It’s safe to say that artists have diverse tastes, and Kristian Bush, one half of the newly reunited Sugarland, is living proof of this. Bush’s interests are just as multifaceted as his career as a musician, which includes his success with Sugarland, a solo album and composer of the score for the musical Troubadour. But it may surprise fans to learn that Bush also harbors a very specific obsession for designer board games.
While we’re all fans of classic board games like Life, Chutes and Ladders and Candy Land, just to name a few, Bush has cornered the unique market of European designer board games, which take the idea of group games to the next level by relying on strategic thinking and sharp decision making. “These are board games that have been developed in the last 20 years, so this is not Monopoly or Clue, or anything like that,” Bush describes. “There’s a huge gaming community here in America.”
What started as a gift from a friend has turned into a bonafide obsession for Bush, who cites strategy games such as Dominion, a medieval themed card game, Pandemic, a cooperative board game that requires players to work together to find the cures for four diseases that hypothetically take over the world, and the train-themed Ticket to Ride among his favorites. “Somebody gifted me one, then I was like, ‘That’s kind of fun,” he explains of how his new favorite activity began. “At first I got into them because I wanted my kids to do something other than stare at their phones. They’re really smart, so I had to find something that would hold their attention. Now I’m kind of into board games.”
Bush may have to put the designer board games on hold as he readies the release of Sugarland’s highly anticipated 2018 album, Bigger. He and Sugarland partner Jennifer Nettles co-wrote all but one of the album’s 11 tracks, with Taylor Swift and Pat Monahan of Train penning a song titled “Babe,” which also features supporting vocals from Swift.
Bigger drops on June 8, with the duo kicking their comeback into high gear with a summer tour.