Luke Combs Talks in-the-Works Sophomore Album, Touring and Writing With Friends
Luke Combs has certainly had a year to remember: The North Carolina native's freshman album, This One's for You, landed at the top of the charts, while his debut single, "Hurricane," became a platinum-selling, multi-week No. 1 song.
Combs wrote and recorded This One's for You far away from the music industry spotlight, signing with Sony Music Nashville with a completed album in hand. Instead of seeing Combs' name beside those of the hit songwriters that appear on dozens of albums each year, fans see Combs' name next to those of friends such as Jordan Walker, Ray Fulcher, Thomas Archer and Taylor Phillips.
"I don’t think any of us knew we were writing an album. I think there was one, maybe two, people who had publishing deals before it came out or before I recorded it," Combs tells The Boot. "It was one of those things: We were all kind of new in town and wanting to succeed at different levels and different things. It was all a perfect storm of us meeting each other and writing all the time and being comfortable with each other. I said, ‘I need to record some stuff,’ so we picked the best songs we had, and that was the album."
This One's for You was finished for a few years before it came out, giving Combs plenty of time to write more songs for his sophomore album. He says that project is nearly finished -- a good thing, since much of his focus is on headlining his Don't Tempt Me With a Good Time Tour.
"I might need a couple of upbeat songs, but they’ll all be stuff I’ve written, which I’m excited about, obviously," Combs says. "I’m excited about this headlining tour, to see how that goes ... I’m not too certain yet, but I know we’ve got our hands in a couple things we’re working on [for 2018]. But, really, it's just sculpting the overall experience of our show as opposed to just being an opener; going out and building what our live show environment is is what I’m excited about."
Combs toured earlier this year with Brantley Gilbert, opening for the country star on his The Devil Don't Sleep Tour. During that time, Combs paid careful attention to how the hitmaker performed, both on- and offstage.
"That guy is super great with his fans. He does so many different things; there are so many different ways to access him as a fan every night, so that’s something that we’ve tried to implement into the few headlining shows we’ve done over the past year, whether it’s after-show meet and greets, before-show meet and greets, VIP experiences, exclusive merchandise," Combs says. "He does really good at including all kinds and all types of fans, however they want to access him.
"I learned a lot watching his show about how to move around; how to engage a crowd that big is different than playing in a club for 500 people," Combs adds. "That’s something we tried to learn from him, too."