Coy Bowles, guitarist and keyboardist for the Zac Brown Band, has been hearing about the Sturgis motorcycle rally for a quite awhile, and he and the rest of the band are looking forward to experiencing it for themselves.
"I've had friends who have been talking about it for years. We’re big motorcycle guys, too," Bowles said. "If you're on a motorcycle, this is the place to be. You’ve got to come out for one once in your life."
And in true old-school biker style, Bowles said he and other band members plan to ride their bikes to the rally.
"I know we're riding up from Atlanta. We've got shows worked out where we're riding from Atlanta to the next show and basically riding up there," he said. We're looking forward to the ride out."
Since its major-label debut in 2009, the Zac Brown Band has become one of music's most popular acts, with nine consecutive No. 1 hit singles, notable musicianship and a reputation for its live performances.
The group released a new album, "Uncaged," last month and appears to be poised for even bigger success.
"This is a big record for us. I think that this album is going to do really well," Bowles said. "I think we'll have a lot of new fans get turned on to a great album. I think this is the best record we've done so far."
"Uncaged" sees the Zac Brown Band touching on many musical genres to diversify the country foundation it has built its success upon. The album bears influences such as reggae, soul, rock and bluegrass.
"I think that we've all listened to so many different styles of music that we appreciate every different style of music and aren’t afraid to incorporate it into our sound," Bowles said.
The band is identified with country music and country radio, where it continues to find success, but pigeonholing the group is not easy. Zac Brown Band has toured with the Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon and Kenny Chesney.
But Bowles said musical styles aren’t a big concern for the group, and he cautioned against underestimating the potential tastes of listeners.
"Good music is good music no matter what the genre is," he said. "I think a lot of people try to get outside their one specific genre, and there are a couple of things they find that they bump into."
Genre is not the only thing that music fans consider, Bowles said.
"Zac doesn’t sing about anything he doesn’t believe in or that he doesn’t live," Bowles said. "If you believe it, it sells the music on its own."
He said that musicianship has a way of overriding people's musical preferences.
"We definitely have a thing going on where, whether it's your thing or not, you can at least respect the band for paying its dues," Bowles said.