Luke Combs May Be ‘Gettin’ Old,’ But He’s Not Gettin’ Lazy [Interview]
If you ask Luke Combs what his next album is going to be called — the one after Gettin' Old, out Friday (March 24) — he'll sigh and spit an answer that's reflective of how he's feeling. This winter was his time to rest, but as any new parent knows, there's no such thing with a 9-month-old.
Most of Combs' new project was recorded with its sibling album Growin' Up, released last June. There's still work to be done ahead of release week, however: The usual meetings, media commitments, engagements with fans come first. Just one day after the 18 songs officially drop he'll begin his world tour, which stretches through October and promises a heavily-stamped passport when he's done.
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Then there's the thing Taste of Country didn't know about when Combs sat down to talk last month. Wife Nicole is pregnant with their second son (due in September) and she's been experiencing quite a bit of nausea. You don't have to spend very much time around the 33-year-old hitmaker to figure out that his wife's suffering weighs heavy on his mind.
But wait, there's more ...
"As I'm promo-ing for an album that hasn't even come out yet," he tells ToC Nights' Evan Paul, "I'm also going, 'What's the next one gonna be about?'" Like Hamilton, the man is nonstop!
How've you been?
Getting old, man. Not really, but feels like it. And I feel like me saying I'm not getting old is actually me getting old. That's how it starts.
Like when you wake up in pain from how you slept.
And you're like, man, I'm not old. You're trying to hype yourself up a little bit, like, "I'm not old. It's good. I'm still young."
What's the next album gonna be called?
Super Old, or something.
Tell me about a song on this album that you needed to be convinced to record.
I don't know if there's one that anyone convinced me to do. We recorded a lot of songs for this. I guess this whole — I hate saying "era," that makes it sound like I'm trying to be cool or something — but this whole time that I was recording songs for the last three years or so, that's where these two albums come from. There was so much stuff when I was recording Growin' Up that I felt like didn't make any sense with those songs, or what I was expected to put out. We must have recorded 40 songs in the last couple of years.
It's was the same timeframe, two different head spaces. Growin' Up it's like writing songs for the way that I used to and songs that I used to love. It's not that this record is super different or anything, but it is, in a weird way.
Related: Top 20 Luke Combs Songs That Prove 'Em All Wrong
There are a couple songs on this album that your fans may not have expected. One is "Joe" (about living sober) and another is "Fox in the Henhouse." Do you have a fighting side?
Yeah, a little bit, man. It's funny, when we wrote that song it was like ... it was actually just about — like me and my buddy Dan both have chickens and literally our chickens were getting killed. That is where the idea was born out of. There's no hidden — I think when people hear it they're going to be like, "Oh man, this is about this or this."
I was going to ask you if you've ever been punched in the face.
I have been, yes, I have. I got punched in the face for the first time when I was probably, I dunno, in the fourth grade or something. It was my neighbor, actually — one of my good friends. He was from Montana and moved there and we're still buddies. We still play video games to this day.
Don't think that he's not telling everybody, "Hey man, I punched Luke Combs in the face."
He decked me, too, bro. You know what I mean? You figure a lot of sh-- out when you get punched in the face, you know what I mean? That first time, you're like, "Oh!"
I think a lot of the world's problems are caused by people who've never been punched in the face before.
You've won back-to-back CMA Entertainer of the Year awards. People say it's just good to be nominated. Is that still true?
Oh, yeah. I just think being in that conversation is a huge deal. You're obviously at the top of your game if you're in that conversation. I think anybody would be lying to say, you know, they'd be just as happy not winning, because that's just not true.
It's you and Morgan Wallen on top of the charts. Is it like a Magic Johnson and Larry Bird type situation, or are you more friendly?
I think there's competition with everybody ... but man, Morgan was out on tour with me and we text frequently, about not really music at all. We're both in this rare spot right now in our careers where it's like we ask each other questions about "How do you do this thing?" or "How've you been?" Just more checking on each other.
He's a super good dude and I just want him to be good, because it's hard. It's a hard headspace to be in, and there's not a lot of people who are up there that understand and are willing to talk about it. He's a resource for me and I'm a resource for him, I like to think.
What's something Luke Combs nerds out about?
Deer hunting and turkey hunting. That's it for me. I was talking to my wife last night and I said, "Did you ever think I would be on the couch talking to you about deer genetics?" God bless her.
She's like (in an unenthused voice), "Oh, that's so great that you feel like you've got good genetics on this property." She could just not care less which, I can't blame her, you know. I literally thought about it when I was telling her. I said that and I was like, "God, I am old."