Brantley Gilbert has learned to keep his mouth shut when it comes to his upcoming wedding to fiancée Amber Cochran. He tells Billboard he’s already had to move the wedding date once after he “screwed up” and accidentally revealed it publicly.
Now, he’ll only say it’s “coming up real soon,” but he shares that Cochran had her bachelorette party the week of May 11 before meeting him in Las Vegas for the Billboard Music Awards, and that his own bachelor party is coming up fast.
As for the big day itself, Gilbert says his busy current tour schedule, including dates on Kenny Chesney‘s Big Revival Tour, means “I will be pulling up to the wedding, like, sliding in my driveway sideways from the road. But after that we get to go away for seven or eight days, so I’m really excited about that.” (His tour schedule indicates a 13-day break between his June 27 show in Seattle and his July 11 date in Philadelphia.)
Cochran, who already inspired such Gilbert songs as “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” and “More Than Miles” through their on-and-off-and-very-much-on-again relationship, continues to be a muse. But since they’re getting married, he jokes, “There are some songs that nobody will ever get to hear now. They’re on the soon-to-never-be-released-album.”
On May 18 his label, the Valory Music Co., released a “platinum edition” of current album, Just As I Am, containing five news tracks, plus a T.I. remix of his 2014 hit “Bottoms Up.” The new version comes exactly a year after the album’s original release date.
While he knows his collaboration with the rapper might raise eyebrows among country purists, he says, “I didn’t do it to piss anybody off or stir the water or give [ammunition to] the people that are on a power trip about the ‘country and rap is crap’ stuff.” Rather, he says, it was just for fun and a chance to collaborate with a fellow Georgia artist he admires. “That song was already outside of the box, so why not spice it up just a little bit and add a little bit of fun?”
Spicing up country music is kind of his specialty. “I like being different,” he says. “They way I look at it is as long as I know there’s a box and I’m outside of it, I’m good to go.
“I’ve kind of got a rebellious bone. I think I came out of the womb like that,” he continues, admitting that didn’t always make things easy on his mother.
“My mom’s an angel, bless her heart for everything I put her through,” he says with a laugh. “I’ve got a song, actually, called ‘Hell On An Angel’ [on the Halfway To Heaven deluxe edition] I wrote about [her]. She was always my rock. She always kept me real close to god and kept my heart where it needed to be. I love that woman to death. She’s a soldier. She ain’t no pushover neither, ’cause she didn’t put up with all that guff.
“We’ve got everything straight now,” he adds. “I’ve got my head screwed on in the right direction, for the most part. It may be turned a little bit to the left, but we’re getting there.”