The return of the Long Road Festival gave the UK a first glimpse of Nashville based duo LOCASH – comprised of Preston Brust and Chris Lucas. The duo has been on our radar since the release of their top 15 2016 album – The Fighter – which featured many crowd favourite tracks, including gold breakout track I Love This Life and their first number 1, I Know Somebody. Over the years, they have been nominated for CMT, ACM and CMA Awards, had 8 charting singles and 815 million global on-demand streams - and now is their time to make their mark on the UK country music scene. Before they headed north to The Long Road, we caught up with them in London to find out more about the duo and some of their recent duet work. Welcome to England. It’s so great to finally see you guys this side of the pond, but what’s taken so long for you to get here? Preston: I know! Ask our manager? Chris: Six years in the making Preston: Did you know, I Love This Life, Know Somebody and Ring on Every Finger were never released as singles in the UK? Chris: We are now tempted to send them here
How have you found your first few days in England? P: We got here on Monday morning C: It felt like forever as the plane was delayed P: We are still dealing with the jetlag. Last night it was 4am and I couldn’t go to sleep C: I had two nights in a row I couldn’t sleep as I still think it should be 7am right now P: We had our first British tea; we are trying all of it. Had fish and chips last night too. C: Chips are fries here! I went to order some fries the other day and she said you mean chips! I tried to order a cold beer and they were like you’re in the wrong country. That was a quick lesson. Now I’m hooked on Tribute Ale, it’s so good P: It’s really good. The beer over here is smoother than American beer. They offered us the tribute light last night at a restaurant, so I thought I’d try it and it was still dark! I’m scared now of what colour the dark one will be.
It’s been six years since you released The Fighter, but what was it like getting the call from The Long Road Festival asking you to come and play on the Rhinestone stage? Do you start to think these things won't happen for you? C: When we came over to BMG, we wanted our presence to be overseas. We’ve been dying to be over in the UK. We’ve finally got over to Australia; Germany; we have a good fan base in Switzerland; but we think the UK is going to appreciate LOCASH maybe more than the other places. Our music is fun and positive. We went into BMG and said this is our first priority, we need to get here. We’ve been talking about it and dreaming about it but here we are. If it was up to me and Preston, we would have been here 20 years ago!
With this being your first show here, how do you go about making the set list to introduce yourself? C: We haven’t done it yet. We were talking about it a little bit yesterday because we usually don’t put a set list together until we go and look at the crowd. We will watch a couple of people before us and see what kind of sound they are enjoying – obviously we are going to do the number ones in America! P: I Love This Life has been our closer for as long as we can remember. In fact, it was before it was even a single as that song has this dynamic power. C: There was this one time we opened with it and closed with it!
You’re first single, Here Comes Summer, was released way back in 2010. If you could go back to the day that was released, what would tell yourself? P: Sitting here now doesn’t suck that’s for sure! P: I remember our first trip. Somebody asked us to open up for Clay Walker in San Diego and we had never even been on the road. We just took a flight to San Diego; did the show and I remember feeling like somebody paid us to go tot San Diego and do a show. It wasn’t even that much money, but the feeling was beautiful. It didn’t even seem real that our music had taken us all the way to San Diego. Now, all these years later, it’s taken us to London. It’s wild to see what this career has given to us C: I think we’re really ready to build a monster fanbase here
Throughout that time have you set and achieved several goals? C: We set goals every day of our lives. It doesn’t mean they happen but we’re dreamers. When someone tells us no, we are like why not? There’s been times when a lot of stuff hasn’t worked out, but you’ve got to keep fighting. If I went back to 2010, I don’t think I’d tell us anything different. I’d say learn to be patient P: I would say you’re doing everything right and just do it again C: Now we are with a great label who can guide us to where we need to be P: It would be crazy to go back to 2010 and be like hey, your music is going to take you to London and you’re going to have number one songs in Australia and Canada. We’re finding overseas that everyone likes the deep cuts and love the songs that weren’t even singles. They know every word!
We are regularly told the European crowd is more of a listening crowd compared to music fans in the States. C: The appreciation is unbelievable and takes us by surprise. In America, people will listen to the top 3 or 4 songs and be ready for us, so it’s refreshing to hear people tell us some of the songs they’ve checked out. That’s why we write the songs. Hopefully we can get back to that in America and I think streaming can help that. P: I remember 20 years ago asking about the UK country scene and I remember being told that besides a handful of artists there’s not much of a scene there. Now, 15/20 years later, the country scene is buzzing here and it’s exciting. It’s taken years to get here, but here we are.
Recently you have released duets with several artists, but one is more unique than the others. As a big American Football fan, I need to know more about Cloud of Dust, which featured the Gronkowski brothers C: They’re the best! I met Rob as we have the same lawyer. He is one of the nicest human beings I think I’ve ever met in my life. Very calm, collected, smarter than you would think but acts Gronk. I went to dinner with him, and he was like I’ve never written a song before, I’d love to write a song. I’m like, of course you would! I’d like to play in the NFL, but I don’t look like you!!! We hit it off and it wasn’t even a month after that they he hit me up and was wanting to write a song with us – on National Tequila Day P: All the guys are huge. Every single one of them is huge, even their dad is huge. Their squeezed together on a couch and we were coaching them how to sing along. We weren’t looking for really great vocals, just some fun stuff and shanty things. It was awesome C: We just let them be them. They were telling us how they grew up on a dust farm near Buffalo and someone told them that everywhere you go you just leave a cloud of dust – and that was it P: We actually got Dallas Davidson on it, one of the biggest songwriters. We had mostly written the song before we sat down with them. We had left out the important ingredients to make the song as we knew that that would be where those guys come in. We didn’t know what they’d be able to do so we sat down with this template of a good song and had them add the details. Where did you grow up? What was the name of the road? They got excited because it would have details of their lives in it C: Every time they got excited, they would stand up and I would have to watch my light as their head would hit them! They’re great guys and it was a really fun day
What was their reaction when they saw it live on streaming sites? C: It’s number 3 in streaming for us still to this day. It’s Gronk. We weren’t trying to write a smash, but people want to see a monster star like that have fun. He’s a human being who wanted to write a song. It’s fun, it is niche, but it worked out. As a fan I would listen to it P: They now send us videos of them singing our songs C: When we released One Big Country Song, COVID hit so we couldn’t tour or anything. They were making videos to send to radio stations to get it added to their playlists. Of course, the radio stations added it! They couldn’t say no to Gronk!
That obviously didn’t scare you off doing duets though as you’ve worked with The Wolfe Brothers for Startin’ Something and in March released the track Beach Boys, which featured The Beach Boys! C: That is one thing I would like to go back to tell us in 2010! Just to say you’re about to play with the Beach Boys! It’ll take a while, but it’s going to happen. P: I would never have believed it. The Beach Boys are Americas Beatles. They were friends with each other and it’s America’s rock and roll band. To be able to do a duet with them was like someone doing a duet with Beatles over here. It’s wild C: They told us stories about Paul, John and the others. They were rivals but wanted to be each other and celebrate with each other. Mike and Paul talk a lot and wrote together too. You’re sitting there know he’s friends with Paul McCartney is mad. They tell us so many stories and we’re just learning from them.
How did this duet come about? P: BMG made it happen. We are on BMG’s publishing too, so when we finished the song as a demo, we hadn’t even cut it and we took it in and gave it over to BMG Publishing. They told us they would have to get clearance from the Beach Boys. We wanted to know what we had to do next, but they said we doubt we’ll get clearance. A couple of months go by, and Katy from BMG Publishing called us to say “Guys, you’re never going to believe this. The Beach Boys heard the song; they love the song; they want to play it after their shows every night when they’re finished; and they want to appear on the song with you!” Mike Love called and sure enough it was all true. Once he called, we hit it right off
C: They’re great people and are still rocking. P: They had musical ideas too for the intro and where he could come in during the song; where we could put Bruce; where the harmony could go. It was awesome C: Bruce still surfs every morning. He’s 80-year-olds P: You’d have been eaten by a shark by then! C: They’re amazing. The stories, the stuff that they help us with. They’re just as aggressive as us for this song. Bruce is out there making videos about the track to send to radio stations. To see them back in the game is exciting too.
Thank you for sitting down with us today; enjoy your time in our corner of Europe; and make the most of the Long Road weekend P: Thank you very much, we’ll be back soon that’s for sure