When the guys of LOCASH, Preston Brust and Chris Lucas, were finalizing their current album, The Fighters, they knew there was something missing.
“We were lacking one song on the album, we knew we were going to have 11 songs, we had 10 recorded,” says Preston to Nash Country Daily. “When you look at the whole album, without [the song] ‘The Fighters’ on there, it’s a great album already in our opinion, but there was something missing. There was this compelling integrity type of message that we didn’t have on this album. It’s not necessarily that we needed it, but we wanted it. So [songwriter] Tom Douglas [“The House That Built Me,” “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s”] sent us this song called ‘The Fighters’ and in one listen I felt like—without saying our names and without telling the story—it spoke to my heart like ‘This is us, this is our fight, this is our journey.'”
“At the same time, who isn’t going through a battle of some kind?” Chris asks. “Who isn’t fighting something?”
The duo immediately recorded “The Fighters” as track 11, and it became the title track to the album, which dropped on June 17.
And Chris was right. “The Fighters” has universal appeal. At their show in Arnolds Park, Iowa, on June 25, members of an organization called FEW, Foundation of Exceptional Warriors, were in attendance. FEW is “a nonprofit organization that proactively and directly serves Exceptional Warriors, who as Quiet Professionals epitomize Honor, Valor, Service and Sacrifice.” Before the concert, about 10 FEW members came backstage to meet the band, share their stories, take pictures and get to know the guys.
But it was a moment onstage that night that Chris and Preston will never forget.
“A couple of nights ago in Iowa we were doing a show at Arnold Park right on the water, it was a beautiful night, 9,000 people in the park,” Preston says. “So here we are onstage and we’re passing a boot around the crowd raising money for the FEW and we start to sing ‘The Fighters.’ We said, ‘If you’ve ever had a battle in your life, this one’s for you, this one’s for the fighters.’ So we’re singing and I go over toward the left of the stage and it’s dark, the spotlights are in our eyes and you can’t see anything but like three rows out. I see people pointing down at the front row and I look over the edge and it’s one of the guys from the FEW and he doesn’t have either leg. He lost them in battle and he’s a big burly guy and he’s got his hands up and he’s feeling this song. I look right at him and I said, ‘This one’s for you, yeah, this one’s for the fighters.’ He felt so compelled he grabbed the top of the stage and pulled himself up with upper body strength, pulled himself onstage and worked his way over to where we were, and I just sat down next to him on the stage and sang this song with the spotlight right on him in the middle of Chris and I. And it was just a moment that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”
“I looked at his little boys out there in the crowd—because they don’t’ understand—but all they need to know is their dad’s a hero,” Chris adds. “And that day, I saw that little 12-year-old little boy looking at his daddy like he is the biggest rock star in the world, and I was like, ‘That’s why I do my job, drop the mic, I’m out.'”
Photos courtesy Preston Brust