There are a million bands in the universe of popular music who yearn for a career that becomes the foundation for an emergence of a community. They speak with the conviction of passion, honesty, drive, and perseverance. Most exhibit behavior that defines hard work to their core. Yet, the vast majority come and go leaving small localized followings in their wake. Some broaden their reach establishing regional footholds. And then there are those that through integrity, diligence and what is nothing more than a pure connection with those they encounter, that reach the heights of developing a national presence. With Lullwater, the band’s raw, thought provoking rock has placed them on that cusp of garnering that elusive coast to coast notoriety.
In 2007, John Strickland (Lead Vocals / Rhythm Guitar), Brett Strickland (Lead Guitar), Roy “Ray” Beatty (Bass) and Joe Wilson (Drums) met through mutual friends in the fertile Athens, GA music scene. They emerged with a shared conviction in their quest from sweaty jam sessions in a dark, grungy, damp basement on Lullwater Street, and from there began to build an audience one fan at a time. It took years of working through repertoire, and fine tuning a vision. Culling audience reaction at hundreds of shows and personal instinct, they threw their rich, diverse musical roots in a blender, and from the mix came a combined musical discovery. The missing link was capturing their live energy on to tape.
With clear vision, they committed their resources, and literally uprooted their entire lives. The band relocated to the Northwestern U.S. in December, 2011. After getting their feet on the ground, they entered London Bridge Studios. Brett Strickland shares, “They’re adamant about recording on tape, which was perfect for us. We wanted the music to be as raw and natural as possible. It was all us. You hear every nuance of the performances because we were playing live together.” The historical rooms where Pearl Jam’s Ten and Soundgarden’s Louder Than Love were created delivered a creative revelation for the band. With Producer Jonathan Plum at the helm, everything they sought to achieve became a realized vision. Singer John Strickland reminisces, “My whole childhood was Nineties rock. For me growing up in Georgia, the Seattle scene was like a mythological place where all of these amazing musicians came out of. I told the guys we needed to go there to record. We aimed to bring Athens to Seattle, and being there definitely changed us. It brought us a lot closer together, and we found the sound we’d always wanted.”
The hypnotic, heavy melodies of the godfathers of grunge who immortalized the Pacific Northwestern scene left an indelible mark on music. The influence continues to impact recordings today, and with Lullwater that influence is clear. It is the convergence of this inspiration, with a healthy helping of bluesy Southern swagger, that delivers an individual sound. The band strives to create a movement of change and originality with the fans in an effort to bring sense of community back to music lovers that are dispirited with the state of what is deemed popular in Rock music today. With LULLWATER, they might just provide that lightning rod that inspires wide congregations of disparate tastes to unite for the simple love of inspired music.
Lullwater has released “Tug of War” and “Blind” from the self-titled offering thus far, and the fan base spoke loudly with love for the first taste of what’s to come. Their personable, approachable and outgoing personalities are the backbone of this strong bond that is deep with the audience. With a realized vision in hand, and the abundance of musicianship, creativity and artistic expression, they just might yield that arrival in to the national spotlight they’ve persevered for. Inevitably, as lead guitarist Brett Strickland shares, “We want people to relate to the songs and connect to them. If they get something emotional from the music, we succeeded.” John Strickland adds, “I simply want all we encounter to feel something. I hope the album rocks people’s faces off, and it makes them feel more alive in the process. We are in this for the long haul, and with every passing month’s experiences I know that we are connecting. That my friends is simply inspiring.”