Thanks to the chart-topping success of their song “Cruise,” the release this week of their debut album Here’s To The Good Times, and the enthusiasm from their growing fan base, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of country duo Florida Georgia Line are finding their lives are changing. Fast.
Yet at the same time they remain, as Tyler says, “just normal dudes, who get to play music for a living, and have a really good job.”
“Normal dudes” who also happen to have a Number One single.
The two artists talked about their career growth and all the success they’ve been enjoying in a recent interview provided exclusively to CBS Local, courtesy of Republic Nashville.
“It’s been a crazy ride,” says Tyler. “We buckled up a while back, and we’ve just been holding on tight” ever since.
But that level of success doesn’t come by just leaning back and waiting for it. As the two musicians explain, it requires work–namely, interacting directly with fans and paying attention.
Tyler tells how Jake Owen and other buddies explained it to them, saying, “‘Hey, there’s people in the parking lot tailgating, waiting for your show, let’s go say what’s up to them.'”
They also describe a recent show where they brought a little boy up on stage to strum (“he had a little guitar with him”) and sing “Cruise” with them. “That was one of the coolest moments,” says Brian.
Interacting with fans and impacting peoples’ lives–such as bringing the little up on stage–one of the most satisfying things, they say, about what they do.
And building that relationship with their audience was of prime importance to them — they aimed to gain a listener base before even thinking about getting signed and recording an album. “We were out looking for fans before we were looking for a record deal,” says Brian.
Because of that initial work in building a fan base, he says, the fans “are right along with us” and “believe in our music, believe in what we want to do. They’re part of the family, too.”
And the level of fan appreciation and interaction they talk about extends online as well–namely, to their Twitter account, which they run themselves.
We gave this album everything we had. We could not be more proud to share with you all. What do y’all think?!… fb.me/20xKjKra7
— Florida Georgia Line (@FLAGALine) December 5, 2012
“If fans are willing to spend money on tickets and merch and music, why wouldn’t we let them in?” says Brian about their Twitter activity. “It’s awesome. We get to share pictures from soundhcheck.”
“It’d get pretty lonely if you didn’t get to share anything.”
Watch the band talk about hitting Number One with their single “Cruise,” and the diversity of songs found on their debut album. (“We like having a good time, but that consists of a lot more than just partying,” says Tyler.)
Florida Georgia Line’s new album Here’s To The Good Times is available now.
– Kurt Wolff, CBS Local