Having recently hit Number One on the Billboard country album chart and nestled themselves in the top 10 of the pop charts, Florida Georgia Line picked a very appropriate album title: Here‘s to the Good Times.
The latest round of success for the duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley came upon winning Best New Artist at the ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards. “Our fans have just gotten more passionate, it seems like, even after winning that and continuing to hit the road,” Hubbard told Rolling Stone when we met the duo on a tour bus at the live finale of The Voice, where they performed their smash “Cruise” with Nelly. “Our west coast run was probably the best five weeks of our lives – probably the craziest, too.”
Hubbard and Kelley didn’t want to get too into specifics of their wild nights on the coast. “I’ll leave it at this,” said Kelley. “I’ll say we had a couple of bus parties that were very memorable.”
We couldn’t leave it at that – we had to ask what a Florida Georgia Line bus party is like. “You might have to come out and see for yourself on the road this time,” Hubbard said. “[It’s] somewhere in the middle of Jack Daniel’s and Jesus.”
At The Voice, the duo performed on the same stage as Bob Seger, Pitbull, Christina Aguilera and Cher. This was their second recent encounter with Cher. “We were on Leno with her. That was really weird, too,” Hubbard said.
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For Hubbard and Kelley, to walk past Seger while he’s on his way to catering or to do multiple TV shows with Cher is a rush. “It’s just so cool to be in a spot where we can do stuff like this – hang out with cool people and do what we love in front of so many people,” Hubbard said.
But the success of “Cruise” and their recent ACM win are reminders of what got Florida Georgia Line to this point to begin with – the music. “I don’t think we were ever driven by success or wanting to be a star,” said Hubard. “You do something you love, you want to be good at it. You want to be successful, you want to be the best, and I think with the success that we’ve had, it makes us want to continue to work that much harder. So when we’re writing on the bus we’re digging deeper, we’re pushing harder. We want to top our first record. We want to top every record that’s out at the current time.”
They are already well into writing material for the follow up to Here‘s to Good Times. “It’s going good,” Kelley. “[We’ve] already got about 13 or 14 songs that we can’t not cut. Now the hard part is juggling – figuring out which ones we’re gonna be keeping, which ones we’re gonna let go.”
With so much material penned, Kelley can offer a little preview of what the next record might sound like. “It’s gonna be diverse, like our first album. Kind of a little something for everybody,” he said. “We like to mix it up when we write, get creative. If you write the same sound, the same vibe a couple of days in a row, you’re sick of it. I think we have a really diverse sound, especially on the second record.”