With his Southern charm and boyish good looks, you wouldn’t think Luke Bryan is middle-aged. And yet, at 41, he is more-likely-than-not squarely in the middle of his life. But his music doesn’t reflect that any more than his looks do. His frat boy party songs still rile women half his age. So what does Bryan think about being the oldest frat boy in country music?
Party Like a Rockstar
In an interview with Billboard, Bryan was candid about his music and how he sees himself.
First of all, Bryan fully admits that he still parties like he’s in college. With a tour bus stocked to the hilt with Crown Royal and Grey Goose, he and his crew frequently imbibe. And after the show? “We’ll have a fun little atmosphere, call some food trucks to come out,” says Bryan. “Our whiskey bill is the highest in all of North American touring, I promise you.”
It’s unsurprising, given his solid history there. He isn’t just called a frat boy– he was one. A Sigma Chai while in school at Georgia Southern University (where he met his wife). But partying isn’t the only thing he’s still hanging on to.
No Lyric Too Country, No Melody Too Pop
When he’s not on tour, Bryan spends most of his time on his ranch outside Nashville or his beach home on the Florida panhandle. And he does the same things he’s been doing since he was a younger man. “Fishing, outdoors, sports; that’s about it,” he said.
He enjoys simple pleasures. But what does he think of his music and his image?
His songwriter, Ashely Gorley, who wrote several of his hits, explained it this way.
“There’s no lyric that would be too country for Luke, but there’s also no melody that would necessarily be too pop,” she said. “Even if a song has more of a hip-hop vibe, the story is still going to be something that he’s lived out.”
And Bryan is well aware that he takes some heat over his music, with critics calling him a frat boy. But he also knows how difficult is to get airplay. “My nieces, who are as country as they get, listen to everything,” said Bryan. “If you think your 16-year-old bumpkin kid isn’t doing the same, you’re quite naive. They’ve got Florida Georgia Line, [Eric] Church, [Jason] Derulo, [Justin] Timberlake. And you hope you’re in their playlist.”
So can he maintain his image forever? He seemed to recognize the reality of life.
Though Bryan might not agree with his critics that his music is just frat boy tunes, he also realizes that at some point, he won’t be able to pull of off his party boy image. And he tries to stay focused to not cross that line.
“I’ve heard people say I do ‘frat-boy music,'” he said dismissively. “At some point, me singing about frat party themes is just not going to be realistic,” he acknowledged. “But if I look like a weird old dude up onstage, I’ll be the first one to come to that realization.”
But it doesn’t look like that time is anytime soon. He can still perform “Country Girl (Shake it For Me)” with hip thrusts Elvis would envy. So for now, there’s no need to be concerned about being the oldest frat boy in country music.