Interview: LoCash’s ‘Brothers’ Album Shaped By Hard Times, But Highlights the Good
A listener hearing LoCash's new album, Brothers, for the first time -- with no context, and no knowledge of anything about the group prior to this release -- could be forgiven for thinking that nothing bad has ever happened to bandmates Preston Brust and Chris Lucas. It is a deeply positive album, filled with sing-a-longs and messages of celebration.
However, while Brothers highlights the ups, it is the product of a lot of downs. Dogged by tough breaks and a string of disappointing label deals, Brust and Lucas have often had to rally each other to get through hard times. Still, you won't hear pain in their songs -- at least, not the ones that see the light of day.
"No, there's no heartbreak on our albums. We don't put heartbreak on our albums," Lucas tells The Boot, but admitting, "We write it sometimes."
That doesn't mean that many of the tracks on Brothers weren't informed by hardship. In fact, LoCash's first single from the project, "Feels Likes a Party" -- one of the most upbeat on a record full of positive tracks -- began in a pretty dark place. When the duo walked into their meeting with co-writers Corey Crowder and Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard, LoCash were still in between label deals, and frustrated by the legal negotiations of extricating themselves from their contract.
"On the way to the studio, we had a phone call with all the attorneys and managers, all the behind-the-scenes stuff," Brust recalls. "Not a lot of fun. We come in, and I guess we looked a little beat down, a little jaded."
Crowder and Hubbard helped LoCash change their perspective, pointing out the bigger picture: "[They] go, 'Hey, guys, if you could just see to the end of the tunnel here, when you get past all this, it's gonna feel like a party.' We were like, 'Ding! We should write that song!'" Brust continues.
"Sometimes it's not about blood. It's about that life journey and those milestones that you experience together." -- Preston Brust
In a sense, many of Brothers' tracks are seasoned by the experience of loss, and how that loss can make celebrating victory even sweeter. Album tracks such as "God Thing" and "Beers to Catch Up On" reflect a maturity that a greener artist, who hasn't experienced hard times, might not be able to so compellingly convey. Even at their breeziest and most party-ready, LoCash never make mindless ear candy; each song reflects joy, gratitude, and the real love for each other that Brust and Lucas have developed along the way.
While the country music format is brimming with songs about romantic love, "bromance" doesn't always get enough attention -- but LoCash hope to change all that. The theme that ultimately became the album's title started out a long time ago, when the pair first decided they wanted to record "Beers to Catch Up On."
"[That song] was one of those 'bromance' kind of songs," says Brust. "We got that song a long time ago, and I held onto it forever. We kept putting it on hold and renewing the hold on it -- and reassuring the songwriters that we were gonna cut that song. 'Cause it always meant a lot to us, once we heard it. I think that kinda set the stage.
"And then we wrote "Brothers" with Tyler Hubbard and Corey Crowder, and you could just feel the brotherhood in the room," he continues. "We were like, 'Man, has anybody ever written a song about dudes just feeling like family: getting each other's backs, calling each other out, being there for each other?'"
LoCash crafted their new album to be able to translate to all kinds of friendships and brotherhoods -- sisterhoods, too.
"When we wrote "Brothers," I took it home to my wife and let her listen to it. She listens to the whole album, and she says that "Brothers" is her favorite," Lucas recalls. "So the females are getting that perspective too, which is exactly what we wanted. Man, we're all human out there. It's cliche to say that we are all brothers and sisters, but for God's sake, we are. We all need each other."
Brotherly love can come from anywhere, and it exists in all forms; you don't need to be related by blood to experience the feeling of brotherhood. "I wouldn't know what a brother is, other than Preston," says Lucas, an only child.
"I mean, I know other people that I [am related to by blood], but I feel like we're as close, if not closer," Lucas continues. "I know there's nothing closer than blood, but relationship-wise, you're not gonna get closer than Preston and I. We've gone through the ups and downs -- more downs than ups -- and we celebrate everything and lean on each other for everything."
Brust agrees, though he has a different background in brotherhood: "I come from a family of two brothers. I have an adopted brother, I have a blood brother, and then I have this brother. And he's like a long-lost brother," he explains.
Jokes Lucas, "I'm still lost!"
Continues Brust, "And my love for them is all sort of equal in different ways. Like [Lucas] said, we spend so much time together and have had to come together through tough times, and we celebrate things together that I didn't get to celebrate with my other brothers. So we have a closeness that me and my other brothers don't have.
"Sometimes it's not about blood," he adds. "It's about that life journey and those milestones that you experience together."
Who Else Is Releasing New Music This Year?