Luke Combs Says He Is His Fans and His Fans Are Him

He Grew Up "Right in the Middle of Struggle and Comfort"

The gist of this new interview with Luke Combs in The Times is basically that his fans relate to him because he is one of them.

“Why do I sing about beer? Why do I sing about boring jobs? Because people who drink beer and have boring jobs are the fabric of our society. They’re also my fans,” Combs told the UK newspaper during a recent interview in Nashville.

And just like so many modern country stars, Combs explained, he grew up on whatever his mom had on in the car: Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Tracy Lawrence, etc. “But by the time I was 18, Kenny Chesney was taking over the world and I thought, ‘Man, I don’t want to hear songs about tiki bars and margaritas.’ I lived in the mountains. I had never even been to the beach.”

Then Combs shared his thoughts on what his music is like now, and what it will never be.

“People who don’t like my music think it is bland, vanilla, songs for rednecks and moms in trucks. And if I’m honest my music does have a lot of that because I had an everyday upbringing, living right in the middle of struggle and comfort, so I represent everyday people,” he said, adding that he knows nobody is expecting him to be the guy to take on serious social issues in his songs. “Listen, man. Nobody who likes my music wants to get in their car, after a job they maybe don’t love so much, and hear me tell them how terrible the world is or how they should feel or what to think. That is somebody else’s gig.”

And yet, part of him thinks that had the neon dream not worked out for him, his fall back plan would have been something similar: criminal justice.

In college, he recalled, he was mesmerized by the first 48 hours of a homicide investigation. “How do you figure it out just from walking into the scene of a crime? Strangely, songwriting is similar, in that you have to solve a puzzle while building the pieces of the puzzle at the same time,” he said.

“You know what the end goal is, but you have to create something from nothing along the way.”

Combs was scheduled to headline at Country 2 Country in Glasgow on March 13, Dublin on March 14, and London on March 15. Those shows have been cancelled because of the coronavirus.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.
@alisonbonaguro