Interview: Kristian Bush discusses his new 'Geeking Out' podcast and Sugarland reunion
Photo courtesy of BBR Music Group and used with permission

Kristian Bush, Wheelhouse Records’ recording artist and one half of the Grammy-winning duo, Sugarland with Jennifer Nettles, is celebrating the geek in all of us with his new 12-episode podcast appropriately called, “Geeking Out! With Kristian Bush”.

In each episode, Bush sits down with a guest to talk about something they’re obsessed about that has nothing to do with their job. Along the way, Bush also shares an artist, song, or album that’s got him “geeking out.”

The first episode features Bush’s friend and label-mate, Granger Smith, discussing his new favorite hobby: beekeeping. Future guests include Academy Award-winning screenwriter and Nashville creator Callie Khouri; actress, producer and songwriter Rita Wilson; "Jean-Claude Van Johnson" star Kat Foster and country music journalist, Hunter Kelly.

“Geeking Out! With Kristian Bush” is available for download on all podcast platforms.

AXS recently spoke with Kristian Bush about “Geeking Out", the upcoming Sugarland reunion tour, new music and more in this exclusive interview.

AXS: Where did the idea to do a podcast originate?

Kristian Bush: My friend, Bobby Bones, was the one who originally asked me about doing it. He’s been passionate about podcasts and the things he was discovering with them. When Bobby approached me about doing one, I initially thought it would be about music, but he said I could talk about anything I wanted. So, I brought him back a few ideas and this was the one we both agreed was the most interesting and sustainable. What’s fun about “Geeking Out” is that it’s based on creating a good boundary, and that boundary is, tell me one thing that you’re obsessed with that has nothing to do with your job. It’s amazing to listen to people talk about the things they’re passionate about.

AXS: How much time goes into putting an episode together?

KB: It sounds like someone just hits record and we’re off [laughs], but there’s actually a lot of time and production that goes into it. The idea is to collect as much material as you can and then shrink it down, but always respecting your listener and making it the best story it can be.

AXS: What can fans expect from future episodes of “Geeking Out! With Kristian Bush”?

KB: One episode ended up being about rotating restaurants at the top of Hyatt Regency’s around America. Another is about Brazilian Jujitsu. A third ended up being about a person who’s obsessed with Billy Joel and becoming the biggest Billy Joel fan on the planet. It’s going to be exciting for people to discover what some of these guests are geeking out about.

AXS: Let’s switch gears and talk a little about Sugarland. What prompted the band’s recent reunion, new single and upcoming tour?

KB: The hiatus was always based on a question of timing and the things Jennifer wanted to do. She wanted to start a family, have a child and a solo career. When I got a call, the first thing for us to do was get back in the ring and see what we could do. We wound up walking into the room together and thirty-five minutes later, we wrote the song, “Still The Same”.

AXS: What inspired the new single?

KB: Jen and I hadn’t sat in the same room together for almost five years, and if you read the lyrics in order, the song is literally about us walking in the door together. The real context started out as “what should we write about?” We decided that we should write about where we are now. Then it became of matter of “Ok, where’s that?” That’s when we started the first lyric. We then went back and forth writing about our experiences. The truth has always worked for us before. So, we thought, let’s write about the truth.

AXS: What’s your songwriting process like with Jennifer?

KB: We have a lot of trust in our creative space. We also have a pretty good batting average. There aren’t a lot of songs that we’ve written for Sugarland that you haven’t heard. It was like slipping back into the same, comfortable pair of jeans we were wearing when we were making those first records, but it also feels like we’re bringing to bear a whole lot more.

AXS: Is the new single part of a larger project you and Jennifer are working on?

KB: Yes. We’re currently writing for the new album and are many songs into it. I’m not sure about a release date but I can tell you that our job is happening right now, and we should be done with our part in a few months.

AXS: What can audiences expect from this year’s Still The Same Tour?

KB: The new tour is going to be a strong combination of everything you can imagine. Songs you know along with some of the new stuff we’re putting together with a lot of high energy. It will feel like a live rock show mixed in with your favorite country show. Sugarland fans come to the show to go through these feelings with us. They’re epic shows with everything I love about a live performance.

AXS: Are there any other projects you’re currently working on?

KB: I have several things I’m involved with, one of which was working with Lindsay Ell. I produced the album, The Project for her last year. Her new song, “Criminal” is still climbing the charts and may go the distance. It’s amazing watching her go! I’ve also started working with Tyler Farr on his new record, and a musical I wrote that had its world premiere in Atlanta last year will be staged in Florida this summer. I also have new music of my own that’s sitting in the gun.

There’s been a lot going on right now, and I’m looking forward to fans discovering more about who I am and what I do. In Sugarland, you may not have heard me talk, but this podcast will help with that. For those who may not have known what I’ve done outside of the band, you can listen to Lindsay Ell or my solo albums and know what I sound like. It’s been a very exciting year for me to have been standing in front of you for so long and now finally getting the chance to meet.

Grab tickets to upcoming Sugarland concerts right here on AXS.