Brewhouse Music and Grill in Rome filled up quickly Thursday night with fans in cowboy boots and plaid shirts anxiously waiting for country boys Channing Wilson, Canaan Smith and Love and Theft to take the stage. What a perfect line-up, all three sets were amazing and so much fun! I had the privilege of catching up with Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson of Love and Theft, before the show for an interview. Check out the interview below!
Congrats on your ACM (Academy of Country Music) nominations! How does it feel to be nominated two years in a row for Top Vocal Duo of the Year?
Stephen- “Thank you! It’s cool to be nominated for ACM’s because it’s different than a lot of the other ones. At the fan voted ones, a lot of the same people win because they have 3 million Twitter followers or whatever. So it’s really nice to be nominated by your peers. It’s a big honor; the ACM’s are a big deal so it’s really cool.”
Which artist influenced you to make music?
Stephen- “I started listening to Elvis Presley at a young age and he got me into it. I didn’t really get into music as much until my sophomore year of high school. I started writing songs and was really into poetry, I had a really great English teacher. I started playing the guitar more and I really got into George Strait. He cut some of the best songs that Nashville and Music Row have to offer. I have more CD’s of George Strait than any other artist. I fell in love with country music because of him… and Tim McGraw. He’s one of my influences because he also cuts the best songs and he writes them too. Of course, moving to Nashville was the best advice I ever got. I met Eric within the first year of moving there, through Canaan Smith. He and I moved to Nashville together and we wrote our first single “Runaway” together. His first single, “We Got Us”, we wrote that together too so that was fun. He’s one of my best friends.”
So it’s like a family show tonight?
Stephen- “Yeah definitely. It’s really fun… and Channing Wilson! He and I are really close too so it’s great.”
What is the best way for you to write your songs?
Stephen- “I don’t know if I have a best way. I like to see who I’m writing with and I like to try to meet them with what they are comfortable with. For me, I’m a melody guy so I’ll just mess around with my guitar to see if something comes to my head. Then when I get a melody I feel like that’s when the words fall in.”
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Stephen- “No, not really. We’re too weird for that, we’re always doing something different. We’ve been touring for seven years so in almost every single town we have friends there so we just hang out until the show. One of my favorite hobbies is to make new friends. I guess hanging out with our friends is our pre-show ritual.”
What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done at a show?
Stephen- “It takes a lot to weird me out… Eric probably has 20 answers. On the Brad Paisley tour some dude came by and grabbed my private parts so that was really weird.”
Eric popped in to answer a couple of questions with Stephen! He wasn’t feeling well 🙁
Eric- “On the Brad Paisley tour, these crazy people jumped the barrier and tried to get on our bus. They said they played in our band but they were hammered and we had never seen them before. They later came back and tried to fight us so that was weird.”
How did you guys come up with the name “Love and Theft”?
Eric- “It’s actually a Bob Dylan album. We had been going through a lot of different discographies, anything we could possibly get a cool name out of and came across it and we were just like, this is pretty cool. At the time we were a trio but now that we’re a duo it actually works out even better.”
What exciting things do you have in the works for 2013?
Stephen- “We’re doing a lot of our own shows with Canaan Smith. We’re going out west, we’ve never done a tour out in California and all so we’re headlining that with Canaan. Also we are supporting Tim McGraw for his tour this summer with Brantley Gilbert so that will be really fun. We’re hoping to start up our own tour for the fall. Just staying busy, we’re really, really busy. We write every day we can, we’re always writing for the next album.”
The show was a blast! It really was like a family show, all of the guys got up on stage at the very end and just had a great time. They are all very talented. Check out their websites to find out where you can see them next!