Brandon Lancaster Talks About LANCO New Single “Greatest Love Story”

Brandon Lancaster of LANCO has seen the hit single, “Greatest Love Story,” top the country charts. But having the hit single isn’t the dream he’s talking about. It’s what he sees on stage night to night, as an outgrowth of the single’s success, that has Lancaster smiling.

“We had this dream that we would take these songs and they would be just as meaningful to other people as they are to us and in the past year, we’ve gotten to experience that,” Lancaster said in an early May phone interview. “I think the biggest change is we’re not singing to people anymore as much as we’re singing with people, which is the ultimate dream come true.

“If you know ‘Greatest Love Story’ I think you can relate to (us) because that song is just so us, and all the songs on the album are just as much as us,” he elaborated, mentioning LANCO’s debut album, “Hallelujah Nights.” “It’s been cool to see people introduced to us through a hit like ‘Greatest Love Story,’ but then also connecting to and bonding with the rest of the music.”

The success is welcome, of course. As Lancaster noted, the group’s tour schedule has filled up nicely, and instead of toughing it out playing in bars to 15 to 20 people, LANCO now opens for top acts (such as Dierks Bentley this past summer), plays featured slots at fairs and headlines large clubs and theaters, traveling in a bus instead of an old RV, and bringing along a crew to set up and pack up after shows.

But what genuinely seems to drive Lancaster and his bandmates in LANCO isn’t success or having hits, but the opportunity to be creative and make music that matters and sounds original. It’s an ethic the band has had from the very beginning.

“Even early on, we were always challenging ourselves to play a song, and then be like ‘Wait, does that sound like something else?’ Like ‘All right, we love Southern rock, if everyone loves Lynyrd Skynyrd, that’s great. But does this song now just sound like a Lynyrd Skynyrd song?’ That’s not what we want,” Lancaster said. “We want to one day to be old and gray haired and we want some kid in a basement to be playing and be like ‘Oh, that’s like a LANCO song.’ You want to create your own thumbprint.”

The early on for LANCO came after Lancaster, who grew up in Smyrna, Tennessee, met drummer Tripp Howell in 2012 when they each were in separate bands playing a festival in Cleveland. The two bonded and decided to move to Nashville and form a band.

The rest of LANCO came together when Lancaster and Howell met guitarist Eric Steedly and became friends with him. Steedly then brought in a pair of his friends, keyboardist Jared Hampton and bassist Chandler Baldwin, to complete the lineup.

The group clicked, even though the band members have different influences and tastes that include alternative rock, classic rock, folk-ish pop and hip-hop.

“We all have different influences,” Lancaster said. “I think one thing that helped was our home base, we all could agree on. We all grew up in the Southeast and we really all understood and knew and loved country music. So there was kind of a lane there that we knew we all could kind of come together on.”

A key moment for the future of LANCO came in 2014 when Lancaster was working a hot dog stand at a Keith Urban and Little Big Town concert. He happened to see Jay Joyce, the A-list record producer known for his work with Eric Church, Brandy Clark and Cage The Elephant.

Recognizing Joyce, Lancaster hastily closed his stand and chased down the producer, merely wanting to say he was a fan of his work.

“I love his albums, from the country stuff to the rock stuff and some of the classic stuff,” Lancaster said. “I just knew his catalog and knew his work and I just wanted to tell him I was a huge fan and I loved what he did.”

A conversation between the aspiring young artist and maverick producer ensued, and Joyce clearly saw something in Lancaster. He later invited LANCO to his studio, which turned into a 10-day recording session. The band cut 11 songs, all of which were written or co-written by Lancaster, and with those songs in hand, LANCO landed a record deal with Sony.

The label introduced the group to the country market with a pair of singles. The first one, “Long Live Tonight,” made a minor impression, reaching the top 30 on “Billboard” magazine’s Country Airplay chart. The second single was a whole different story.

It was “Greatest Love Story,” a rootsy semi-autobiographical mid-tempo ballad, and it put LANCO on the country music map, hitting No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart in December, paving the way for the release of the Joyce-produced “Hallelujah Nights” album in January.

Lancaster said he wrote “Greatest Love Story” early in LANCO’s days as a band, building the story around a romance between a trouble-maker kind of guy and an all-American girl who find each other, endure ups and downs and eventually marry.

“I’ve always definitely been a trouble maker. I’m in a band, for crying out loud,” Lancaster said. “I have been rough around the edges, but I kind of found myself in a relationship with this kind of perfect all-American girl that I needed in my life. And it was a relationship that started and then took time apart and then got back together. I am now married to that girl. So I think the foundation to that song was from my own experience and growing up where I grew up. I grew up in a smaller country town. You know, the Nissan plant is there, and the story you see a lot of times is the girls go off to college and the guys go to work at the factory and see what’s going to happen from there. So I took kind of my own character and my own life and meshed them together with some characters I had seen growing up in that town and turned it into that song.”

Lancaster saw the recent single, the rock-tinged “Born To Love You,” as a natural follow-up to “Greatest Love Story,” fleshing out the settings and emotions of that hit single. “Born To Love You,” while it cracked the top 20 on the Country Airplay chart, did not become another blockbuster single.

“Hallelujah Nights,” though, has plenty more to offer beyond the two singles, as several other songs (such as the shimmery anthem “We Do,” the snappy shuffle “Trouble Maker,” the heartland rocker “Win You Over” and the expansive modern pop-tinged title track) tell stories of love, life and dreams in a small town, making for a musically rangy, lyrically cohesive album.

LANCO will be busy showcasing the “Hallelujah Nights” album this winter, as the group does an extensive headlining tour. The longer set will allow the group to cover a good bit of musical ground and deliver the goods live. But Lancaster feels LANCO achieves that goal even when limited in time on stage.

“We’ve been doing this a long time and we have variations of sets for a half hour, to hour to an hour and a half and everywhere in between,” he said. “So I think it’s always about finding a way to give people a full show and make them feel we gave them everything we could in that time slot we got.” For more information:

Hope you enjoyed our interview with LANCO. Here you can order there latest Cd’s.

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