LOCASH Brings the Good Times Back as They Collaborate with The Beach Boys' Mike Love and Bruce Johnston

"It was just this life-changing phone call and the next thing you know, they give me Mike Love's phone number," Lucas tells PEOPLE of their new single "Beach Boys"

Chris Lucas and Preston Brust of LOCASH. Photo: CAL & ALY

As we collectively hit the two-year mark of COVID crisis, the stories of its darkest days seem to be bubbling up to the surface for many of us, including country music's iconic feel-good duo LOCASH.

"It is tough sometimes to keep that smile on our face," says LOCASH'S Preston Brust in an interview with PEOPLE. "During the pandemic, things were getting tough for us, just like everybody else. There were times we wondered what was going to happen to our families and our team… and our song."

Indeed, "One Big Country Song" was inching its way up the charts when the pandemic hit back in early 2020, and suddenly LOCASH began to wonder what the outcome would be for the song they couldn't get enough of.

"No one knew what was going to happen to the song, but honestly, no one really cared at that moment," says Brust. "We were all just trying to stay alive."

Preston Brust (L) and Chris Lucas of LOCASH
Chris and Kaitlyn Lucas with Kristen and Preston Brust. Denise Truscello/Getty

But in true LOCASH fashion, "One Big Country Song" eventually ended up becoming a rallying cry for a collective country music fandom eager to join their voices on an anthem custom-made to bring people together.

And it hit No. 1 in August of 2020.

"What we write is meant to make you smile," says Brust, who alongside bandmate Chris Lucas was nominated for duo of the year at Monday's Academy of Country Music Awards. "Music is the only thing that actually can bring people together.

LOCASH backstage at the 2022 ACMs. Ben Trivett

"Preston and I have always been those positive guys," adds Lucas, who has hit it big with LOCASH'S ready-to-party songs such as "I Love This Life." "Even through the negative times — and trust me, we write those sorts of songs too — but for LOCASH, it's the positive that we want to put out there. We want to be those guys that for three minutes can take you away."

And nothing does that more than their sunny-side-up song "Beach Boys," in which they are joined by The Beach Boys members Mike Love and Bruce Johnston.

"Being the 60th anniversary of America's band The Beach Boys makes us really feel like the song is coming out at just the right time," explains Lucas of the tune, whose solo version was included on the November release of LOCASH's EP, Woods & Water. "Having Mike and Bruce performing on the song with us is a dream come true."

The song, co-written by Lucas, Brust and Love along with Dallas Wilson, Jared Mullins, and The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, came to be at a time when Brust was immersing himself in the classic music of artists such as The Eagles and Jim Croce.

"I remember we were just wrapping up a write and I said, 'Maybe we should write a country song with some Beach Boys harmonies," Brust recalls. "And Jared was like, 'We should call them up.' And Chris and I just sort of looked at each other in shock."

Certainly, bringing a country song to The Beach Boys seemed once an unattainable task. But once it was written, that's exactly what happened.

"Beach Boys" Cover Art.

RELATED: LOCASH on How Country Music Has Changed: 'People Are Way More Open-Minded'

"Our team was like, 'You're never going to believe this, but The Beach Boys love it, and they are approving it,'" remembers Lucas. "It was just this life-changing phone call and the next thing you know, they give me Mike Love's phone number."

The rest is history.

And with the release of this new version of "Beach Boys," it almost seems as if the planet has found its way back on its axis, that the good times are finally around the corner, that the carefree days of our collective past just might be in our sights once again.

"We love when our songs capture the happiness," concludes Brust, who is currently out alongside Lucas on the group's Woods & Water Tour 2022, which will include some major music festival appearances all over the world — including Stagecoach (Indio, California), CountryFest Los Cabos (Baja California Sur, Mexico) and The Long Road Festival (Lutterworth, England). "That just feels good to us. It always has."

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