Story Behind the Song: Lanco, ‘What I See’
Lanco's 2019 release "What I See" is a song about hometown landmarks that may appear plain on the outside, but represent a life lesson for the folks who grew up there. It's an ode to small-town America, mentioning Sonic parking lot hangs, two-lane roads, pride and patriotism.
While it's specific in nature, "What I See" is identifiable on many different levels. Read on to hear about the story behind the song from band members Brandon Lancaster and Tripp Howell.
Tripp Howell: I played football in high school at a place called Harmon Field. It’s this old field -- I mean, they’ve been playing football on that field for 40 or 50 years or something like that, maybe longer. Every time I go home, I have to go right past that old scoreboard. That was one thing, when we were writing the song … we had those things ... We didn’t realize that we all hung out in Sonic parking lots in our towns until we started writing this song.
Brandon Lancaster: We’ve had multiple songs that are story songs. I really think that “What I See” is, for me, the most autobiographical song because while writing that song, it was a really fun process.
The song starts with an exit sign. When you think about that, thousands of cars drive past my exit every day, and it doesn’t mean anything to them. For me, that exit, you get off that road, that’s my whole life. That’s all my memories, that’s who made me who I am.
Even lines like “real sharp curve,” that’s … “What you see is a real sharp curve / What I see is a lesson learned” -- that’s a real thing. Getting in a car accident off Almaville Road -- there’s a real sharp curve there. Those moments -- honestly, every one of those verses is autobiographical: the Sonic parking lot, the sharp curve.
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