Spend a Day in the Life of Rising Duo Florida Georgia Line – Exclusive
When you're considered to be the hottest rising country duo on the country music scene, you probably live a pretty exciting life, right? Definitely. Taste of Country caught up with red-hot 'Cruise' singers Florida Georgia Line -- who are in the midst of the CMT On Tour with headliner Jake Owen and fellow duo Love and Theft -- so that they could give us an inside peek at a day in their busy life.
On this particular day (Friday, Nov. 9), prior to taking the stage at Wild Bill's in Duluth, Ga., the duo's Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard get an added bonus. Following their interview with CNN's Robin Meade, where they talked about their hit single, their debut album which will hit stores on Tuesday, December 4, and their rocket ship ride to stardom, the newcomers received a nice treat from Carl Black Chevrolet of Kennesaw: brand new, customized trucks meant as a thank you for the shoutout to the company in 'Cruise.'
Upon their arrival at the dealership, Kelley and Hubbard were like two kids in a candy shop with unlimited access to anything their hearts desired. "This is a dream come true ... Seriously!" Kelley beamed as the pair walked through the lot of trucks picking before taking some for a test ride.
"I remember exactly where I was," Kelley told us of the moment he fell in love with Chevy trucks. "It was 1990-something. I was driving down the road, and driving the other way was a Chevy Silverado," he reveals. "It was like that teal green that was cool in the '90s… it was lifted, and I was like that is awesome! Ever since, I’ve always wanted a big ole Chevy with a lift kick."
It was obvious that Kelley and Hubbard both did their homework before going into the dealership. On Kelley's Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4x4 Z71, he went with a light blue metallic color, customized with a 6-inch lift, 35 inch tires and rockin' fender flares. Meanwhile, Hubbard picked a silver version of the same model truck with the same added package.
"I have a blue truck right now, so I think silver will pop and be cool," Hubbard tells us. "It’s something different. Everybody seems to lean toward black, but I wanted to be a little different, so me and BK are going to stand out a little bit."
"We're gonna sell you guys some trucks with this," Kelley told the dealership's GM T. Scott Jordan (pictured with the duo at the dealership above and below). "It's always been a dream of ours to own a Chevy!"
Around 4PM that afternoon, the FGL guys made their way back over the Wild Bill's to get ready for their load-in and soundcheck. With three full bands playing, they need to wait their turn to prepare, following Owen and Love and Theft, who ran through a few songs each. With friends and family in town for the show -- including Hubbard's mother and stepfather -- the duo stay occupied while they wait in the greenroom backstage.
"Usually there’s a little bit of downtime between when we get to the venue and soundcheck, especially on this tour, being one of three acts," Hubbard explained backstage. "On a typical day for us, there’s a little bit of downtime that we’re usually working on emails or doing media or working out. That’s pretty consistent every day."
So what do the FGL boys like to do on their off days at home? The answer is obvious: "Sleep in!" Kelley admits. "That’s first! I’m going to sleep in, I’m going to go to Bongo Java and eat my face off, and then I’m going to go work out. Then I like to see where the day takes me. Those are the two things I need to have -- Bongo Java and a workout -- then whatever… take a nap or whatever the day brings me."
"That is a beautiful thing about a day off, especially if you’re in town," added Hubbard, speaking of his hometown of Nashville. "You can do whatever the day leads. I’m probably going to wake up and get on my motorcycle and see where the day leads me at that point. That’s my getaway. That’s the thing I love. I love the freedom of riding. It just kind of takes your mind off everything else. I also love trying to see friends and maybe having a cookout… just kind of catch up with buddies or your roommates, that kind of stuff. The key is to not plan your day off. Let the day plan itself."
With this tour in particular -- their first major run -- FGL have enjoyed the brotherhood bond that they have struck up with the other acts on the bill. "The CMT Tour has been amazing," said Kelley while Owen's crew soundchecked in the background. "I don’t think there’s anything better than being on the road playing music with your buddies. Last night, I played 15 innings of baseball against Jake on a Play Station -- literally right before we went onstage -- and the score was still 0-0."
"We were waiting on BK!" Hubbard interjected with a grin.
"Every night we’re always on each others buses hanging out and talking or playing songs," continued Kelley. "That’s something special because I think you hear other stories about other artists hiding out, which is fine… there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s really cool what’s happening out here, and I think we’re making life long friends. Music aside, it’s just a bunch of great people, and I think that is awesome. I think it’s preparing us for sure for being part of the Luke tour. We’re playing bigger venues and learning to work a bigger crowd. Jake is one of the best, and with watching his show every night, we’re doing our homework and taking stuff in… trying to make it our own. It’s been an amazing tour. I really don’t want it to end."
After the guys locked in their soundcheck, it was time to meet with their fans. Rest assured, Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard are completely humbled and gracious to the ones who put their names on the charts. The duo spend quality time shaking the hands of every fan, introducing themselves, signing pictures, shirts and guitars, and capturing their special moment on their cameras and phones.
The sold out crowd filtered into the night club as Florida Georgia Line, their band, crew and reps from their management, publicity and record label teams gather for a pre-show huddle prayer before taking the stage. The guys know exactly how blessed they are to be in the position they're in, and they do not take a second of it for granted.
When the lights inside Wild Bill's dimmed, fans knew what was coming. It's that moment each night that FGL especially live for. "It’s like we’re about to go play a World Series," Hubbard said as they listened to the crowd's enthusiasm increase. "We get pumped up! The whole time we’re on stage, we’re running all around and giving it all we got. It’s always a party."
That it was. Kelley and Hubbard's set consisted of several familiar tunes, including 'Tip It Back,' 'Get Your Shine On,' and 'It'z Just What We Do.' The anticipation continued to build with each song, as everyone knew exactly what was coming.
The duo closed out their six-song set with 'Cruise,' the tune that has given them their first Top 5 hit single, which is nearing platinum status. Fans helped FGL out throughout the entire hit, singing back every lyric word-for-word.
Florida Georgia Line will have a few more weeks left with Owen on the CMT On Tour adventure before hitting the road with superstar Luke Bryan next year. When they think back on the past six months of their life, they tell us they're amazed by all the success country music fans have allowed them to have thus far.
"It’s been a whirlwind," Hubbard said, summing up the ride so far. "It’s been awesome. We’ve been working really hard, and I believe that hard work pays off. The last six months for us between the Throwdown Tour and now being on the CMT Tour and watching the sales numbers go up and the fans go up and every night see the fans sing 'Cruise' and about every song we sing, it’s been a lot to take in. It’s been crazy. We’re excited. We can’t wait for next year!"
Watch a Typical Day in the Life of Florida Georgia Line