Published Nov 22, 2011Good Luck self-released their debut album, Into Lake Griffy, in 2008 after being a band for about nine months. Named for a lake in their adopted hometown of Bloomington, IN, it was a brash and exuberant eruption of old Weakerthans-style pop punk created and released quickly, and toured heavily upon in a time when the band were the primary focus for the trio. Then life got in the way. School and work slowed down the next album, but finally they've released Without Hesitation, and while there are a few slower, thoughtful moments representative of the time it took, it's another offering of positive and contagious accidental anthems. "Novel Figure" and "The Others" could easily wear a hole in your hard drive from repeated listens, while "Our Mess, Our Mark," sounding like a scrappier Lemuria, noodles its way through seemingly unending, perfectly smudged riffs and hooks. The album's title may be a sarcastic nod to the time it took the band to get it out, but when it comes to the music, it should be taken as entirely sincere.
I don't know much about Bloomington, but I get the sense that it's a good place for culture and has a good music scene.
Bassist/vocalist Ginger Alford: Oh yeah, definitely. It's a great town; it's got a great music scene and is pretty politically minded. It's a smaller town, a college town, so there are a lot of things that go along with college town life. We all really love it here.
None of you are actually from there though, right? You kind of congregated and met there?
Yeah, none of us are. Our drummer, Mike [Harpring], is closest; he's from Louisville, KY. Our guitarist, Matt [Tobey], is from Michigan and I'm actually from Mississippi. We all moved here separately at different times.
What was it in particular that drew you there? Was it a previous knowledge of the music scene?
Yeah, it's a really creative town, much like a lot of U.S. creative college towns like Austin, TX or Ann Arbour, MI. It's a creative hub and just a nice place to live. It's very walkable and has dense urban living for being a small town. You can live really close to downtown and downtown is very liveable and usable. There was a label that was here, and is still kind of here, called Plan-It-X Records. One of the first people I ever met when I first started in the punk scene was Chris Clavin from Plan-It-X. He would always encourage people to come through Bloomington and play shows and check it out. I came here and really liked it. It was a few years until I actually moved here, but he encouraged that, and I think all of us knew Chris. He's always sort of on the bullhorn for Bloomington and the punk scene to try to get people to come here and do things.
I was wondering about the timeline between albums.
We realize it's been a long time [laughs]. When we did our first album, we had been a band for about nine months, so the first one was extremely fast. We wrote the songs and we were all really excited to record and just get it out. It's probably one of the reasons we decided to put it out ourselves. We thought of looking for someone else to put it out, but no one knew who we were and no one cared, so we did it ourselves, which worked out awesomely. Then a lot of things came into play in the time in between. We toured a lot on the record, then it got re-released by No Idea, then we did a little demo in between because we were writing new songs slowly, but that slowed us down even more. Regardless, we just thought really long and hard about the second album and life got in the way. It was like the perfect storm when we started the band and had nothing else going on, and then life intervened. Matt is in recording school now, so that's part of it; he's an audio engineer. I do financial stuff for a bookstore in town and I also helped open a restaurant. There's no exciting answer for why it took a long time, and we know that it did, which is part of the reason we named the album Without Hesitation, because we thought it would be funny. That's our little inside joke.
I was going to say, that's a clever nod.
Yeah, and then some of the songs are like, "fuck it, we don't need a plan, we've just got to do something," so it's very appropriate. It's kind of about the process of making ourselves do it and move forward as a band.
Has it been good working with a label on this one from the beginning?
No Idea's great. They're so nice and supportive. Also, I feel like it can be a symbiotic relationship. I like them and I like what they do. I appreciate them as a business and a group of people, and if us being on the label helps support them putting out other bands and existing, then that feels good to me. (No Idea)