LoCash, (Chris Lucas and Preston Brust) formed back in 2004 as the Locash Cowboys. This weekend we had the pleasure of watching them on UK soil for the first time and I can tell you that it was definitely worth the wait! Lucas and Brust are best known for their massive hits ‘I Know Somebody’, ‘I Love This Life’ and ‘One Big Country Song’ but they also wrote ‘You Gonna Fly’ for Keith Urban and ‘Truck Year’ for Tim McGraw.
The duo are currently riding a wave of popularity with their song ‘Beach Boys’ which has taken on a life of its own and enabled LoCash to work with the said group on a number of projects. We were thrilled to talk to Chris and Preston all about it.
It’s great to have you here in the UK, finally! Thanks for giving us your time today.
It’s our first time, man! We’re so excited about it. It’s only taken us 15 years. (laughing) The wives came over with us so we’ve done a lot of shopping. We went to Paris for a day to see that city then came back here, went to Abbey Road studios and walked across the famous crossing there and we saw a guy get arrested at Buckingham Palace so it’s been a cool few days.
We already can’t wait to be back and we haven’t even left yet.
Your new single, ‘Beach Boys’ is really burning for you guys this year and has taken on a life of its own in many different ways. Did you get an inkling it was a special song when you wrote it?
We dreamt about it being bigger than a normal song but didn’t think it would happen but then when the Beach Boys themselves contacted us and asked to sing on it we felt something special was happening.
The next thing you know we are backstage at a Beach Boys concert in Alabama and we are recording it with them, right there at the concert. We’ve played with them now at the Opry, at the Greek Theatre in LA, we’ve played Stagecoach, the Ryman and we are going on a cruise with them next March!
Everybody goes through a Pink Floyd stage, a Garth Brooks phase, a Bee Gees phase and a Beach Boys phase, no matter what genre of music they normally listen to. When was your Beach Boys phase?
We think everybody goes through a Beatles phase too. Beach Boys got really good to us when David Lee Roth did ‘California Girls’. That really gave us the impetus to dig deep into their catalogue. When we worked with Mike Love on the track he even said how good David Lee Roth’s version was.
You two have been together since 2004. What’s been the secret to your friendship and longevity?
We live together on the road too so over the years we’ve learned how to respect each other and make compromises too, just like you have to do in any relationship. You learn to accept each other’s good and bad points. We have a bus full of boys out there with us on the road and we learn how to stay out of each other’s way sometimes but the fun and friendship and the brotherhood is what bonds you together.
The duo thing is a lot easier than being in a band. You can confide in each other and there are no politics or dynamics in the same way that there might be in a band.
What changes have you seen in both Nashville and the music industry in the years you’ve been together?
Oh my gosh. The changes in America, period, have been huge, let alone in just music. Streaming has obviously been the biggest change in the industry, which is great but radio has kinda slowed down which is unfortunate for songwriters because that’s how you mainly get paid.
Radio is now becoming like streaming and you’re going to see the heads of streaming becoming the heads of radio. You have to work hard and develop new avenues and be prepared to try and find your crowd in new ways, like TikTok.
Our favourite part of it all, the live show, hasn’t changed though. People still want to come, throw their hands in the air and sing along, no matter how they are consuming music at home or on what device, and that is what we do best. If doesn’t matter if you are in the States, in England or in Australia, the common thread is that it’s the live show that drives us forward as a duo.
Have the changes made it easier to finally come across the Atlantic?
We feel like there is a Country music explosion happening over here in England right now. 15 years ago, when we first started, it was a lot tougher to get over here. You couldn’t make sense of the finances, you couldn’t reach the potential concert go-ers as easily as you can today and it was much harder to show people what a live show of ours looks like. Streaming, Youtube and TikTok make all that a lot easier.
As songwriters, what gives you the most pleasure? Hearing songs you’ve recorded yourself on the radio or hearing songs like ‘Truck Yeah’ and ‘You Gonna Fly’ that were recorded, obviously, by Tim McGraw and ‘Keith Urban out in the world?
Both of them are great! (laughing) It’s cool to be able to say that, too! But us singing and writing one of our own songs? That’s special, man. That’s like having your cake and eating it too, right?
When you hear one of your songs on the radio or you have a big hit that resonates with a bunch of folks, that’s the reason why we started this and it gives you the validation to keep going. It’s so cool.
You’ve played hundreds, if not thousands of shows over the years. What are the best and worst things about being out on the road?
Oh man, family, missing your family, your wife and the kids. It’s so great when we can have weeks like this one when the wives can come with us, that feels like how it should be all the time! (laughing)
The one night we managed to do in Paris was so romantic and it probably bought the pair of us another four or five months out on the road this year, you know? (laughing)
Did the kids come out with you as well?
Not this time and maybe the ‘no kids’ thing bought us an extra two months on top of the rest too! (laughing)
Are the kids showing signs of being into music at all?
They are still pretty little. They like a good old dance around, like most kids their age do and there’s a little bit of drumming going on from the boys but who knows right now?
It’s been a while since your awesome ‘Brothers’ album was released. We had the ‘Woods and Water’ EP last year. Are you working on a larger body of work right now?
We are. We were talking on the way up to this festival from London about just how many songs we have written in the past three years and how we have to get them out somehow. There are hundreds of songs that we’ve written that mean a lot to us that will never see the light of day unless we find a way to get that music out.
We’ve kinda got a cool little plan in place and within the next six months you’ll get a feeling for what we are going to try and do to get this music out to people. It’s going to be unprecedented, it’s going to be so cool, so watch this space!
The industry is obviously moving towards EPs and multiple releases to keep up with the demand for content from fans, rather than the old model of an album and then two years of nothing.
We might just go against all those rules and do our own thing, who knows? (laughing) Maybe we can try to lead the way on consumption and find a way to release all these songs we’ve written.
Preston, you recently did a big interview with People Magazine talking about your Bell’s Palsy diagnosis. The reaction to which seemed to be phenomenally supportive, and why would it not be? We’re you nervous about doing it and why did you decide to let people know now?
I announced it to our team one day. We were all sitting in this marketing meeting and I wanted everyone to know that I had Bell’s Palsy. It wasn’t slowing me down and we were out doing shows but I wanted the team to be aware. Our publicist was in the room and she asked if I would be willing to talk to People Magazine about it because it could be a powerful way for people to hear the story and connect with us.
I was a little nervous. For 15 years Chris and I have been out here doing this thing and LoCash has always been just about the music, we’ve always kept it so laser-focused on that. So, for the first time, we’ve become about something else other than the music now and it’s still a little weird for me but people have gravitated towards the story and I also think it’s important to let folks know that we are all going through something, no matter who we are or what we do for a living.
It goes to show that Country music is just one big family.
It is and we’ll just keep on doing what we do!