Brian Davis on Brantley Gilbert: Singer Dishes on His Tour Chief
New artists who haven’t yet signed with a record label, often find it difficult to get slots on national tours. That wasn’t the case for Brian Davis, though, who is currently in the midst of his second trek with Brantley Gilbert. However, Brian did have quite the advantage when it came to securing his spot on the current Hell on Wheels tour.
“We had mutual friends in Nashville that kept saying, ‘If you guys sat down and wrote songs together, it would be amazing,’” Brian tells The Boot. “Because of our schedules, we were both in different directions. Then, by happenstance, we ended up playing a show together in Raleigh, N.C., and I was finishing up my soundcheck. I was playing a song that I’d written the week before and Brantley came in and asked who wrote it. I said I did, and he was like, ‘That’s really cool.’
“We started talking and a song idea came up and we went back to the bus and wrote it that day,” Brian continues. “From then on, we started writing together almost every day. It was so easy and effortless that it became a camaraderie and then he was like, ‘I’ve got these shows coming up, will you come out on the bus and we’ll write some and then you can jump up and do an acoustic support slot?’ It turned into a friendship and a brotherhood.”
With these brothers both being artists, there’s a potential for conflict to arise if both want to record a song that they’ve written together. “We’ve been really lucky that the songs that I’ve gravitated toward and loved, he’s like, ‘You’re right, that’s very much you.’ Or, I’m like, ‘That’s such a BG song, I can’t even touch that,’” Brian explains. “We have a song that we wrote, along with one of the guys in the band, called ‘Read Me My Rights,’ and he’s doing it in his live show. That’s one of those songs that’s so him. We do have some of those middle grounds, though, that we’ve been talking about doing collaborations in the studio.”
That relaxed, familial vibe is also being passed on to fans who come out to see the Hell on Wheels tour. “We do this thing called Meet & Drinks, we allow 20 fans per city to come up on to the bus, in the front lounge,” Brian describes. “If they’re of age, they get to have a cold beer for us, and we play a few acoustic songs for them and let them hang out for 30 minutes before the show. It lets fans see the inner workings of what we do.”
And headliner Brantley — who decided to ditch alcohol more than a year ago — is all for that good time. “The cool thing about BG is when it comes to drinking he’s like, ‘BD, it’s your bus, I’m not personally going to partake in that but I understand. I’m not going to impose what I chose to do on you guys by any means,’” Brian reveals. “We’re really respectful about that. When I ride his bus, it’s completely clean.”
Brian joins Brantley back out on the Hell on Wheels tour on April 13 in Auburn, Ala. See more tour dates here.