A few days before The Long Road festival, we chatted to LOCASH to find out more about what the duo, comprised of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust, had to say about making their long-awaited UK debut after almost two decades.
Having fun on stage at TLR – LOCASH’s Chris Lucas (l) and Preston Brust
The appearance adds to an already incredible year for the guys. ‘Beach Boys’, a song inspired by (you guessed it!) the Beach Boys led to a collaboration with the actual Beach Boys and some memorable and history-making performances at Stagecoach and the Grand Ol’ Opry.
The festival weekend has been a long time coming both for TLR but also for yourselves. This is going to be your first UK show! How excited are you?
Chris: We’ve been waiting just as long, probably more to get over here. We’ve been talking about it for 15, 20 years. I don’t think we had the right people around us to make it happen. But now we’re with BMG, they’re worldwide, and one of the first things we said was ‘we’re coming over to the UK’. We are going to rock the UK. We belong over here, our music belongs over here and our fans deserve it. You guys have been playing our music and it’s time to perform for y’all!
We’re seeing more and more American artists making frequent trips over here, becoming regular visitors. Now you’re finally here, is that something you’ll be looking to make happen?
Preston: That’s the goal for us. We want to be here at least once a year, maybe more – maybe we’ll buy an apartment (laughs). We’re enjoying our time here, everybody’s been so gracious and we’re so fired up for the show. Everybody loves the deep cuts, everybody wants to hear all the music that we’ve written and all the music that we sing. This is going to be extra fun for us.
You’re known for your feel-good summer anthems and, of course, you’re visiting us in summer so I gotta ask…how has the British weather been for you so far?
Preston: It’s actually been nice for us, there’s a bit of a breeze! It’s warm but it’s not too warm, we like the weather!
How much have you got to see of the UK since arriving?
Chris: We’ve only been here three days, and we’ve walked around a lot – a lot, my calves are hurting. It’s nice. I think a lot of people say that London is not the cleanest but I think London is a lot cleaner than New York. Great restaurants, nice people. I would love to get over to Scotland and Ireland – I have Irish in my blood so I’d love to go over there. I want to get over here more and see more. I think we’re taking our wives to Paris tomorrow by train.
Preston: They don’t know, it’s a secret so don’t tell them!
I won’t! Secret’s safe with me!
Photo right: (L-R): Back row – The Beach Boys’ Brian Eichenberger, John Cowsil, Tim Bonhomme, Keith Hubacher, Randy Leago; Front Row – Amy Robach (GMA), Bruce Johnston (The Beach Boys), Lara Spencer (GMA), Michael Strahan (GMA), Chris Lucas (LOCASH), Mike Love (The Beach Boys), Preston Brust (LOCASH), Robin Roberts (GMA), Christian Love (The Beach Boys), Scott Totten (The Beach Boys)
Your latest single is ‘Beach Boys’, and it originally featured on your 2021 EP Woods & Water. This release is a new version and it features the actual Beach Boys! How did this collaboration come about?
Preston: BMG had a big part in that. We had turned in the version that you’re talking about, the original version, we turned that into BMG publishing. We got a call about three months later, they needed to get the clearance from the Beach Boys. We got the clearance and they said ‘Mike [Love] wants your phone number and he wants to call you because he loves the song’. [That] was a surprise because we didn’t even know if they’d hear the song. Not only did they hear it, they loved it and they called us. Now they’re on it with us. It’s just been a dream come true. It’s been really cool.
It must have been so surreal to get that call, right?
Preston: Mike Love is so cool. I answered the phone and he’s like ‘Hey, this is Mike Love from the Beach Boys’. I was like ‘is this really the Beach Boys?’ and he said ‘you can call me Dr. Love’. I was like ‘okay this is awesome, you are a rockstar’. From there we just talked about life and music. He immediately had ideas about how they could be part of the song, musical ideas with the intro and how Bruce could do harmonies and things like that. He immediately was creative and it was cool to hear that.
This collaboration has led to some really cool and historic moments. You’ve performed with the Beach Boys at Stagecoach, Good Morning America and, of course, the Opry. How special was that Opry show?
Chris: We’re friends with the Opry, it’s such a great place to play. When they told us that they’d never played the Opry, we were like ‘we gotta make that happen, we have to be the guys to make that happen’. We did and it was one of the best nights of our lives, one of the best shows I’ve ever done in 20 years. They say, to this day, their number one [place] is the place in London–
Preston: The Royal Albert Hall.
Chris: Yeah. But they said that [after playing] the Opry, they were ready to retire.
The Beach Boys collab isn’t your first unlikely team-up. You also did a track with the Gronkowski Brothers (‘Cloud of Dust’). Do you have any more interesting collabs in the pipeline?
Chris: Well, we’re trying to get in touch with Paul McCartney while we’re here (laughs). You just never know! There’s always something up our sleeves, we’re working on some stuff right now. We’ll see. We love to keep everyone on their toes and make it fresh.
Preston, you recently revealed your struggles with Bell’s Palsy, a condition that you said you hadn’t heard of until your diagnosis. It’s actually a condition that I hadn’t heard of until I read about a celebrity suffering from it, so I think it’s great that you shared your story. Is it important for you to use the platform that you have to spread awareness of such things?
Preston: Thanks for saying that. I had never shared anything like that before or used [my] platform for anything other than self-promotion or our music. It’s really been a change for me, to watch how people can relate – they have friends or they themselves have experienced this. It’s been an eye-opening experience for me because now I see the importance of speaking out. Being imperfect is perfect in people’s eyes and that’s encouraging for me and for other people. It’s this dark hole with Bell’s Palsy, there’s no answers. Maybe Chris and I can help lead the way in, y’know, maybe a foundation someday that can help others.
When I think of LOCASH, I always think of those big, feel good anthems. Do your personal struggles and, of course, the craziness of the past few years give you a fresh perspective on what you do and making that sort of music?
Preston: I’m thankful that we get to do that, especially with our kids right now. Our kids are learning our words and wanting to sing along in the car. Chris has a 12, a six and a four year old. I have a six and a four year old. These are the formative years, where they really start to gravitate towards songs and music and the things their parents listen to. It makes me proud that Chris and I have music that uplifts people and makes them feel good.
Chris: We were actually talking about this the other day because we wanna be good role models and good parents. I know people who are good parents but they sing their music and they’re cussing and doing stuff, crazy stuff, and good for them. But we don’t want to be those guys. I don’t want my son or my girls to come and say ‘oh there’s dad doing…why is he doing that?’ Positivity is so important for kids today, and everybody – everybody needs it.
And we saw that with your song, ‘One Big Country Song’. It was released in 2019 but experienced a resurgence in 2020 with the pandemic and made its way to number one. How did it feel to have one of your songs connecting with people during such a difficult time?
Preston: That was kinda our silver lining during Covid. Everything was getting shut down and no one knew what the future was. Chris would call me and say ‘what’s going on with the charts?’. I keep my eye on them and I said ‘dude, our song…maybe it’s encouraging people right now or something because it’s got a momentum behind it’. He’d call me the next week like ‘still?’ and it had even bigger momentum. It cruised up to number one. In a time of uncertainty, it was a bit of our silver lining. It was cool.
I read that you actually wrote about 150 songs during the pandemic. Obviously not every song written gets recorded but, moving forward, are these songs you’ll look back and want to record? Or do you feel like you’ve moved past them as we move further out of the whole pandemic time and mindset that they were written during?
Chris: We kept it positive during the pandemic. It was all bringing people together rather than talking about the struggles. We do write that but, for LOCASH, we want to stay positive. There’s a lot of songs that are going to be released that we did write then. A lot of smiling songs. There’s definitely some songs that we’re actually going to record this year.
There’s only a few months left of this year, which is crazy, and 2023 is already looming. What does 2023 have in store for you? Have you started planning for it yet?
Preston: We wanna be back here, that’s for sure.
Chris: Yes, for sure.
Preston: We’ve had so much success this year, it’s kinda a pinch me moment. We were just in Chicago a couple of days ago, having a beer together and we started listing all the cool things that have happened this year to reflect and appreciate it. It was a long list and we decided to sit down with our publicist and our management and thank them for all the success and [to] plan for next year and dream again, see if we can make all these dreams come true again. I think that’s gonna happen in the next couple of weeks. But being back here, having a number one song with ‘Beach Boys’ and [having] more new music out is gonna be important to us.
Stay in touch with LOCASH via www.locash.com