erasing clouds

The Sons of Nathanael Green: An Interview With Lookwell

by tonydoug wright

My boss allows me to play the CDs I have for review on the stereo at work. Sometimes my co-workers become very annoyed with a certain CD and they hit the stop button for relief. But there are other moments when a CD creates a certain amount of interest followed by questions such as "Who is this band?" or "This is a good CD. Where are they from?" That was my initial reaction to Lookwell, a Greensboro, NC band that recently released a CD entitled Unhurried. Band members Chris Jackson, Jason Kennedy and Lonnie Richardson give listeners a "subtler blend of 80's college rock and Americanized Brit-Pop". For more information regarding Lookwell, please check out the band's web site at

What has been the response from fans and critics to your Unhurried EP?

I wish we could say that it's been the debut smash of the year. It's so easy to have that insular 'big fish in a little pond' view when all your friends tell you how great you are without ever giving a truly objective opinion. The real test is seeing what the bigger world thinks of your work; measuring yourself against a million other bands instead of the handful in your hometown. All in all the response from critics has been positive. We've certainly taken our share of criticisms; some of them have been bizarrely off base but for the most part they've been valid and helpful. Even the more negative reviewers still end up offering encouragement in their summaries. We've quickly learned to judge a review by its length, not by it's content. We'll take a 'C' from Harvard than an 'A' from the local community college any day.

Your home is Greensboro, NC. Please give us some insight to the local scene and how does the Greensboro scene stack up against the Chapel Hill, NC scene?

There are a lot of great bands in Greensboro; unfortunately, none of them seem to stay together long enough to achieve much. There's a certain amount of regional and even national recognition that can accompany success in Chapel Hill, which is what gives a lot of those bands more drive and vision. That's sorely missing from the Greensboro scene; the payoff is perhaps too small for a lot of acts to really try and push their art into interesting places. Another difference seems to be the attitude fans have towards a band they find disagreeable. In Chapel Hill there's almost a feeling of contempt from an audience if you fail to please or excite them. In Greensboro they're just indifferent, which is probably worse. Having said that, there are some amazingly talented people here; it's just a shame that they're usually treated like some bigger Chapel Hill band's annoying kid brother.

When I listen to Unhurried I can hear some Luna and REM influences. Which bands have been the greatest influences on your music and song writing?

I'm not sure who put Luna on our press release; I think we probably would feel more of a connection with Galaxie 500. The REM comparison is used so much these days by reviewers that it has ceased to mean anything' it's about as lazy and effective as calling a band 'alternative'. There is a strong REM influence, but it has nothing to do with the big drum sound/intelligible lyrics version of the band that I assume most reviewers are alluding to.

Did you really sell the Star Wars collection to record Unhurried?


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