Written by Kaitlyn Crocker
Music City Mayhem winners Lulu Mae are getting ready for their big debut as the first announced band in this year’s Live on the Green lineup. Having this Nashville-annual festival looming ahead, they are feeling both anticipation and excitement.
We are looking forward to playing to such a huge group of new people. We are nervous about playing to such a huge group of new people… But seriously, we cannot wait. Every show we play is so much fun because we love playing music with and to each other, and we’re so grateful that we get to share that fun with an enormous, mostly brand new crowd. Hopefully, we make some new fans and friends in the process. (Ben)
The battle for this big win also proved them to be worthy competitors for Nashville’s love and loyalty and a new band to keep your eye on. When asked about their experience at Music City Mayhem, they had only brilliant feedback to give.
It was incredible. Never once did we feel like winning our match-up was a sure thing. We knew each band we faced was really, really good, and some of them were our really good friends as well. Our fans supported us in such a humbling yet affirming way. When the time rolled around for the Final 5 Showcase, we were nervous as all getout because we knew that our competitors (rightfully so) had huge and active fan bases, but we also relished the opportunity to play for so many new people (the crowd was amazing, by the way). It felt a bit surreal when they announced us as the winner. The whole thing was a mix of many pleasant emotions. Our main takeaways from the competition were these:
• Our fans are the absolute best. Every band says this; we truly believe this. They’ve done so much for us and we feel immensely loved and supported.
• Nashville is full of insanely talented artists and really, really good people. In particular, throughout the course of the competition we had a GREAT time playing and hanging out with the Paranormals, Diamond Carter, Mercy Bell and Levi Weaver. Shannon LaBrie and Jessica Frech were also very kind to us (and killer to watch).
• We are very fortunate indeed to have Lightning 100 as our hometown radio station. They do such a great job of supporting local music, and we are eternally grateful for the opportunity they gave us by selecting us to be in this year’s Music City Mayhem. (Ben)
They clearly have their eye on the prize as they walk towards the fall festival series. However, this prize may look differently than you’d expect. Good ole family fun is just as important to them as the inevitable outcome of so much talent. The band also has a neat facet of individualism that works in clean coordination. Their growing legacy as a family band fuels their unison, but still each member brings a little something unique to the group. I can only imagine the fun they have in crafting tunes.
The fun thing about our songwriting process is that it’s very inclusive. Joel always starts us off, but the final shape of our songs is always a result of collaboration and a fairly rich confluence of musical tastes. Our listening preferences are all across the board, and Adam, Ben, Joel, and Anthony have each been in several other bands of vastly different styles. Of course there’s a lot of folk and country flavor that goes into our writing, but the styles that shaped us as players and writers include a healthy amount of indie rock, jazz, soul, powerpop, and even some good old early/mid-2000s emo. Not saying that you’ll detect all that in our songs, but for better or worse we can’t deny our individual musical heritages. The result is a sound that we like to imagine would be comfortable in the company of Ryan Adams, the Decemberists, Iron and Wine, Bob Dylan, the Swell Season, and the Band. (Ben)
They have been all about family from the very beginning. Lulu Mae was the name of my great grandmother, and the diamond that is in [wife] Sarah’s wedding band belonged to her. When we first started writing music together we found that a lot of our music was family themed. Maybe it had something to do with lingering teenage angst, or the fact that we were all related, but one way or another we thought that a family name suited the band best. (Joel)
It seems only appropriate that the band derived it’s name from Ms. Mae, but the mix up of releasing their first EP under the official band name before getting a call from dad with the note of remonstrance that Joel’s gg’s first name was “Lula” is priceless.
“Is it too late to change it?” chimed his dad. Yep, way too late. (Joel)
The band has done some pretty incredible things so far, even though they call their beginnings humble.
Typical band story. Adam (keys) and I (Joel) recorded some tunes. I got married and started singing with Sarah. We fronted money for a small EP so that we wouldn’t regret never having recorded. Ben came in to play bass, Adam married Jen and she can shake the hell out of a tamborine, Anthony plays the guitar and has been a close friend forever (plus, he’s down to clown in the poor house with the rest of us while we make this thing work). We’ve told our band formation story in other ways, but really, it’s not very interesting. But, we love the living daylights out of each other, which is why the band keeps working. (Joel)
Their next big move post-LOTG is a new full length album to drop in Spring 2014
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