Since joining forces in the early 2000s, Preston Brust and Chris Lucas, a duo better known as the LoCash Cowboys, have climbed their way up to country music's upper crust. Coming from humble beginnings in a Nashville saloon, Brust and Lucas have ridden their talent, energy and hard work to success after success, from appearances at shows and festivals all over the world, to the top of the charts with the LoCash-crafted #1 hit single, "You Gonna Fly," which was recorded by Keith Urban.
In anticipation of their third appeance at NACM's upcoming Credit Congress in Dallas, NACM Staff Writter Jacob Barron, CICP spoke with Lucas to discuss the band's roots and its bright future.
NACM: You were out of the country recently.
Yeah we were in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium. We did some Switzerland festival dates and then we did a Stars and Stripes tour for the military.
NACM: How was that? Was it the first time you guys were out of the country?
We’ve been to Mexico, but going to Germany, it was our first time for the troops and the military. It was awesome just being part of something big and to have helped the families over there when their husbands or wives are overseas in Afghanistan.
NACM: So were you playing mostly for the crowds at the U.S. bases?
Both. The foreign crowd, they love their country music over there. It’s unbelievable. We sold out of merch [merchandise] in the first day. I mean, I brought enough for 14 days and we sold out in one day. It’s crazy over there. They love American music. And with the Stars and Stripes tour, you get to go out and check the helicopters out and the jets and they walk you around and show you what our military’s really doing over there, and that was pretty interesting.
NACM: Speaking of, is there any difference for you guys playing European audiences instead of American audiences?
There is a difference and, I don’t want to offend anybody by it, but it’s like the European audience, they’re not as critical, because they don’t have the choices like America does. They just love music in general. You go over there, and I mean, they know what’s good and what’s not, but they’re not segregated by "well, this is just pop," or "this is just country." When you listen to a radio station over there they play everything. It’s really cool because they’re music lovers whether they’re country fans or not.
NACM: You guys have been playing together for a while now. Is there any city or venue that you most look forward to playing?
My favorite is definitely Baltimore, obviously, because my family’s there and it’s usually packed, but I’ll be honest with you, and I’m not just saying this, the Glass Cactus down there in Texas? It’s one of the best venues we’ve played. It’s really cool, like a Vegas-style club with a huge stage. The whole hotel is gorgeous, and the club is right next to the hotel.
NACM: So is the new album [called "This Is How We Do It"] done for the most part?
We’re releasing it in July, don’t have an exact date on it yet, but yeah, for the most part it is done. I think we’re just tightening it up on one or two more songs. Our new single "C-O-U-N-T-R-Y," comes out April 28th and May 1st.
NACM: Is there a difference between the first album and this one? I know the first one was self-released.
It’s like the grown-up version of LoCash. We had to do that first album to kind of get out what we were trying to express and what we were when we were younger, and I think through the years and on the road and writing with some huge artists and our producer Jeffrey Steele, you know, we wrote some great songs along the way and were like "we gotta come up with a big label project and we gotta come to the game, ready to win," and I belive we did that.
NACM: I wanted to ask, how did you and Preston come together as a group?
We actually both started working at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, which is the sister to the Glass Cactus, and we just started hosting shows, teaching dance lessons, and we realized our banter back and forth on the microphone was cool. It was like Sinatra and Dean Martin all over again, and people were coming to see us rather than the bands. So then we finally looked at each other and said “man, do you sing?” I said “yeah, do you sing?” and he said “yeah,” so finally we started working on our harmonies backstage, going over some R&B songs, some country songs, some gospel songs, and we said "let’s do this right" and we went on the road.
NACM: How was that process? It seems like you guys had it pretty rough.
There was nothing easy about it <laughs>. We used to rock on tuna fish and macaroni and cheese, I mean, that was literally it. We would all take a van, anything we could drive like Preston’s old Grand Cherokee with no air conditioning, and we took it all out for four or five years since 2002, just kicking butt on every show and state there is. We did the old grassroots thing, the way they used to do it in the Motown days and the way they used to do it in the rock-n-roll days. Now we have some really serious fans who believe in us from 2002.
NACM: Did the success of "You Gonna Fly" really open things up for the group?
That’s probably the biggest thing so far, going number one. I seriously just got off the phone with Keith Urban like 45 minutes ago and I’m still smiling from ear to ear. You get a call like that and he’s thanking you for writing a song...it’s pretty amazing. And now we’re starting to see respect from radio stations, respect from bands that maybe weren't sure about us. You know, it’s all perception versus reality for a fan, and now they’re seeing us, saying "hey, these guys are partying with Keith, these guys, they had a Top 30 hit with their single," so the shows really ramp up. We just played Indianapolis, and there was 20 people the first day we were there two or three years ago, and it was sold out this weekend.
NACM: What's the songwriting process like for you guys?
It’s collaborative. One of us will come up with a title, we’ll start there and then we’ll go to the hook and find something that we both believe in, and next thing you know it turns out great.
NACM: Is there anything I missed?
Yeah, you should tell everyone that I need my credit reviewed and fixed <laughs>. My credit sucks man, I need some help with it.
NACM: <laughs>I'm sure I know plenty of people who would be willing to do that.
For more information about NACM's upcoming Credit Congress, or to register, click here!