MC: What new songwriters in Nashville should we be aware of?
Kelley: Anyone affiliated with Big Loud Shirt. Matt Dragstrem, Nicolle Galyon, Cindy Robbins, Corey Crowder––the list of good writers in Nashville is too long to mention.
MC: Do you have time off the road for multiple writing sessions?
Kelley: Not any more. The day that we wrote “Cruise” we wrote three songs. We can’t do that any more. If we have to we will, but we don’t have to do that now. We’d rather have one song that was slamming. When you do, you thank the songwriting gods.
MC: Part of your shared experiences includes leading music for worship services. How did that figure into the Florida Georgia Line history?
Kelley: We both led worship, and if you lead people into worship you can lead them to partying and to your music. Coming up we played a lot of different places. We grew up loving Christian music as well. It was a way for us to make a little money and give back, and every day we were working together and writing our own songs and practicing for leading worship, and that was very instrumental in our relationship for where we are today. Tyler and I are always on the same page. It was an hour to drive out there to lead worship, and we were spending more money than actually making it. Looking back, it was an awesome time for us to grow and to connect creatively.
MC: Brian, you pitched baseball at Belmont. Are there any connections that you can draw between being on the mound and being on the stage?
Kelley: There is, man. I bring the same intensity and forces to have a good time with it. Pitching is 90 percent mental. I think this music game is extremely mental. You can have the best news or the worst news. If you’re having a weird day, or someone says something that hits you wrong, you can mess up our day, but you can’t mess up our stage. Once we hit that, it’s go time. Everything’s clear.
MC: And working in front of these massive audiences must be amazing.
Hubbard: We always try to go big. Even if we’re playing for only a thousand people we give it 110 percent and we literally play the same show that we would play for 75,000 people. That’s been our mentality. We try to play every show like it’s our last show. There’s no better feeling for us than looking out and seeing 75,000 people singing along.