Luke Combs was on tour in Europe, gearing up to headline the C2C Festival, when the coronavirus pandemic ground everything to a halt. Returning home to his rural Tennessee retreat, he continued to bring his music to fans via livestream performances, playing covers such as Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” and debuting new songs, including the timely response to social distancing, “Six Feet Apart.” But Combs has also been enjoying easing into a day-to-day routine: He’s cooking for himself and his fiancée, turkey hunting, and playing Call of Duty on Xbox to let off some steam. “If I just had three months off, this is what I’d be doing,” he says, settling in to answer our quarantine questions.
What are you doing with your unexpected time at home?
Kinda enjoying it, if I’m being honest with you. I haven’t had any time at home for three or four years now. I definitely wish we were out doing shows, but it’s like hitting the reset button for me. It’s been great to get in a normal-life routine: doing shit around the house, writing some songs, hanging out with my fiancée. We got chickens now, so we go out every morning and let them out and put them up at night. We planted a garden. We make coffee in the morning and cook every meal. A simple existence is something I enjoy — and just finding joy in the quiet. I don’t have any neighbors here that I can even see from my house, so I can hunt right here, ride ATVs, go look for morel mushrooms in the woods. I’m just living the redneck dream out here right now.
What music do you turn to in times of crisis for comfort, and why?
The only thing I’ve been listening to is the new John Anderson record, Years. It’s fucking awesome. I’ve always been a big fan of his voice. [Dan] Auerbach did it, so that was really cool. If I’m working out, I’ll listen to a lot of rap and metal, but that John Anderson album is what I’ve been gravitating towards.
What do you hope we all take away from this chapter?
I’m learning to do it too: Living with your thoughts. That’s something that people don’t do a lot — figuring out parts of yourself that maybe need fixing. But learning to deal with that inner narrative can be a hard thing. It’s something I’ve struggled with and something everyone has struggled with at times. You don’t always have to be doing something either. I think that has been a big problem that people have had in the past 20 years. Everybody has got to be doing something all the time: Gotta be on your phone; gotta be watching something on TV; gotta be playing Xbox. Just go sit on the porch, or read a book.
Anything else you want to say to your fans right now?
I’m just as anxious as they are. I want to get back out and do what I love doing, and I worry all the time that what I do is literally going to be the last thing in the world that starts happening again. That and sports. Playing in front of 20,000 people? When is that going to happen again? It’s a very uneasy time for me, but I’m making do with what I have. I enjoy doing the livestreams and am going to continue to do those and work on my music and try to come back stronger than I was before.