LANCO’s Advice to Anyone with a “Rival”

How Haters Can Actually Make You Love Yourself

Is this a thing now? Are songs about using your haters as your motivation, with kind of a how-do-you-like-me-now swagger, making a comeback in country music?

I sure hope so.

Because that’s what I hear when I listen to LANCO’s new song “Rival,” the title track off their upcoming sophomore album.

And at a recent press gathering in Nashville, the band’s frontman Brandon Lancaster talked about how the sad truth about having haters is kind of what unites us all. “A big thing you discover when you’re an artist going into a second record is that your life does change. You spend a lot more time on the road or on a tour bus or backstage,” Lancaster said. “But realizing that it doesn’t matter who you are, everyone has a moment where they feel like their back is against the wall. And maybe people aren’t rooting for them.

“It’s important to tell people that, ’You matter, and be proud of who you are and be proud of where you come from.’ If anyone wants to stand in your way, that’s just reality. And chalk them up as a rival, and us them as motivation.”

Lancaster wrote the song with the band’s drummer Tripp Howell, who shared that that’s how it felt when the group — Lancaster, Howell, Chandler Baldwin, Jared Hampton and Eric Steedly — was searching for a record deal and had no one in their corner.

“That’s definitely a big part of our story. We didn’t know anything or anyone when we started out trying to break into this business, and I think that underdog mentality really drove us in the beginning,” Howell says of the song’s powerful message. You can listen here or watch here.

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