Five piece Country band Lanco burst onto the scene last year when their song, ‘Greatest Love Story’ sat on the Billboard charts for 9 months before finally reaching number 1 in December.
Debut album, ‘Hallelujah Nights’ was released to both fan and critical acclaim in January and the band will also be appearing at this year’s C2C Festival at the O2 arena in London this March.
We caught up with LanCo bassist, Chandler Baldwin, to talk all about it.
You’ve had an amazing level of success so quickly, how does that feel?
Obviously it feels amazing to get some recognition. We’re really excited that people are actually showing up to our shows now!!! It’s been a few good months for us. To a lot of people to seems like an overnight success, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that we’ve been playing together since 2012! There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that has gone into this.
As the story goes, your lead singer, Brandon Lancaster, met producer Jay Joyce at a Keith Urban gig in Nashville in 2014.
Yeah, he did. He was working at the Bridgestone arena, saw Jay walking by, closed down his register and went to talk to him! Jay invited him to his studio to come play some songs. It was right place, right time and Brandon had some balls to just go and talk to him!
And what happened next?
Brandon played some songs solo for him by himself first.
You weren’t worried he was going to ditch you for a solo career then?
(laughing) No, we trusted him! Jay seemed to like what he heard, so he invited the rest of the band along a few days later and we played a few songs that we had and he was like ‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’ and I was like, ‘Oh man, well, it was good while it lasted, guess we’ll leave now then’ when he said, ‘I’m in, let’s make some music together boys! I get what you are trying to do and I want to be a part of it too, so what are y’all doing next week? We quit our jobs and turned up at his studio the very next week!’
‘Hallelujah Nights’ is such an upbeat and diverse album. Are there lots of musical influences within the band?
Yeah, that’s the great thing about a band. We have five different musical lifetimes to throw in together. We agree on Country music, all were raised on it, but then all have our own separate likes too.
A number of songs on the album, like current single ‘Born to Love You’, have that anthemic, modern Bon Jovi sound. Not the Jovi of the 80’s, but the more refined, less hard rock sound of the current day band.
We’ve gotten that comparison a lot lately, not just for that song, but kinda like for all the record! We do see our music as being anthemic Country and Bon Jovi were a very anthemic band, so I totally see that. I think we should start dressing in leather and spandex, I’m going to tell the rest of the band, it’s time to start shopping for leather!
How many songs were in the mix for ‘Hallelujah Nights’? Was it hard pairing down to just the finished 11 songs?
It was a three year process really. We went into the studio 3 or 4 different times over those three years. Some of the songs, like ‘We Do’ are as old as LanCo is but then other ones were wrote along the way. I would say we probably recorded, maybe, 15-20 songs but that doesn’t even take into account the ones we didn’t even press record on. We had a lot of songs to choose from.
Can you see yourselves using some of those songs in the future or will they be shelved now?
Yeah, there’s some that I definitely hope will see the light of day at some point.
Brandon’s songs and lyrics are very positive, very aspirational. Do you think that is important in bringing in a younger crowd?
That’s one of our main things. We are playing music because we love it and it’s fun, but there is a bigger purpose to why we are doing this. There’s so much negativity in the world right now that is we can be that escape for a while, we’ll take it. It’s super important to us to be seen like that. Our LanCo culture is positive, it’s about celebrating what you have and not worrying about what you don’t have and really taking time to celebrate what you have in the moment.
The age that you guys are, that attitude is appropriate to your life experiences too.
Definitely! We range from 25 to 28 years old – I’m bringing up the rear at 25. We’re still young, and whilst there’s a lot we haven’t experienced yet, there’s a lot we have. We want to sing about what means something to us – and our ethos is that it’s important to live in the now and not worry too much about what tomorrow may bring.
2018 is going to be a big touring year for you guys!
We are in Maine right now with Chris Young and Kane Brown on Chris’ ‘Losing Sleep’ tour. It’s cold and it’s snowy here!
Were you intimidated the first time you walked out onto an arena stage?
You know what, it was’t intimidating at all, it felt fitting. Ever since we started the band 5-6 years ago, our main goal and feeling was that no matter how small the stage is that we are playing on we are going to play like we are on stage in an arena! And so early on when we were playing bars and restaurants and people were often sat at tables in the audience eating food we’d still, like, jump off the stage! Brandon would have a drum that he would take out into the crowd and bang in their faces and interrupt their dinner! So we are excited about the Chris Young tour, because we can finally play our arena show on the stage of an actual arena!!
And then you are opening for Dierks Bentley on his ‘Mountain High’ tour later in the year with the Brothers Osborne too?
We’re really excited about that one. we’ve known Dierks for a while now, we played a couple of shows with him last year. We opened for the Brothers Osborne last year too so we’re really close with all those guys.
The Youtube video for the tour announcement is hilarious, made us laugh out loud a few times!
Yeah, you saw that one then, right? That was a fun day, recording that video. There are tour announcements all the time and I know that Dierks wanted to record something a little different in order to break through a little bit and I think he accomplished that.
That will be a ‘messy tour’ won’t it? We hope you boys can hold your drink?
Oh yeah. We like a beer. We are all similar in that vein, so it will be a fun tour.
And we can see you in March at the C2C Festival in London. Excited?
Yep. I think some of the guys might have been to the UK before, but as a band we have never been there. We’re really looking forward to that. The wives and families are coming over with us too, so we want to make it a special trip. I’ve never been to London before so it will be super awesome. We’ll see y’all in March then? Come say hello.