"The toughest hurdle is making sure you look at the body of the songs and they're good enough to be what you want to represent yourself with," Luke told The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. "We just look back on the memories of it all, and the shows. We're proud that we started with a little idea and it's grown into something. You don't want to start overthinking something that grows naturally and happens all with fun and good intentions, which is try to put out some great music, the best that you can."
Luke admits he never imagined the concept would continue so successfully for five years. "Spring Break originally started from songs that were in my catalog, so we already had them written," he explains. "The first couple of Spring Break albums, we were pulling from songs that I wrote throughout the year. The last two, we didn't have a song going into January, we knew we were recording a spring break album the first of February, and I was panicking. So for one month, I focused on writing Spring Break songs, because all we had to do was write five or six of them and go record them. It became something that was fun to come back at the top of the year and try to write Spring Break albums. My co-writers would come to me with spring break titles, because they knew that I would be looking for [them]."
Luke says he wanted to release a full album to make the tunes more accessible for his fans. "We felt like it was time to put a physical CD together that people could go purchase in all environments," he explains. "Through the years, it's always been fun to put four tracks out, and see which one sells the most on iTunes. You're like, 'Man, we would have never imagined that one selling like this.' It's free research for you to go, 'So that's why they're liking this one so much.' It's been a big learning deal. We're glad we can put 14 songs out. That's 14 more songs that people will have of mine, and be incorporating into their lives. One day, one of these things are going to stick out and be a big old hit for us."
Luke says the entire idea began because he had a collection of tunes that weren't right for any of his other projects. "The whole birth of spring break and the Spring Break album started because I had all these songs that I knew would never be able to make it on a mainstream album," he explains. "We played a show the day before Kenny Chesney was doing a show in Spinnaker's. He'd go down there and do that, too. We had so much fun down there, we were like, 'Hey, let's just keep doing it every year.' Then we started coming up with the Spring Break album, so we said, 'Let's start putting some music out and promote spring break around that, and put the album around the shows. Here we are, five years later, and we've somehow stayed afloat with it all. I'll do it as long as I look like I need to be doing it. I don't want to be some old weirdo down there at spring break. My wife and a lot of our friends come down from Nashville, and we have a good time. We kind of get to be back in college for a few days too, which is pretty fun."
Luke has plenty of great memories from his years of enjoying his own spring breaks, and one memory he'd like to forget. "I went to spring break five or six times in my young adolescence," he recalls. "One time, the only time my wife and I went to spring break in college together, we get there and we ran and jumped in the water at night. Then, we all got the flu two days later -- laid in the bed, ate Campbell's soup for three days. It was pretty awful. But when you look back, it was fun. We had great times. Just being on the beach, partying through the day and staying up all night. The marathon of partying was pretty fun."
Spring Break ... Here to Party will hit shelves on March 5. Luke will play two shows at Spinnaker's in Panama City, Fla., on March 12 and 13 to help launch the new album. See a list of his upcoming shows here.