Stephen Barker Liles and Eric Gunderson, dynamic duo that make up Love and Theft, have a lot to talk about this year. Babies, a wedding, new album, likely the funniest video of all time for “Night That You’ll Never Forget“, headlining tour, the list goes on. They engage fans both on and off the stage with their hilarious and infectious personalities. The duo are not afraid to be vulnerable and connect with their fans on a deeper level and they sure aren’t afraid to have a good time. Got Country Online was able to talk to Stephen Barker Liles about the new album, Gulf Coast Jam and more.
GCO: Love and Theft has a new album coming out later this year. Can you tell us a little about what to expect from this project?
SBL: I cant wait.The lead single, “Night That You’ll Never Forget“, kind of paves the way for the content on the new album. There are some serious moments and then some more drinking songs. We have Timothy B Schmit singing a couple songs on this album which is really cool because The Eagles have always been our biggest influence. Chase Rice joins us on one of the songs. We co-produced it the project ourselves along with Josh Leo (Alabama, Reba McEntire) Eric and I share the lead throughout the whole album. It’s pretty even and we really wanted it that way. We wanted to be a true duo.
GCO: Speaking of….can you name a “hard to forget night that you’ll never forget”?
SBL: Well, the night we made the video for that song is a night I will never forget. We partied with some of our greatest friends.
GCO: How has life changed after having each of you were blessed with a son last year?
SBL: We have a different mindset now when we make certain decisions. We are thinking of another human that can’t take care of himself. Our wives are capable of taking care of themselves but now another person is depending on us. It changes the way you make decisions on the road. We are still having a good time but it does change you.
GCO: Is there a song of yours that you particularly connect to?
SBL: “Town Drunk” is about a little girl who’s father never took care of her because he was always drunk. She was raised by another family. That’s my mom’s story. We have a song on the upcoming album about a father and daughter relationship and the daughter is in the hospital. That’s all I will say for now but its pretty intense. We love the party songs but try to show a deeper side of us. I believe it makes you connect more. “The House That Built Me “does that for me, it’s one of the greatest songs of all time.
GCO: Love and Theft will be opening up for Carrie Underwood on August 29 for the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam. Does playing against a backdrop like Panama City Beach change the vibe and the set?
SBL: Totally. You can’t beat playing on the beach. We will find out during the day what the crowds like and that always changes what we put in our set. When you are opening for someone like Carrie Underwood you want to keep the crowd excited. Being on the beach, I don’t see us playing a lot of slow songs. We are really excited about this event.
GCO: Share one of the most memorable or random moments that has happened on the road.
SBL: Oh my gosh, that is a very broad question. Eric and I have a really good time. He is my best friend and we spend 250 plus days together on the road every year. So, now that we’ve had kids we get a lot of baby gifts. Every once in awhile we get a really weird gift. Someone gave Eric a dirty stuffed rabbit, definitely not new. We may have had some drinks and there was no way Eric was giving that to his son so instead he cut it open, took the stuffing out and we set it on fire outside the bus. Thats what we do on the road.
GCO: What can you tell us about this newly announced headlining tour?
SBL: Joel Crouse is coming out with us. DJ DU will be spinning before Joel, between sets and after us too. It’s going to be a really fun night, a “night that you’ll never forget” hahah. Joel Crouse is a friend but a super talented guy and we are excited to bring him out with us.
Visit Gulf Coast Jam for tickets to see Love and Theft on Panama City Beach.
For a complete list of tour dates click HERE