Amassing the best-selling digital Country single of all time (SoundScan) with 11X PLATINUM breakout “Cruise,” GRAMMY-nominated duo Florida Georgia Line have been making history since 2012. As the first Country act to achieve RIAA’s DIAMOND certification (10 million copies sold) and holding the longest reign on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart (50 straight weeks) with 9X PLATINUM, No. 1 “Meant to Be” with Bebe Rexha, the global superstars have tallied 10.2+ billion streams, exceeded 33.6 million track downloads, sold more than 4.7 million albums worldwide, scored 16 No. 1 singles, and played to over 4 million fans spanning massive arena and stadium headline tours. Honored by ACM, AMA, Billboard, CMA, and CMT Music Awards, their creative empire also includes thriving business initiatives: FGL HOUSE, meet + greet, Round Here Records, Tree Vibez Music, Tribe Kelley, Old Camp Whiskey, and Wolf Moon Bourbon (with Jason Aldean). If that wasn’t enough, they’ve dropped a new feel-good single ‘I Love My Country’ in the middle of a worldwide pandemic which can’t help but put a huge smile on your face. I caught up the boys over the phone as they #stayhome in Nashville:
Caroline: Hi guys great to speak to you, how are you?
FGL: Hey, how’s it going? We’re doing really well. Thanks for chatting with us, we’re excited!
Caroline: I’m excited! I heard your new single today and I love it. Chris Country Radio have been playing it loud and proud in the UK today and I’m sure your fans are buzzing about it. I love the rock guitar and banjo intro on the single – definitely a more ‘country’ FGL feel to this single. Tell me the story behind this single?
Tyler: Yes, thanks for saying all that. We’re excited, its kind of a throwback for us – a throwback to our first album ‘Here’s to the Good Times’. The song is one that has been around in our world for a little while in ‘demo’ land here, we’ve been playing it on our own but it just stuck around, and it’s just such a catchy song we thought we should just go ahead and record it and put it on this next album. It just felt so good, so fun, light-hearted and catchy. We’re really just trying to stack this album with songs that are very similar to our first album, we find that when we go back and listen to that album it’s still got something special. So, this album is going to have a ‘Here’s to the Good Times’ kind of feel and it’s going to be very nostalgic, bring people back to when they were first introduced to Florida Georgia Line. This song does it for us, it brings back our youth and it makes us want to have a good time. Especially right now, with the world where it’s at with the Coronavirus and the world being on lockdown, we thought man, let’s go ahead and get this song out! It feels like a time when the world can use it and so we really hope that this song brings as much positivity, fun and joy to the people as it did for BK (Brian Kelley) and I, in the studio and throughout the creative process.
Caroline: Yes, I thought that the timing of this song is just perfect. One of my all-time favourite tracks of yours is ‘Cruise’ – it’s such a great feel good song and this reminded me of the new song. Its feels quite invigorating and will put smiles on a lot of people’s faces.
Brian: Hey, that means a lot and is one of the reasons why we put it out and went ahead and did it this soon. It gave us that feeling as well and as we were sending it to friends and playing it for our colleagues and family, they were kind of saying that too that it was like a Cruise2 but in a fresh, new way. We’re super thankful to still be doing what we’re doing, and I feel like we’re just getting started. We have a really cool brotherhood in what we’re doing and are super thankful to everyday wake up and create and see what song is gonna come, see what next venture we’re gonna start or whatever the good Lord is gonna bring us. We’re just in a really special place right now, we’re always trying to better ourselves and with this song and the whole record. Hopefully our ears have got better over the years and with every record we always try and make a better one and use our talents to the best of our ability and we’re just super thankful!
Caroline: I’m super excited to hear the new record if this is a taster of what’s to come. Will you have any special collaborations on the new album or will we have to wait to find out?
Tyler: (Laughing) Ha! I don’t know, I think you’ll have to wait! In fact, now that you mention it, I don’t even know if we have any collaborations on the record yet, but there are some songs that could be very conducive with kind of collaborating with somebody so, if the time’s right and we find the right person, you never know what will happen. It’s been really fun to actually mix things up and really get back to our roots, just making music with me and BK, not even thinking about collaborating with anyone. I don’t know, it just feels good, we’ve collaborated a lot and needed to do that, but we don’t want to take away from the fact that we started with just me and BK and two acoustic guitars and we made our first album with really no collaborations, and kind of doing this album as a tribute, or a throwback, or a trip down memory lane if you will. So, we’ve had a lot of fun going back to our first album with this one. Actually, one more thought! I think there’ll be some good surprises on the album for you, it might not be in the form of collaborations but definitely some of these songs have been elevated and it’s a lot of cool stuff, different feels, different productions and elements that aren’t really out there with our music or anybody in our genre. There’s a lot of fun stuff on this album and I can’t wait for you to hear it!
Caroline: I saw you play at Country2Country London in 2015 and you blew the roof of the O2 Arena with such a great set. We’ve all been waiting for 5 years for you to come back. Have you got any plans to visit us in the UK, whether as part of C2C or as a solo tour?
Tyler: Hey, it’s so time for us to come back. We can’t wait to get back to the UK, we’ve been actually trying to get back, but everything has kind of fallen through and dates haven’t worked out. We’re steady on our schedule and trying to work out when we can get back and it’ll definitely be within the next year or year and a half. It’s hard to say right now with this pandemic going on, a lot of our world has kind of stopped but we’re still making music and having fun with it. Let everybody know on our behalf that we can’t wait to get back to the UK, we’ve missed you guys and we’ll throw a bigger party than ever before!
Caroline: That’s fantastic news. I know many of your fans get so excited when the C2C line-up gets announced and then are so disappointed when you guys aren’t on it. This will make them very happy.
Tyler: Ah, we’re looking forward to it, we had such a good time and it’s such a beautiful place over there. There’s not a day gone by that we haven’t thought about getting back. That arena has so much history and the whole set up over there is amazing, it’s such a vibe. The O2 – it’s such a hub that people can come who are local and then fly in from just a couple of hours away, it really is a different experience for us – just the energy is incredible. Let’s get it!
Caroline: I read this week that you had given your employees (all 117 of them) at Florida Georgia Line House in Nashville, $1000 each to help them over the time the restaurant is closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. I’d like to congratulate you on looking after your employees, that is a really great thing to do.
Tyler: Well thanks for saying that, it’s a pleasure to be able to do that. We feel really blessed to be where we’re at, to be able to have a home where we can stay in and completely quit working indefinitely and not stress too bad about it. The majority of our lives we’ve worked in the service industry and we’ve worked month to month and worked off tips – you know, washed cars and cut grass and done all kind of things so our hearts go out to people who are affected by this. Just the first month will be difficult for them, so we’re really just trying to do what we can and give back to those that give to us and, you know, try to make the world a better place and make people’s lives easier where we can and we’re going to continue to do that. I think that’s the cool thing about this pandemic, although it’s a tough thing to go through, I feel that it’s bringing our world together in a really cool way and some really positive things are coming from it. So, we’re just staying positive and helping as many people as we can and are excited to keep making music that brings some light to people. Anyway, thanks for saying that.
Caroline: So, with everyone being in isolation and staying at home at the moment if we can, have you got any isolation tips you could share with your fans that you are doing at the moment?
Bryan: I got a couple! You’ve gotta do some condense watching, you know shows and movies, you gotta get caught up on that – that’s definitely a must. Then I think another must for sure, twice a day, maybe in the morning and then again around sunset or early evening before dinner, I think you gotta get outside, you’ve got to go for a walk, you’ve gotta be in nature and gotta do something physical. Whatever that looks like for everybody’s capabilities and everybody’s situations different, whether its yard size or whatever. Go to the park if you can and stay away from each other. Just get outside and try and act normal, you’ve got to take care of yourself right now – that’s the most important thing. Everybody has got to take care of their mental health, their physical health. My wife and I, me & Brittney, have got a little bit of land out in West Nashville and we let our dogs run and do some hiking. I’ve been stacking some stones and building trails and getting my hands dirty – it’s kind of a workout too. Tyler have you got any good tips?
Tyler: Yeah, stay active, do some working out and hang out with the family. For us, it’s been a lot of fun keeping busy. Go on a walk for sure and just try to enjoy the downtime as much as you can.
Caroline: Guys you are a couple of my country music superheroes. If you were actual superheroes, who would you be?
Bryan: Here’s mine and it’s a funny answer – it would be Chuck Norris, that’s my man (giggles).
Tyler: I’m just gonna go with Batman .
Caroline: It’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you guys, good luck with the new single and the album and I can’t wait to see you back over here in the UK.
Bryan: Thank you so much for chatting and call at us anytime. We appreciate you guys and we can’t wait to get back.
Tyler: Same, great talking to you.
Caroline: Stay safe and healthy guys.
FGL: Thanks back ‘atcha!
I Love My Country was released on Friday 27th March 2020 and their fifth studio album is due out this year.
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