Luke Combs' new album, Gettin' Old drops next week, so he's been making the promotional rounds. (Still waiting for you to come on Barstool Backstage Luke. Have your people hit my people.)
And this week he dropped by the Joe Rogan Experience to shoot the shit for 3 hours with Joe and left us listeners with one of the most introspective looks into his career, his life before music, and what makes him tick, that we've heard yet.
Rogan teased the interview on social media with story of how he taught himself how to play guitar-
A story that countless musicians, including White Sox Dave, can relate to. Right down to how he got discouraged as a youngster and quit on learning, only to dig his guitar out of the closet 15 years later and force himself to learn because he was so miserable with his life, in a job he absolutely hated, and knew he wasn't realizing his potential.
So as a guy who can't read music, something else he disclosed in this interview, he self-taught himself in a year by practicing non-stop. He went completely "all-in", dropping out of college with just a semester left of credits left to do it.
Not even attempting to begin to take the first steps in your music career until you're 21, by learning the very basics, is sooooo fucking inspiring no matter what field you're in. I have so many friends, and family members, that I always hear lament about how they "wish they did this, or learned that", like they're too old and the opportunity has passed them by.
I used to point out one of my other favorite stories illustrating that it's never too late to make something happen, the story of how Tina Turner didn't start her solo career until she was 41 years old, and the courage it took for her to step out of her abusive husband's shadow, having not even a place to live or a dollar to her name after divorcing him, and becoming the oldest "new" solo artist to reach #1 on the Billboard charts in history.
Now I can point to Combs, (as well as Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw too apparently as Luke's mom pointed out) as also being late-starters but inspirations nonetheless. It’s never too late.
Another really great part of the interview was when he described moving to Nashville to pursue music, "in any shape or form", and that he wasn't even hell-bent on becoming at artist. He only wanted to be involved in and around music for a living. Even if it meant sweeping floors in a recording studio.
He also gave a ton of credit to Chris Stapleton to opening the door for "guys like him."
“I mean realistically, I thought to myself, especially at the time I moved to town is like, dude, everybody that was doing music when I moved to town was hot, dude. 6’5”, abs, I mean, I didn’t have chance, bro. I didn’t have a chance.
And so I’m going, cool, I’ll just write songs for these handsome cats and that will be fine with me, you know? But back to the luck thing, I just stumbled into it at the right time.
I think Chris Stapleton singing ‘Tennessee Whiskey’ with Justin Timberlake at the CMA’s was an earth-shattering moment for country music and that opened the door up for guys like myself… like somebody who didn’t look like every other guy in town.”
The fact Combs is one of the best song writers alive today- (writing nothing but the hits, nothing but the hits, nothing but the mother fuckin hits), and was this unsure of himself, even after smashing the charts with two #1's in a row, show's not just how relatable he is, but that imposter syndrome is a very real thing.
All in all this was an awesome interview I recommend listening to.
p.s. - Luke also dropped a new song today in honor of St. Patrcik's Day. Enjoy