Let’s be real, this summer has been filled with some seriously amazing music. I always find myself trying to predict my “songs of the summer” come Memorial Day Weekend and then reassessing the list come August while looking at what the summer has meant to me thus far. Without a doubt, one of the BEST songs of the summer has been I Love This Life by country duo LoCash. It is upbeat, catchy, positive and makes you want to sing along at the top of your lungs with the windows down. LoCash (formerly known as LoCash Cowboys) is comprised of Chris Lucas and Preston Brust. They have been in the game for over a decade and are the pen behind some serious country hits. Truck Yeah sound familiar? That’s right, Tim McGraw’s stadium bumping anthem was co-written by the LoCash boys. Now, with I Love This Life reaching the #1 spot on The Highway the spotlight is on Chris and Preston. I can honestly say after chatting with them on the phone these boys do indeed love their life and are absolutely hilarious! I recently got to chat with Preston on the phone and here’s what he had to say about this crazy journey they’re on:
You wrote both I Love This Life and Truck Yeah with Chris Janson. He’s also having amazing success on country radio with his single Buy Me A Boat. Can you tell me about how your writing relationship with him started?
Preston: Janson used to preform at Tootsies when we did. He would be in the front room and we would be in the back room. He would play for an hour and switch to the back stage and we would play for an hour and switch to the front stage. We’ve been friends with Janson for probably about 10 or 11 years. We’ve always supported each other’s music but for some reason we didn’t write together in the early days. I wish we would have because who knows what would’ve happened. [laughs]
We’ve written so much with Chris. We probably have 40 or 50 songs together. Let’s see we’ve got I Love This Life, Truck Yeah, we just got a Joe Nichols cut together. Me and Chris Janson have a song on Parmalee’s last album called Back in the Day. I think Janson is actually going to cut a song that we all wrote together called Hank Over. There’s a bunch of LoCash/Chris Jason material out there. There’s just an energy together. I love that because it’s either there or it’s not and you know it right when you write it. I love that kid so much and I’m so happy for his success, I love his family. It’s an exciting time for all of us but I just know that we’ve all worked so hard for so many years and it feels so to see him out there doing so well.
What goes behind you deciding if a song you write will be recorded by another artist or if you are going to keep it for yourself?
Preston: Actually I Love This Life was on a strong hold already for a major artist. They were getting ready to go into the studio to record it and we stopped them at the last second. With deciding if the song is going to be for us or not, first of all Chris and I both have to love the song. As a duo it’s a relationship, you have to respect each other. We try to find the songs that we both are really into. Maybe not equally, but pretty close. If we’re going to live with this music for the rest of our lives and record it and sing it every night, we both want to love it.
Then it needs to feel like who we are right now. Who we are right now is very different than who we were when we recorded our last album or the independent stuff we did before. Even with Janson, there’s a specific thing he’s looking for in the melody, the sound, the lyric and the message. Me and Chris Janson wrote a song the other day with a buddy of ours Dave Turnball called Cold Beer Fix. I feel like it’s a smash, Janson feels like it’s a smash, but neither one of us feel like it’s a smash for us. We don’t know who would record this song, but we hope somebody will. It definitely doesn’t sound like a LoCash song or a Chris Janson song though. So it just kind of sits there for a while and marinates and you never know who’s going to record it. I’ve got my ideas; I feel like it’s a Blake Shelton smash. So Blake if you’re listening, record this song! [laughs]
When you sat down to write I Love This Life, where did the inspiration for that come from?
Preston: Whenever you get Chris Janson, Danny Myrick, me and Chris in the room there’s going to be a lot of energy in there. We’re all real positive guys and we’re all real energetic. We all love to be upbeat with a positive message. We wrote Truck Yeah together and that’s an anthem for Tim McGraw. We typically write things like that when we get in the room together. We knew we wanted to write something of that kind of spirit. We were all just sitting around talking about how when you turn the TV on how it’s just negative right now. There’s shootings, government embezzling, weapons and just all drama. It’s a bit of a train wreck upon every channel. But we watch it because it’s geared for good ratings. We were like, let’s be three minutes of feel good and let’s try to instill a positive message into everybody. So when we wrote the song we kind of just made a laundry list of all the things we love in our life. Then we went through and said okay, let’s paint this picture even a little bit better. What is it about the boots that you love, your favorite boots? It’s because they’re broken in. What is it about that bar that you always go there, why is it that you love that bar? It’s because when you walk in they already know your name and they already know your favorite drink. You don’t even have to order it; the bartender is already whipping it up. What is it about her kiss? Well it’s that wine that you taste on her lips. It’s those little things that you’re like, now those are the moments. Sometimes we take those for granted.
As cliché as it is to say “I love my camo hat”, do you know how many people say “That’s my favorite camo hat right there…I’ve got five camo hats but that’s my favorite one.” That means something to somebody when they hear that line they’re like “I know my favorite camo hat.” It’s all those little things in one song and it just makes you feel good and you can’t help it. It’s infectious. I’m proud that we’re singing a song and wrote a song that makes people feel good for a few minutes. All the stars lined up on this song. It’s one of those moments that you can’t plan, you can’t generate yourself it just has to happen. We’ll look back on it and think everything just went so right, right then.
I was talking to somebody who’s real sick, they were in and out of the hospital and going through some things. They told me it’s their three-minute release to remember that they’re still here and they’re still fighting. One of my friends said it best. They said “Preston, I think you guys have the unassuming, unofficial, anthem of the summer.” It just kind of has this anthem feel about it. It doesn’t ask to be the anthem and we don’t tell people it’s the anthem but it becomes that. It’s a really cool place to be.
It must be great so get such support from The Highway. They did a great job of getting your name out there especially with this song.
Preston: I can’t tell you how great The Highway has been for us. Sirius XM has changed our lives. Those guys have played our music, believe in I Love This Life and really brought it home for us. Chris and I thank God and we’re just so thankful and grateful that they have been such a life support system for our career. They took I Love This Life to a whole other level for us.
Do you feel like this a new chapter and you’re starting off on a different foot now after dropping the “Cowboys” from your name, signing with a new label and releasing this single?
Preston: I do. I tell you what it just feels like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve had some great success as songwriters and I’m so grateful for that and blessed. But LoCash never had a moment that we felt was our moment. We just kept working so hard trying to reach that place. We signed with Reviver Records and they’re just amazing. It’s the first time we’ve felt like we’re home with our record label. We’ve had a few deals and it’s awesome to have a record deal and have music being put out there but it’s even better when it feels like home and the place you’re supposed to be. I didn’t even know that feeling until it happened. So big shout out to Reviver Records for that. That is a life changing moment for us. With I Love This Life going out to radio and the sales and everybody downloading it, that’s awesome. I think our PR has us just everywhere right now.
When everything’s clicking on all cylinders it just feels so cool because you can’t stop that moment and you can’t that feel good in your heart, that fullness. Chris has a little boy and he turns 5 this week. So Chris is in a really great place personally. I’m so in love right now with my girlfriend and we’re in a really great place. I just think there’s a lot of balance in our life right now that we’re really enjoying this moment in new ways that we wouldn’t have before.
It’s truly one of those moments where you feel like you just got everything right right now. It feels good. When it comes together, what a great feeling in your heart. When you lay down to go to sleep at night you just thank God for all the things that are going well and when you wake up in the morning they’re there for you again. You can go another direction and think about all the things that you don’t have or the things that some other artist has got that you don’t have yet or things like that but that’s not going to do you any good. That’s not going to get you where you want to get. We’re just happy for all of our friends and hope that this I Love This Life roller coaster keeps on climbing!
You have a new song Shipwrecked that’s also the name of your signature wine label. Instead of asking what you would bring if you were to be shipwrecked I want to know where you would want to be stuck?
Preston: Ooooo I like it! You know what? We took a cruise once, and I wish the island that I was shipwrecked on was like St. Thomas or Aruba. Hold on I gotta ask Chris this question too! [yells the question to Chris as he is stocking up the fridge with their very own wine] Chris says the Caribbean, specifically Eastern Caribbean.
Every artist is influenced and inspired by dozens of other artists throughout the span of their career. With that said, if you were to pick your musical parents who would they be?
Preston: I love this question! [Preston repeats the question to Chris across the room]
Chris: Oooooooo!!! [yells from the background]
Preston: Chris thinks he has two Dads! He’s got a Dad and a Stepdad. He’s going with Frank Sinatra or David Coverdale from Whitesnake. Hey this is a new world they could get married in any state right now! Wait, he’s going with Britney Spears for his mom! [laughs] If Frank Sinatra and Britney Spears had a baby it’s Chris Lucas, that’s crazy! I think he picked Britney because Britney can dance. He said something about that’s where his dancing skills would come from.
I would think mine would be Mick Jagger ‘cause Chris says I remind him a lot of Jagger on stage. My mom would probably be Tina Turner. It’s Jagger and Tina Turner. Chris’ dad wanted to have sex with Tina Turner. And I can say that and get away with it because it’s a true fact. [several Stepbrothers quotes quickly started to fly at this point] [laughs] We’re a little wild, a little crazy. [laughs]
From there Preston and Chris continued on to give me what might be the most hilarious delivery of their personal playlist I’ve ever received. They were in the process of picking up some items in Wal-Mart to stock the bus for their trip that day. I could envision them yelling to each other over the aisles about what songs to pick while filling the cart. Meanwhile Preston admittedly might have scared a young child by imitating a gorilla after selecting Gorilla by Bruno Mars to be part of the list. After a little Boyz II Men and Huey Lewis they sealed off the list perfectly with a song by Katy Perry to add some female vocals in there. These guys have such a great mentality about the country music world and about life in general. They are so grateful for every success they might have and are just a blast to chat with. If you see them out and about in Nashville, you can be sure they will have a big ole’ smile on their face!