I got the chance to talk with him about the positive impact American Idol has had on his career, the story behind “Probably Won’t”, how writing music for Brother’s Keeper is different than writing music for his solo career and much more! Keep reading to see what he had to say!
Tell me a little bit about how you first got into making and performing music.
I started out on a little show you may have heard of called American Idol. I released my first album in 2007, which went to #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. That was definitely one of the highlights of my career. Three of my singles went to #1, as well — “A Different World,” “I’ll Walk,” and “It’s Good to Be Us.” I released my latest single “Probably Won’t” last summer. I’ve been lucky enough to live out my dreams in Nashville for the last 10+ years and I’m forever grateful for the career I’ve had so far.
Was there a specific moment or person that made you realize that music is what you wanted to pursue professionally?
My twin brother, Rocky, and I loved to jam together when we were growing up. I love to play the guitar and Rocky is great on the drums. We both grew up working in body shops with our dad, but I knew music was what I always wanted to do. I still love cars and working on them, though. My brother and I now own two body shops here in Tennessee! The best of both worlds!
Like you said, most fans know you from the fifth season of American Idol. Do you feel like, no matter what happens, the show has positively impacted your career?
Absolutely. Before American Idol, I was playing at local bars and venues in Rockingham, North Carolina. There weren’t many opportunities to become the “next big thing” there. Idol helped me to get my foot into the door of country music. It put a name with a face with a sound, which really helped build my fanbase.
Things are a little different now compared to when I was on the show. We didn’t really have social media back then. It’s been interesting to watch how much those platforms play a role in singing competitions today.
I’m always genuinely curious about what artists want to convey with their music. Your music would be generally classified as country, but how would you describe your sound without using genre names? What kind of music do you produce?
I would say that my music has a southern flair, mixed with a bit of edginess. I like to stay true to my roots, but add a touch of creativity. In my sets, I cover everything from Pink Floyd to Michael Jackson and Prince. Gotta switch things up every once in a while!
Going off of that, who are some of your musical influences?
I’m a big Elvis fan. His music is so timeless – all generations are familiar with his songs. I’m also a fan of Tim McGraw. I’d love to do a duet with him in the future.
It’s a very relatable song – I think everyone has gone through a breakup and had to let go of someone they loved at one point of their life. You know you should take down all the photos and get rid of stuff, but you also know you probably won’t.
I always love hearing about the songwriting process so I was wondering if you could give me a glimpse into what it was like specifically for this song.
This one kind of just fell on the paper for me, to be honest. I was able to take a real life experience and put it to music. Fans have told me how much the song has helped them get through a tough time. That’s the best part for me.
Are you someone who always has to write by yourself or do you like collaborating with others?
It depends. Sometimes I like to go out into the woods to write. It’s quiet and peaceful. Other times, I like to have some fun with my friends while writing.
Were there any major changes made to “Probably Won’t” once you got into the recording studio, whether it be in the lyrics or something sonically?
I didn’t make too many changes to this one. This song was just so personal to me. All of the pieces fit together once I was in the studio and I’m very happy with the end result.
Any plans for more new music in 2019?
Yes! I’m actually in the studio right now recording some new songs that I’m very excited about. Stay tuned!
You also recently joined the cast of the film, Brother’s Keeper. What can you tell us about your role in that film?
The film is based on a true story about the Abilene High School football team and I play an assistant coach. The theme centers around camaraderie and being there for each other in times of need. Most of my scenes were filmed in Texas. I’ve dabbled in acting before and have really wanted to get back into it. I was offered this role and it was just a great match for me. I’m very proud of this film and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
It’s a little different because I’m not writing based on my own personal experiences. It’s been a fun process for me, though. I like to try new things and writing music for a movie is something to cross off my bucket list now.
Last question — our website is called Talk Nerdy With Us because we all have an inner nerd. So what is something that you are currently nerding out about?
I’m a big fan of the TV show Modern Family. I can watch it and re-watch it and never get tired of it. We are coming up on the final season of it, so I’ll have to find something else to get hooked on.
For more information, you can visit Bucky’s website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.