FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE EXORCISE BIBLE FROM BELTS
“Now you're looking like a line from a Vandross song/ I'm looking at that fine little dress you got on/ don't get me wrong, girl, I love it/ now I just wanna talk you out of it.” - Talk You Out Of It - Michael Hardy-Hunter Phelps-Jameson Rogers-Alysa Vanderheym.
When marathon chart-toppers Florida Georgia Line return here this week as headliners on their second Australian tour they have a chance to expand their diverse video catalogue.
The duo released a video for latest single Talk You Out Of It from their 19 track fourth album Can't Say I Ain't Country that was launched last month.
Their CD was preceded by singles Sitting Pretty, Colorado and Platinum chart topper Simple - their 16 th #1 hit.
Band creators Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley co-wrote over half the tracks with guest collaborations by Jason Derulo, Jason Aldean and Hardy.
The hedonistic theme of Talk You Out Of It is a vast contrast to their previous Biblical videos including one filmed at the 12 Apostles on Victoria's Shipwreck Coast on their 2016 tour with Georgian star Jason Aldean.
Hubbard and Kelley have perfect Christian credentials - they met as Nashville university church youth group worship leaders in 2008 and precede all concerts with prayers.
"Talk You Out Of It has a very different feel for us," Hubbard, 32, revealed.
"It's the baby-making song on the album. But really BK and I are always challenging ourselves creatively and knew that we had to record it when we first heard it.”
The song is fuelled by a banjo riff mixed with R & B elements.
“The vibe was just so money,” says Kelley, 33, “nothing like a good date night in."
It's unlike their Confession video on second album Anything Goes filmed in an abandoned Nashville church, replete with home movies and ignited by burning candles, fires and a confessional.
They filmed their video for Holy (High On Loving You ) from third album Dig Your Roots at the famed 12 Apostles near Loch Ard Gorge on their tour with Aldean.
The duo lured their wives Brittney Cole Kelley and Hayley Hubbard to cliffs near Port Campbell to appear.
But it's not the first time the Florida femme fatales appeared in their videos.
“The stripped-down cliff-side scenes and sweeping vistas of a 25,000-year dormant volcano, matched with lyrics of love's salvation, culminate in an astounding visual as an ode to their wives,” was how the video was promoted in the U.S.
“There's something to be said for sharing your life with someone. We're officially a team now. We're building something together,” Kelley said of creative input of their wives who have also produced babies.
“I think people can see our love for our wives and the passion that we have for being good husbands in this song.”
Hubbard, no relation to Texan outlaw Ray Wylie Hubbard, added “that's the key, we're both madly in love and our world revolves around our wives and our music.”
It's unlikely the duo was privy to veteran Shipwreck Coast pioneer outlaw band The Dead Livers mystical hit Holy Mary that also name checked Apollo Bay, Port Campbell and Warrnambool in its religious imagery.
SMALL TOWN BOYS IN QUEENSLAND
“If you leave your doors unlocked/ if your garage is your body shop/ if your dog's got room to run/ you might be from a small town/ and if you've ever kissed a girl/ spinning round on a Tilt-A-Whirl/ at the county fair in the summer sun/ you might be from a small town.” - Small Town - Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Michael Hardy, Jordan Schmidt
The duo has sold more than 5 million albums and launched their Old Camp Peach Pecan Whiskey, FGL House restaurant and Tree Vibez Music publishing company.
It's as far-cry from when Kelley was a star high school baseball pitcher from Ormond Beach , Florida , who was at Belmont University in Nashville and began writing music inspired by Christian rock group Casting Crowns.
Hubbard, a native of Monroe , Georgia , formed hip hop group, Ingenious Circuit in his teens and met Kelley as joint worship leaders at college.
“That's basically how we learned how to play guitar and connect with a crowd, at church,” Hubbard recalled. “We used to lead worship for a little youth group outside of Nashville . It was great. It was a little side money at the time, which we really needed, but it was also time for us to get away from the house for a little bit and lead worship. It was something for us that was very rewarding on a lot of different levels.”
"I've got friends from Colorado/ I've got friends from Tennessee / so I've got something in a bottle/ and I've got something from a seed/ since you said you didn't love me/ since you hung me out to dry / I've been drunk up in the Smokies on a Rocky Mountain high." - Colorado - Drew Green, Michael Hardy, Hunter Phelps
Florida Georgia Line join Shotgun Willie Nelson, Toby Keith and Brothers Osborne in reaping hay from the harvesting of new marijuana laws in diverse American states.
It's reflected in inclusion of Colorado on their new disc.
There's also dashes of down-home humour in their skits by a friend Brother Jervel , on All Gas No Brakes, Sack'a Puppies, Catfish Nuggets and album entrée Tyler Got Him A Tesla .
“So we did like four comedic skits or voicemails that kind of segue into the next song in our album and we're really excited about it,” Hubbard revealed.
“It's something different for us, something cool, something a lot of other artists are doing in the urban and hip-hop world, but nobody's really done it in country. How it originated was we have a friend that we call Nugget , aka Brother Jervel who hits us up every now and then and leaves voicemails for us mainly just to get a good laugh. He's got an alter ego that's just hysterical. He's a preacher in a small church and he always hit us up and made us laugh so we figured hey let's have him do some little skits on our album and break it up a little bit, do something different and hopefully give a little comedic relief, if you will. So we're excited to do that, excited to get that out there and excited for him. He's a brilliant writer and an amazing comedian.”
The duo also appeared with tour partner Wallen in his video for his #1hit Up Down on his debut album If I Know Me.
It features Morgan, now 25, and Florida Georgia Line on a beach and in concert.
Although the duo enjoys a hedonistic flavour in hits Cruise and Simple , they say they're not far, spiritually and personally, from their days as worship leaders.
“I think our faith comes through in a lot of different ways, if not directly in our music,” confessed Hubbard.
“But it's really starting to, as well, come out in our writing and our music. The biggest thing for BK and myself is, we've always taken pride in being transparent and being who we are and letting our fans in on our lives. I think that's one reason they connect so well to our music and who we are.
“We like to have a good time. We like to throw a party. We like to, on Friday and Saturday nights, see how many people we can get together and see how many people can forget their worries and just have a great time. We get a lot of joy out of that. But also, putting the Man first and making sure our priorities are straight, making sure our fans know where our hearts are at and where our blessings do come from.”
JASON ALDEAN CAN'T HIDE RED
“You can trade that pickup for a brand-new Cadillac/ slap you on that custom Gucci suit and ditch that camo hat/ you can move from the boondocks to Beverly Hills / drop a little hip-hop in the boombox, but still you can't hide red/ don't you know we were born this way.” - Can't Hide Red - Tyler Hubbard, Brian Kelley, Rob Hatch, James McNair, Ben Stennis
Those blessings include writing for other artists including the Jason Aldean single You Make It Easy.
Hubbard revealed Aldean, who headlined their previous Australian tour in 2016, is featured on Can't Hide Red - one of their new songs.
"You know what we got Aldean to sing one with us," Hubbard revealed.
"We don't have anybody else locked down. We're still waiting for the right opportunities. We don't like to force that. Just kind of wait and see what happens. We're really excited about the song we did with Aldean. It sounds awesome."
Florida Georgia Line's music has been labelled bro-country but the duo expands beyond that.
“ Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw inspire us,” Hubbard explained.
“It's hard to put our music into a box. We have always taken pride in doing things differently. Any time Music Row wants to do something a certain way, we are drawn to doing it the opposite way.”
“It's fun to not only blaze a trail in music, but also in other areas of our lives in business, whether it's fashion, in the restaurant business or publishing,” Kelley revealed.
“It's a blessing every day to wake up and create. Ultimately at the end of the day what drives us is creating.
The duo expanded writing for their own albums with composing songs for peers diverse as Cole Swindell and Billy Currington.
“BK and I moved to Nashville to pursue song-writing and at that time we had no idea that we were going to be an artist,” Hubbard revealed.
“It depends on the day probably, but I think there's a writer side of us that would much rather have Jason Aldean sing one of our songs. The validation that happens with that is really special. But then I think when we're in our artist mode, that artist side of us really wants to hear ourselves on the radio.”
And their 10-year relationship has survived despite the pressures of maintaining success.
“We take a lot of pride in trying to keep that thing healthy,” Hubbard explained.
“Just like a marriage, it takes work, and we like to work at it. And it's a lot of fun for us. Hopefully we can do this thing until the day we die together.”
Florida Georgia Line, Wallen and Rhett play Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday March 20.