I'm excited to be part of a movement that's progressing country music. There's always gonna be people saying, 'It ain't country anymore,' but I don't get into that whole deal.
It's kind of like a college degree... when you get one, no one can take it from you. When you get to say for the rest of your life that you've got a platinum album, that really means something.
I thought being on stage was an amazing feeling, but there is nothing that can top watching my wife bring our son into this world.
I got my iPad, and I'm trying to buy books on that, but I kind of like a book. At the end of my life, when I'm old, I want to have all these shelves full of books. So I'm just gonna do the book thing.
We're putting on a show, and if I'm dancing and having fun, you can take a shot of the crowd, and they've got smiles glued to their faces.
Even with all the negativeness of the whole social media thing, I still think it's leaps and bounds more positive.
Anytime you have a fellow artist say, 'Loving the new Luke Bryan album,' that's awesome.
I used to work at my dad's peanut mill, and worked 15 hours a day, 6 days a week. So, now, riding around on a nice tour bus and doing shows, you'd have to get picky to have a downside.
I don't give any merit to criticism. 'Country Girls (Shake it for Me),' I can see where people view that as sexist, but I just view that as having fun.
I want to be comfortable on TV. If I'm comfortable, they're comfortable watching me. I think nothing's more icky than watching icky on TV.
I will always really work hard to write as much as I can, but I also love sitting back and waiting on those big Nashville songwriters to send me some great songs, too.
'Dirt Road Diaries,' in my mind, is a perfect country guy song. It speaks to the hard-working guy, and I'm excited for the fans to hear that one.
I hope someone thinks I sing good. I'm always working hard to sing better. I sound the way I sound, but I can always be better. I work hard at singing and being a better recording artist.
I'm kind of at a point in my career where I can get away with traditional stuff and then get away with some more rocky and pop and edgier stuff, too.
I wouldn't necessarily say she is a country artist. I mean, obviously Taylor Swift started in country, but she morphed into somewhat of a cultural icon, so, who am I to judge what she is?
That's the beauty of country music - you have to get out there and earn it and work hard. And when you're on the road with big name acts, you realize there's no easy way to the 'Promised Land' in this business.
I would like to be a heart surgeon or brain surgeon... something with that knowledge and the ability to save a life would be pretty cool. I wasn't that good in science class, though.
'Tailgate Blues' is kind of a lyrical masterpiece of a country song.
As far as heroes thorough the years, I'd say definitely Alabama and Randy Owen, Conway Twitty was a big influence of mine, George Strait, Lionel Richie.
Our crew guys, it's amazing what they have to go through to make a show happen every night.
My thing is to get up there and have a good time and give the fans all you can and appreciate them spending their money and being in the stands - and just be appreciative of them cheering when you come onstage.
I think 'Country Girl' is one song that can veer into country or hip-hop or rap. You can listen to it and enjoy the humor and the fun in it.
You see a lot of people out there that say they're country, and they do their little things that are stereotypical country things, but being country is a way of life.
To have your first No. 1 as an artist was everything I could have ever dreamed for. Now we're keeping our fingers crossed, and hopefully we'll have many more, but there's certainly nothing like the first one.
My main thing is I'm gonna go out there every night and give it all I got and just try to put on the best show I can. That's just the way I'm programmed and wired.
I don't keep diaries anymore; They're quite incriminating. I just keep all the dirt road diaries in my head.
I think the attraction to country music is the fans, the lure of the hardcore fan base.
American Idol allowed us to find Carrie Underwood.
With every album, the approach is find the best songs you can find, write the best songs you can write and try to sound better.
Nothing is more rewarding than to take a song, create it out of thin air and then watch it affect people.
Anything I've ever read by John Irving has been really well written.
You always have to work to become a better singer, songwriter and performer.
I always look back to awards shows and think about being a kid watching them.
I'm a big sports fan in general.
My first memories of music were country music and Ronnie Milsap. Where I grew up, it was what you listened to. And anything else, you were somewhat out of place.
I always want to make an album that lets people immerse in it, kind of like you get caught up in a good movie.
You want women to think of you in a sexy manner. It's all part of the business. It drives ticket sales. It's all a part of it.
I always want to have a personal relationship with everybody that works for me.
I've been so blessed to have my career gradually get bigger and bigger, so I've been able to absorb stuff and take stuff gradually.
I'll always have songs with a farm connotation on my albums. It's in the fabric of my music, and I plan to keep it that way.
Nothing is more frustrating to me than putting a song on an album and regret putting it on there. I'm excited that there are no songs on 'Tailgates & Tanlines' that I'm iffy about.
When you get performance slots for award shows - that's a big deal for me.
You never take your fans for granted. You always appreciate them every show, night in, night out.
I've always enjoyed things going at a nice pace, nothing too fast, nothing too crazy.
My dad is very successful in his business. He's always been big in having hobbies and having little ways to get away. He always made time for hunting and fishing. He always encouraged me to do it.
My focus is trying to make great music and putting on great shows, and whatever happens beyond that is a bonus to me.
Probably fishing is my first passion.
It's pretty cool to see how far music can take you.
Early in my songwriting career, when I was learning a lot about writing songs, I'd force myself to sit down until I came up with something.
I want my music to jump off the stage and out of the speakers. When we do 'Rain Is A Good Thing' paired back to back with 'Country Girl,' it just feels like the roof is fixin' to come off the place.
That's gotta be the one remaining constant - jeans have gotta be tight, baby.
A lot of people don't have near the amount of success as I've been blessed to have, and it's all about working hard and hoping that continues.
From my dad I learned to be good to people, to always be honest and straightforward. I learned hard work and perseverance.
Anytime I sing the anthem, it is an honor and my heart beats out of my chest.
Every day I wake up and I lay in bed counting my blessings and saying my prayers for how fortunate I am to have great fans and health and family.
My path is exactly where I want it to be. I'm doing my thing. I'm getting better with every album.
Life's up and down from the time you get here to the time you leave.
I'm a really, really optimistic and really, really positive person. My main thing is, 'Enjoy life. Celebrate life.'
Just really, really believe in what you're trying to do. Don't let people alter that. Let people advise you and lead you down paths to make smart business decisions. But trust your instinct and trust that overwhelming drive that made you put all your dreams and everything on the line.
My best artist friend is definitely Jason Aldean. He and I really get along great and are really great friends. It's fun to tour with a buddy and somebody that I just enjoy hanging out with. If we weren't touring together, we'd be hunting in the off-season still and knocking around doing stuff, certainly.
I think the defining moment in my career is the day that I moved to Nashville - September 1, 2001. That's the biggest step to getting here is making that move. Anything that happens, the wonderful opportunities that happen to you, can't happen until you make that move.
My thing is, when you put a bunch of rules on a tour, you have to hire three more people to enforce all the rules. So, with me, I want everyone to feel comfortable. It's a lot of little moving parts out here, and little hiccups will come. At the end of the day, the show's going to go on, and I want everybody to truly enjoy it.
Growing up in Georgia, my dad was a farmer and we worked in agriculture, so we were always looking up at the sky, checking if rain was in the forecast. That always set the tone for the mood in my household, whether we had rain coming in or not - we knew the crops would be good and it was going to be a good week around the Bryan household.
I grew up in a family where everybody had a good time and we were at the lake every weekend and going to the beach and living a good life. It's been the way we always lived, and my wife's the same way - enjoy every day and have fun.
I refuse to be one of those artists who, 10 years from now, they're bitter about the rise and the fall of their career. I understand that somewhere there's a peak and a crest for me, and I'm going to enjoy all levels. I'm going to enjoy this ride that I'm on, and when it slows down, that's when it will be time for another phase of my life.
I'll never forget when me and Jason Matthews wrote the line, 'Don't be a tape player hater,' in 'Country Man,' I don't think I ever laughed harder. We didn't know where we were gonna put that in a song, but we knew we had to make it into a song. I just remember laughing and being so proud of such a goofy little line.
When you look into the eyes of your people out there that came to see you, that's when it's like, 'Yep, this is what it's all about.' This is why we don't sleep, and this is why we write songs and try to be the best. This moment right here onstage.
It's a good community, country music, because we get the chance to sit down and... me and Tim McGraw spend a lot of time. Me and Kenny Chesney had the opportunity to spend a lot of time together. It's been a lot of great advice through the years.
If I wake up one day and people tell me I'm not sexy, I'm not going to stop making good music and having fun. That 'sex symbol' thing is typically part of being in the limelight. You better be very talented in your music, but it's good to be nice to look at, I guess.
My thing is you just have to try to feel young and stay young. Obviously you get a little older, but I still want my music to be young. I don't want to sound like an old dad onstage, so you just have to write music that sounds young.
I just like Forrest Gump. Maybe I'm a little smarter than him, maybe I'm not. Probably because of the whole Southern aspect of his character and for some reason I always wind up on the better end of all deals... I've just kind of got the old silly boy luck!
I think it's always important to constantly keep the band on their toes and try new things that you hope will work. That's how 'Apologize' was born, and maybe down the line another little song will be born by that mentality. I've always really liked that song.
I've been out with lots of other artists opening for them on tour, and you just learn that none of their success came easy - it was all hard work for them, and you have to buckle down and get ready for the hard work yourself, too.
There's always room for your hard-core country songs, and that will always shine through, and I'll always have those on my albums. And then I'll have fun stuff that gets people up and dancing that some people may want to say, 'Well that sounds real pop-y!' but I don't really think it does, I just think it's what's going on.
You know, if Kelly Clarkson wants to do country albums because that's what inspires her, then let her do it. Look at Kanye West or Ludacris... they aren't rappin' and cussin' like they were on their first few albums, so what does that make them? It's all in the eye of the beholder and the listener. We all use our outlet to grow ourself.
I would say my fraternity was nothing but a bunch of farm boys; we weren't really in the whole fraternity scene, but yeah, that's a safe assessment of who I am. I've lived that life, growing up in agriculture and then going off to college and joining a fraternity, livin' that life.
When I'm writing a song, it's just me and the songwriters. Then when the song is done, there are publishers that hear it, then people in my management, then my wife and my boys and my friends, and if they're all lovin' it, it's kind of withstanding all the criticism I need.
I love nothing more than to perform my songs in front of a live audience. And whatever I'm doing is driven toward finding or writing songs and putting out hit songs that drive people coming to see me live. Because, at the end of the day, that's what I enjoy the most.
You get weird, funny requests on Twitter. With our fan club, I was seeing a lot of fans were having some issue with the way the fan club tickets were being handled in one of the shows. So I was able to correspond with that fan, and be like, 'Listen, we'll be on it.'
Obviously, fans are the beginning and end for any artist. The minute your fans embrace you and accept you, you begin this ride of being in music and having a career doing something you love. You get to go be a kid and live out your dreams by performing music for fans who come out to your shows.
I think certainly after every show I headline, I will be available to the fans. When I'm headlining a show, I don't walk off stage. I'll walk to the front of the stage and sign hats and shirts and tickets for 15 to 30 minutes, until everyone has everything signed.
When the show opens, fans can text to a number we flash up on the screen, and then we do a meet-and-greet with 60 to 80 people every night. It's something I love doing, and I would say that's probably more fans than most artists bring backstage after a show.
If there are people out by the bus, I'll come off the bus and sign autographs, too. I always want to be accessible. I always tell my fans, 'If I ever get on the bus and don't come off, it's because I'm under the weather or I'm really tired.'
I try to be a good representative for country music. But as a country artist, it's important to move the needle and make a difference beyond your core audience. But you can't ever strategically try to accomplish that; then things get weird.
I just cut songs I love and that represent what I want to say. And if it crosses over, that's very flattering. It's cool to know that with people listening to rock and rap, I'm sitting on their iPods along with that stuff.
There's always gonna be guys who are just wonderful singers and probably shouldn't be writing songs. Then there's always gonna be guys who move up the ranks writing. I don't know what's healthier or what's the best thing - probably whatever yields the best songs.