Bucky Covington Catches His Breath

American Idol Finalist Has Top 10 Single and a CMT Music Awards Nomination

Bucky Covington is still trying to catch his breath. After being chosen as an American Idol finalist in 2006, the Rockingham, N.C., native spent a lot of time on the road last year after his self-titled debut album hit No. 1 during its first week of release. With his current single, “It’s Good to Be Us,” climbing into the Top 10 this week, 2008 is shaping up to be a busy time, too.

At the moment, the 29-year-old singer-songwriter’s “A Different World” is nominated for USA Weekend breakthrough video of the year at the 2008 CMT Music Awards taking place April 14 in Nashville. The category also includes Luke Bryan’s “All My Friends Say,” Kellie Pickler’s “I Wonder” and Chuck Wicks’ “Stealing Cinderella.”

With all the success he’s had this past year, Covington still remains humble and has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. During a recent interview with CMT.com, Covington talked about his award nomination, touring and his plans for the future.

CMT: Where were you when you found out you were nominated for a CMT Music Award?

Bucky Covington: I actually think I was out on the lake in my boat, and my manager called me up. That’s a great day if you’re out and it’s a beautiful day and you’re able to be on a boat. It’s a great deal already, and then you get a phone call saying that you’re nominated for breakthrough video of the year. … “A Different World” was a great video right out of the bag. Actually, it scared me because the video completely outran the song. I think the song was maybe somewhere in the Top 20 when the video was at No. 1. We were very happy with it.

You recently taped an interview segment for American Idol here in Nashville. You didn’t have to visit with Simon Cowell, which has to make you happy.

That actually would probably be pretty nerve-wracking to go back out there and do it again. He can’t vote you off, but I’ll bet he could still say something bad about you which would suck. He wasn’t that bad with me. He was just honest. One thing I have to give to Simon Cowell is he’s very honest. The thing is, he might tell you that he doesn’t like you, but he’ll also tell you that he doesn’t like country music. … But the bad thing is, even if he told me something good, it was hard to take anything from him. Because if you don’t appreciate country music, then even if you give me a good compliment, I don’t know if that’s what I need. … So it was kinda tough to know which way to take it. You just have to say, “Hey, that’s a cool guy.” It worked out pretty good.

Your debut album was released about a year ago. Are you working on any new projects, any new songs?

We are. Right now, we’re on the second single of this album. It’s called “Good to Be Us,” which is doing great right now. … We will probably be pushing another single off this album. I think it will be a ballad called “I’ll Walk.” I’ve already starting writing some for the album, song shopping, and we are starting to slowly get ready. I’m kinda different from a lot of artists. A lot of artists have all the time in the world to make the first album, and then the next album is rushed because you have to hurry up and get it back out. But for me, I came off American Idol, and we had this little window that we wanted to be in so people couldn’t just forget you. With me, it feels like the first album was very rushed, because as soon as I came off the show, we wanted to put an album out. And we did and got a great album out of it. I’ve already had songs [not recorded] from the first album waiting for the second album because I had too many good songs come at me. So we’re definitely getting ready for the second album.

You co-wrote “Carolina Blue” on your first album. Will you be writing more for your next one?

I’m always going to be writing, and I’m always going to try to write as much as I can. … The thing is, I write songs, and then I’ll go shop for songs to beat my songs. I want it to be better than my songs because I don’t care how I get it. I just want a good album. Hopefully, the day will come where I can’t find a song that’s better than what I write, but there’s people that write songs for a living, and they’re really good at it. There’s a bunch of songwriters in Nashville, so it’s tough to out-write some of these guys.

You’ve been on the road with Dierks Bentley for his Throttle Wide Open tour. How has that been?

It’s been awesome. First of all, I’m a huge fan of Dierks Bentley, himself. The guy does not have a bad song. I saw his video for “Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go),” and it’s got a Jeep in it, and I went out and bought a Jeep. I kid you not, I saw that video and loved the song already, but then when I saw the video it’s like, “Yeah, I know. ‘Free and easy, down the road I go.’” You can only do that in a Jeep, so I had to go and get a Jeep.