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
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.
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
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?
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
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
of Your Life"
John Strickland (Lead
Daniel Binnie (Lead Guitar)
Joe Wilson (Drums/Vox)
02/01 @ Scout Bar - Houston, TX
02/02 @ Southport Hall Live Music & Party Hall - New
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 -
02/09 @ The NorVA - Norfolk, VA
Rams Head Live - Baltimore, MD
02/13 @ The Paramount -
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 -
02/20 @ The Rapids Theater, Niagara
Falls, U.S.A. - Buffalo, NY
02/22 @ The Machine Shop -
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,
03/02 @ Diamond Ballroom - Oklahoma City, OK
@ VIBES Event Center - San Antonio, TX