his German shepherd puppy Smoke by his side, beams as Florida Georgia Line's producer Joey Moi (Nickelback) presses play on "Sun Daze," a new song that extols the virtues of getting high. "All I want to do today is wear my favorite shades and get stoned" go the lyrics.
"I woke up that morning and literally wrote that in my phone," says Kelley.
"We'll probably have to come up with a different word for the radio edit," adds Hubbard, nursing a hangover from a day of "fishing, cooking out and drinking too much wine."
With its drum line intro, whistle and references to Haggard and Jagger, "Sun Daze," co-written by the duo, already sounds like a summertime monster.
Other songs in contention for the record include the rapid-fire "You Ain't Even Gone," the hip-shaker "Smile" and "Smoke," a puff of bonfire nostalgia. A bit of old-school FGL, the party-ready "Anything Goes," may end up the album's title, Kelley reveals. "That song was on hold since the last album was turned in," Moi says.
Despite the enormous success of the galvanizing Here's to the Good Times, Hubbard says they feel no pressure to re-create that magic. Still, signs already hint at a repeat: the project's debut single, "Dirt," sold nearly 200,000 downloads its first week of release.
"We like to relax and enjoy the moment we're in," says Hubbard. "Pressure leads to a whole lot of other stuff that we don't care for."
Reclining on a sofa in Moi's subterranean studio, Hubbard and Kelley, who have both purchased houses near Nashville, aren't even fazed by the maligned "bro country" label.
"People always want to know if we're offended by it. No," says Hubbard.
"We're not offended by all the fans showing up and having a good time at our shows at all," grins Kelley.
Hubbard agrees. "It is what it is and it's selling tickets," he says. "If this is bro country, then we love it."