The Chicago label invited Lock and Key out to play a showcase, so the band hit the road. “It was the weirdest thing,” Shanahan relates. “They had us set up to play like three or four songs in a glorified practice space with a giant stage. It wasn’t a club or a bar . . . ”
Hargrove interjects, “It was like the kind of place Ozzy Osborne practices for a tour.”
“Yeah, it was just awkward,” Shanahan continues. “We didn’t really know what to do, so Mike and J.T. went on a beer mission because, well, somehow that seemed important. And by the time they got back, all the Victory people had arrived and they’re waiting. We were all so nervous, and they were like, ‘You guys are certainly the first band to ever bring beer here.’ I was like, ‘Is that a good thing?’ I think that sort of broke the ice a bit.”
Lock and Key got a tour of the Victory operation and words of encouragement from the label. “It was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, we definitely want to work with you,’ says Shanahan. “On the trip home from Chicago, we talked about what it would mean to be on the label and how it would be a huge step up for us. It gave us a taste of what things could be like. But it just never went anywhere. I let them know that we were definitely interested. But we’d decided that if Victory didn’t work out for us, then we were going to can it. It was either going to be that or nothing.”
In other words, there are no hard feelings.
“The only thing we regret is that we turned down a European tour,” Shanahan concludes. “We really should have done that. But the take-home message is that we’re not in fights, we’re all good friends, and everyone is excited about what they’re moving on to.”
LOCK AND KEY + MEAN CREEK + MOVERS & SHAKERS + SERIOUS GENIUSES | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | May 30 | 617.864.EAST orwww.mideastclub.com