Florida Georgia Line Are ‘Stronger’ Thanks to Outside Projects, Tyler Hubbard Says
Florida Georgia Line's creative resolve only strengthens when the duo work separately on outside projects, as the group's Tyler Hubbard explains. That's good news for fans who worry that Hubbard and his FGL foil, Brian Kelley, may one day go their separate ways as solo artists.
For now, Florida Georgia Line are busy gearing up to release their fifth studio album, Life Rolls On, this Friday (Feb. 12). But last month, listeners got a sample of what Hubbard can do apart from the FGL identity when he appeared on Tim McGraw's Here on Earth bonus song "Undivided."
The two artists got down to brass tracks when Hubbard recently dropped by McGraw's Beyond the Influence Radio for a chat. On the Apple Music show, Hubbard talks openly about how he and his Florida Georgia Line partner's work aside from the group only serve to enliven the duo.
"I was just with [Kelley] yesterday and we were doing a photoshoot and doing some press for the new record," Hubbard tells McGraw. "There's just a freedom that feels exhilarating, man, on both sides. And something about that really channels creativity. And so, now we're getting to experience a really cool wave of creativity on our own and grow that and nurture that and be supportive of each other."
"It feels like it's only going to make us stronger," he continues, "and able to grow outside of our typical boundary that we've set, our FGL box that we've built for ourselves over the last decade. We were always a package deal. With that comes moments where you can't quite grow on both sides. And so I think this season of growth for both of us is going to be amazing, and it already has been amazing."
McGraw concurs, remarking that "all creatives do that. Gosh, I do the same thing. My wife [Faith Hill] and I've done three or four tours together, made albums together and then we go our separate ways and do our own work. … Joe Walsh is a great example of that. He's been [maintained] a solo career and a career with the Eagles for all these years. And what he told me is that he feels fulfilled as a musician being able to do this, and not only that, and the two avenues complement each other."
Elsewhere during their chat, Hubbard recounts how he and Kelley's music tastes converged, going back to their early days as fans. That should come as no surprise to Florida Georgia Line fans familiar with the twosome's clearly symbiotic songwriting technique.
"[He] and I both grew up … listening to everything from Alabama, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alan Jackson to Tim McGraw. … And to Dr. Dre and Lil Wayne, and to Chris Tomlin. Do you know what I'm saying? So it was such a broad – even to AC/DC, when we were listening to Southern rock, rock 'n' roll and then we went Metallica, and digging deep on some of this stuff and really going through phases with it."
On Beyond the Influence, McGraw reiterates that Hubbard and Kelley are both "taking some time apart to work on solo projects." So, Florida Georgia Line listeners, be on the lookout for even more new music.
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