Emerging on top of Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, the country-rock band LANCO, short for Lancaster & Company, is continuing to make a name for itself through its anthems. Formed in 2013 under the direction of Nashville-native Brandon Lancaster, the band expanded its track list in March with the release of “Rival”, giving listeners a taste of their second album.
LANCO recently announced its upcoming tour with Miranda Lambert, and will perform at a few more solo spots before it begins its “Wildcard Tour” in January. Performing at the Georgia Theatre on Oct. 24, Brandon Lancaster, Tripp Howell, Eric Steedly, Jared Hampton and Chandler Baldwin will be playing their classic country tracks, as well as work from their second album.
The Red & Black talked with Tripp Howell, the group’s drummer and a key songwriter for the group’s upcoming album “Rival” about the band’s new music, its upcoming tour and the transition from small southern towns to city shows.
The Red & Black: We’ve gotten to listen to the track “Rival,” the first new song the band has released since LANCO’s debut record “Hallelujah Nights.”Can you tell me a little bit about the meaning behind this song?
Tripp Howell: We like to write songs about our lives and what’s going on. With social media and all that’s going on in the world, there are so many people that want to get you down and who don’t want you to succeed. We just wanted to write a song to let people know that they matter. We’ve all had people tell us that we can’t do it or that we can’t make it and we just wanted to get in the studio and write a song about believing in people. Because everybody is worth it. Everyone has their own story, their own enemy and their own rival. It’s not about getting revenge it’s about using that chip on your shoulder to push through, zone them out and do the best that you can do.
R&B: Do you feel like this song portrays the overall theme of the upcoming album?
TH: With each song [on the new album] you’re going to get a glimpse into our lives and what we’re actually going through. Our next songs coming out, “What I See” and “Old Camaro,” are both story songs. I was a part in helping to write “What I See” and it was about us taking a look after some time off and going home. We’re all from small towns in the South. We wanted to write about glorifying where we’re from. We’ve been fortunate enough to tour the world, but there’s no place like home. Each song on the record has its own theme, but the overall theme of the record is definitely not “Rival”. It doesn’t really sound like anything else on the album either. The rest of the other songs go back to our roots a bit more.
R&B: What has it been like creating this album?
TH: It’s been a creative whirlwind. It’s most important for us to stay true to ourselves. It’s been a lot of really honing in who we are. We’re really excited about the direction that we’re headed.
R&B: On Oct. 24 you’re returning to the Georgia Theatre — the band’s first time back since opening for the Brothers Osborne in 2017. What made LANCO return?
TH: I absolutely love that place. I’m a massive Georgia fan so I’ve been begging our booking agent to get us in Athens. The fact that we get to do it now is going to be so epic. It’s going to be a riot.
R&B: What are you expectations for the show?
TH: If it’s anything like the last time and anything like the fanbase when Georgia played Notre Dame, then I imagine it’s going to be absolutely crazy.
R&B: In January, the band starts its tour with Miranda Lambert. What’s it like to get this opportunity?
TH: It’s super cool. We’ve been fortunate to tour with a lot of people that we really look up to like Luke Combs, the Brothers Osborne, Chris Young, Dierks Bentley and Jake Owen. Miranda is another one of those people. Sometimes you have to pinch yourself when you realize that you’re going on tour with these people that you’ve been listening to on the radio for the past ten years. It’s an honor and a blessing we’re really excited to play some new music on that tour as well.
R&B: What do you think the tour will be like?
TH: We’re looking forward to learning and taking something from the tour and implementing it into live shows and recordings. [Miranda Lambert] and her band are so musically talented and they do so many cool things that a lot of people wouldn’t even recognize. Her show is put together really well. There aren’t many expectations other than to go out there and play good music and enjoy it while we’re in it.
R&B: LANCO has been together for six years and has gotten a lot of recognition for its music. Where do you see the band going in the future?
TH: Right now we’re just taking it one day at a time. The cliché answer is that we want to be an arena band and yes that’s true we’d love to grow our fan base big enough to do that. But honestly we just look forward to playing live. I think our live show will get crazier and we will pull out more tricks as we grow. I just hope that we get to continue to play music for a living.
R&B: The members of the band are all from small towns in the South. What is it like to make the transition from being in a small town to playing in cities internationally?
TH: It’s cool. For us, we’ve been to Europe, Mexico, Canada and we’re going to Australia next year. We’ve played in every major city in the United States, so it’s cool for us. You gain new perspective. When you travel all over the country you get to experience people and new cultures and different atmospheres. The unique thing for me is that we all want love and respect and that’s a commonality in all people. So you find that most people are actually the same. We’ve have our little differences but all people want the same thing in life. But even though we’re in cities all the time, we can’t write songs about that because that’s not what we know. It’s cool to be able to see the world but keep your small town values.