LullwaterLullwater Shares the Voodoo
by Dave Schwartz

Lullwater is yet another cool little band to come out of Athens, GA.  Over the years so much great music has emerged from that town that it has become one of the more iconic places in rock music.  Lullwater is keeping up the cool with their latest release, “Voodoo.”  Recorded in New Orleans, John Strickland (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Daniel Binnie (lead guitar), Roy “Ray” Beatty (bass/vocals) and Joe Wilson (drums/vocals) have taken a significant step forward with this album.  It’s gritty, and interesting and has a great vibe.  You can almost feel a little New Orleans on the record. 

I recently had a chance to talk to Ray Beatty as Lullwater were driving down the road to their next gig.

DB:  I’m really happy that you had a chance to call in Ray.  I’ve been looking forward to talking to you about your new record coming out, “Voodoo.”  I’m interested in hearing all about it.  Please tell me whatever you will.

RB:  Well, yeah, we have a new album coming out.  It’s called “Voodoo,” and it will be out on February 22nd which I guess is tomorrow.  We recorded it in New Orleans over a year ago.  We worked with two producers, the first a friend of ours Justin Davis and the other is Jakob Herrmann (Anthrax, Machine Head, Amaranthe).  We’re all really proud of this album.  I’m not sure if you heard it but we’re all really excited. 

DB:  I absolutely have heard it.  I’ve gone all the way through the album and it’s great.

RB:  Oh, thank you.

DB:  Why such a long time on the shelf before you released it?

RB:  We were just trying to make sure that the release had the impact that it needed.  We recorded “Revival” ourselves and we really thought that was a great record too but not enough people heard it because we didn’t have the right PR company behind it and so the right people weren’t hearing it and the right people weren’t pushing it. 

DB:  Yeah, the fans don’t always realize the amount of people it takes to build this machine to put out a record.  And, along with that, everything really does need to fall into place.

RB:  Absolutely.  There’s a lot more to putting out a record than people think.

DB:  So when you wrote this album did you write several dozen songs and then narrow it down to 10 or 12 or did you just take the songs you had and worked on them?

RB:  We just took the songs we had and worked on them.  There are two songs that we worked on but they never really developed enough to become full songs on the album.  And that’s how we usually write too.  The only person in the band that ever seems to have extra songs is Binnie (guitarist Daniel Binnie).  He a new addition on this album.  So for some of the song we went back to his five or six albums worth of music that he’s written but for the rest of us, usually were just piecing things together and working it until the song is where we want it. 

DB:  You mentioned Jakob Herrmann.  How did he get involved with this project?  How much of it did he produce?

RB:  He and Justin Davis co-produced the whole thing, They were both there and both had a ton of influence on the record.  We first met Jakob when we were on tour with Amaranthe.  I think he was their monitor mixer.  So we go to hang out with him a lot on that tour.  We befriended him and he kept telling us that he wanted to make a rock album with us.  So we finally took him up on it.  He wanted to record in New Orleans and we said, OK. 

DB:  New Orleans is a great place to record.  There’s a strong vibe to the city and I be that it had some influence on the music you were writing.

LullwaterRB:  Oh, it absolutely did.  We got out of our comfort zone a little; we added some new elements like strings and horns.  It added a New Orleans flair to it. 

DB:  Your first single from this record is “Empty Chamber.”  And I know you have a video out for it.  Talk a little bit about the selection of that song.

RB:  That’s correct.  “Empty Chamber” was the first song that we started writing for this album.  I wrote that intro riff.  I was out working someplace and I was at a hotel and I started to freak out because we had studio time booked.  It was still a couple of months out but we still didn’t have anything written.  So I grabbed my guitar and sat there and ended up writing that riff.  When we got together to work, Binnie came up with the chords and so it call came together pretty easily.  I think that as far as our songs go, that one is a little bit on the nose. 

DB:  Yeah, maybe a little bit.  Every band has a unifying voice and you’ve used yours I the past to address social issues.  Do you feel that it’s an important aspect of music today, to be able to speak out and give your perspective on the world.

RB:  Sure, absolutely.  That is exactly what all the people I grew up listening too did.  But more than that, we want to live in the world that we think would be the most nice, fair and peaceful for us all.  But yeah, I don’t think anyone should just sit back when they’re unhappy or when someone who is less fortunate is being treated poorly. 

DB:  I agree completely.  Changing up a bit, you guys are out on tour right now.  You are out with Sevendust and Tremonti.  Talk a little bit about the tour and how things have been going.

RB: Cane Hill and Kirra also.  The tour has been great.  Just about every show has been sold out.  Great reception and great crowds.  All the bands are really cool so we get along with everybody and we’re having a great time.  Every night has been really smooth up until last night.  We were in Niagara Falls, New York and the power went out for, like, everything right as the first band was about to go on.  So the first three bands cut their sets a little short and then Tremonti went on and played a full acoustic set. 

DB:  At least they had a moment to collect their thoughts and put a plan together. 

RB:  Oh yeah, it was super cool and eventually the power came back on.  We all went on with "the show must go on” attitude and so we prevailed.  The crowd was really into it too.  They were with it and supportive so it was really cool. 

DB:  I know that you’ve been playing some of the new songs out on the road.  Talk a little about the reception to the new material.

RB:  It’s so fun to play the new songs.  I wish we could play all of the new songs although I love the older songs too.  We’ve been playing “Dark Divided,” “Godlike” and “Empty Chamber” too.  All of the songs have been going over very well.  It’s really fun and great to be able to play them. 

DB:  I am very impressed with this album and I’m really excited for you.  I think this record is going to do very well for you.  So what else is happening for 2019?  More touring?

RB:  We have a lot of offers and we’re working to lock down some tours.  We also have an acoustic EP that we’ve already recorded that we’re releasing in a few months too.  That’s going to be awesome because it sounds crazy.  It’s a totally different sound for Lullwater but it still has the same vibe.  We re-imagined songs from all three of our albums.  So trying to tour, trying to play more music and trying to stay active. 

I want to thank Ray Beatty for sharing a moment of his time with DaBelly.  Make sure you check out Lullwater when they show up in your town!  And be sure to get a copy of “Voodoo.” 

No. Title Length
1. "Curtain Call" 3:44
2. "Dark Divided" 3:58
3. "Empty Chamber" 3:11
4. "Similar Skin" 4:05
5. "This Life" 3:07
6. "Godlike" 4:53
7. "Buzzards" 4:14
8. "Fight of Your Life" 4:07
9. "Into The Sun" 3:29
10. "Yellow Bird" 5:22
11. "Suffer Not" 10:15
Lullwater - Voodoo 

John Strickland (Lead Vox/Rhythm Guitar)
Daniel Binnie (Lead Guitar)
Roy “Ray” Beatty (Bass/Vox)
Joe Wilson (Drums/Vox)

US Tour

02/01 @ Scout Bar - Houston, TX
02/02 @ Southport Hall Live Music & Party Hall - New Orleans, LA
02/04 @ Revolution Live - Ft. Lauderdale, FL
02/05 @ Jannus Live - St. Petersburg, FL
02/06 @ The Firmament GVL - Greenville, SC
02/08 @ The Blind Tiger - Greensboro, NC
02/09 @ The NorVA - Norfolk, VA
02/10 @ Rams Head Live - Baltimore, MD
02/13 @ The Paramount - Huntington, NY
02/14 @ House of Blues Boston - Boston, MA
02/15 @ The Strand Ballroom & Theatre - Providence, RI
02/16 @ Starland Ballroom - Sayreville, NJ
02/18 @ Toads Place - New Haven, CT
02/19 @ The Chance Theater - Poughkeepsie, NY
02/20 @ The Rapids Theater, Niagara Falls, U.S.A. - Buffalo, NY
02/22 @ The Machine Shop - Flint, MI
02/25 @ Newport Music Hall - Columbus, OH
02/26 @ House of Blues Chicago - Chicago, IL
02/27 @ The Blue Note - Columbia, MO
03/01 @ The Cotillion - Wichita, KS
03/02 @ Diamond Ballroom - Oklahoma City, OK
03/03 @ VIBES Event Center - San Antonio, TX

Lullwater Tour

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