When he’s not onstage singing country songs, Easton Corbin likes to hit the open road on his 2011 Harley Road King. Corbin burst onto the country music scene int 2010 when his debut album featured two No. 1 singles. He recently released his second album called ‘All Over the Road.’
Give you three guesses what one item country music star Easton Corbin brings along when he heads out on tour. Unless you said his 2011 Harley-Davidson Road King, you’d be wrong. Corbin can only take traveling in a tour bus so long before the desire to get out and explore on two wheels sets in. Fortunately, being a recording artist who’s constantly on tour gives him the opportunity to ride all over the country. And anybody who brings their motorcycle on tour deserves a ‘thumbs up’ in our book.
Corbin has been a busy man lately. The country & western star’s debut album was a huge success with two No. 1 singles, “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It.” This earned him “2010 Breakthrough Artist of the Year” honors at the American Country Awards as well as being named “Top New Country Artist of 2010” by Billboard. Corbin was the first solo male country artist to have a debut single reach number one on the charts since Dierks Bentley’s “What Was I Thinkin’ ” in 2003. He’s considered a traditional country artist whose musical style is frequently compared to George Strait. Since his successful debut, he’s toured with the likes of country heavyweights Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton.
Somehow in between all this touring he’s found the time to release his second album with Mercury Records called “All Over The Road.” The title is appropriate because according to Corbin, “It’s exactly what we’re doing, we’re all over the road, everywhere.” You ain’t just whistlin’ Dixie, Corbin. He’s got 13 shows lined up in December alone, from Biloxi, Mississippi to Red Lake, Minnesota. Fortunately, when the constant grind of being on the road begins to wear him down, he’s always got his Road King sitting at the ready to help him get away from it all.
Corbin recently took a few minutes out of his busy touring schedule to talk to us about music, motorcycles, and life as a country & western recording artist.
Motorcycle USA: I hear you like to do a little riding?
Easton: “I do. I like to ride a little bit. Yeah, I do a lot actually. I get to bring my bike with me out on the road which is kind of cool because I get to experience so many places. I take it everywhere with me.” (Gotta love that!)
How’d you get started?
“It’s one of those things. I’ve always loved motorcycles. You know, it’s funny because I didn’t grow up around them. My parents didn’t ride or anything like that. I guess I just always thought they were really cool and finally when I got old
Easton has known he wanted to be a musician all his life and got serious about playing guitar at age 13.
enough where I was working and making my own living and where I could go out and buy one is kind of what I did.’
Corbin admittedly has only been riding for about two or three years but has gotten bitten fully by the bug.
“It’s a blast. I love it,” Easton said.
He did grow up riding four-wheelers and stuff like that which he admitted is “totally different” than riding a bike, but currently rides a 2011 Road King.
“It’s funny because I went through the whole progression. I started out with a Sportster, then I got another Sportster, then I moved up to a Softail. Now I have a Road King. It’s such a great-riding bike, especially out on the open road.”
“You get something like that, you never leave it like it is. You’re always doing something to it. I’ve got some stuff in the works right now, I’m getting ready to throw some different bags on it. I’ve got a 21 (21 inch front wheel) on it right now but I’m about to put a 23 on there. I’ve got some new speakers for the bars and I just put some speaker lids in the bags, too. We’ll see how that works, I don’t know. Theoretically it sounds cool but I don’t know if I’ll be able to hear anything.”
So did the success of your first album have a hand in finally being able to afford a big Harley?
“Oh yeah, for sure. After you get up there and tour, I was finally able to scramble up a little money so I could go out and buy myself a little something. I’m going to keep this Road King for a while.”
Where’s your favorite place to ride?
“Man, I don’t know. Anywhere’s beautiful, you know? Of course, this time of year I love Tennessee because I love to see
Ready to ride! As a recording artist, Easton’s job takes him across the country so he brings his motorcycle along with him so he can ride all over the good ol’ US of A.
Easton’s swapped out the bars, thrown on some custom wheels, and recently had some new speakers mounted on his ’11 Road King.
the changing of the leaves, especially on the Natchez Trace. But I’ve had a chance to ride in Wyoming and out in California when I was out there. There’s just so many cool places to ride, it’s hard to pick just one.”
Do you have some buddies to ride with?
“I have a brother who rides, too, so we like to get together and just take off on bikes, for sure.”
Ever think about using a motorcycle in any of your videos?
“You know, I might do that one day. I actually did a thing called “GHD Introduces” and I had my bike in it. Not my Road King but the Softail I had before that.”
Have you ever been to Sturgis?
“Man, I have not been out there but I’d like to because I hear it’s really pretty out there.”
What does your management think of you riding motorcycles?
“It’s all good. One of my managers used to ride dirt bikes all the time. You’ve just got to be careful. What are you going to do, hide from it all?”
Saw your tweet not long ago where you were in a deer stand in Texas? Bag anything?
“I sure was. I didn’t bag anything this time, but maybe next time. It was still a lot of fun just hanging out.”
At what point in your life did you know you were going to be a musician?
“I’ve wanted to be a musician all my life, it’s just something that’s always been around. I had guitars around me all my life but I didn’t learn to actually play it until I was 13 years old.”
How does a guy with an agribusiness degree end up being a Country & Western star?
You might just say I’ve been singing and playing all my life but I just went to school so that I’d have something to fall back on. (Corbin went to UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences where he earned an agribusiness degree)
Did you ever think your first album would be as well received as it was?
I didn’t know. You always hope for success but you never know. I hoped for it and that’s what I was going for, but a lot of it’s out of your control.
Did the success of your first album present challenges heading into your second since you set the bar so high with two ‘No. 1’ hits on the first?
Exactly. The success of my first record did put on a little pressure on us but we just went back and used the same formula that I used to cut my first record for the second record. I felt like as long as I cut good music I believed we could do the same thing with this record.
Tell me about your new album, “All Over the Road.” What’s the story behind the title?
It’s a record that I’m really proud of. I think it’s just a hair better than the first one. I think it shows my growth as a new artist, with that being said I mean melodically and things like that, but it’s still country right down the line and still that
Easton had a breakout year in 2010, winning ‘Breakthrough Artist of the Year’ honors at the American Country Awards in addition to being named ‘Top New Country Artist of 2010’ by Billboard.
recognizable sound that people know me for. It’s got some great songs like the “All Over the Road” title track that’s a representation of what we’re doing out there. It’s exactly what we’re doing, we’re all over the road, everywhere. Of course it’s got the new single “Loving You is Fun” which is ‘Top Ten’ right now and I hope it keeps moving up the charts. It’s got some great music on there and I’m excited for people to hear it.
Musical influences growing up?
Man, I love Merle Haggard and George Jones, those are two of my favorites.
What do you think of all the comparisons to George Strait?
It’s an honor, it’s a privilege and just a really cool, humbling thing.
In your opinion, why do you think music and motorcycles go so well together?
I don’t know, I guess it’s all about freedom and expressing yourself. I think it’s wrapped up in both of those things. Music is part of America and motorcycles are part of America as well. It’s a big deal.
While Corbin’s schedule has been gobbled up touring and promoting the second album, somehow he found time to walk the red carpet at the Country Music Awards recently and also played a concert for Wounded Warriors at Rocket City Harley-Davidson in Huntsville, Alabama, Nov. 12. There’s not much rest for Easton in the near future, either. The day after Thanksgiving he’s got a gig in Tallahassee, Florida, followed by the 13 concert dates we mentioned in December alone. Luckily, he’ll have his trusty Road King close at hand in case he’s somewhere where there’s just enough sunshine for him to break away and hit the open road.
* Be sure to check out Easton Corbin’s website for a concert date near you!