Brandon Lancaster, Chandler Baldwin, Jared Hampton, Tripp Howell and Eric Steedly -- the five men together known as Lanco -- each got their start playing in different bands and with different artists. All of the guys had big dreams of musical success -- but, thankfully, nothing worked until they all got together.

"I’ve literally been in bands -- I don’t think there’s a year of my life since I was 13 I wasn’t in a band. And so, I played with so many guys and made so many friendships," Lancaster shared with The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. "But I remember meeting Tripp: He and I were in different bands, and we’d go to each other’s shows. And then I played him some of the songs I had been writing, and he was like, ‘All right. I want in on this. Let’s start' ... And then, when I met Eric, he went to school with [Baldwin and Hampton], and brought them along.

"That first night we all got together, we actually played less music than I think any other first band practices," Lancaster recalls. "Usually, everyone’s awkward, and the only way you can communicate is through your instruments. I just really got along with everyone, which made the music easier ... There was a chemistry there. It was the first time it wasn’t just a bunch of dudes playing instruments in a tight vicinity; it was friends. It felt like, ‘These are my buddies.’"

That chemistry clearly is still working for Lanco. The group earned their first No. 1 hit with their gold-certified song "Greatest Love Story," and they're opening for Chris Young on his Losing Sleep Tour this year, too.

"It’s been everything I ever dreamed, and more," Lancaster shares. "My biggest thing was, I wanted to play the songs I cared about, all over the country, to all different audiences, and the whole time, I wanted to make memories. I wanted to build up all these stories I could tell my kids about one day, and we definitely managed to do both of these things."

Lanco's debut album, Hallelujah Nights, will be released on Jan. 19. A list of all of their upcoming shows is available on their website.

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