Okay Lindon rides off into the sunset with last album and farewell show
By Rusty Pate
Okay Lindon has spent the better part of the last decade forging their unique brand of pop music, and their upcoming release, Everything Will Work Out Fine, will be the band’s last. The main creative force behind the band – guitarist/vocalist Dustin Smith – recently commented on the group’s long and winding road, recording the new record and the band’s decision to call it quits.
So, this is the last album? Why call it quits now? Did you know this would be the last album when you started writing and recording it?
This is the last album as far as I can tell. It’s not something I planned on, just something the band and I talked about over the summer once the record was done.
The way we operate and record is not efficient and it’s just been personally exhausting for me. We just face too many challenges operationally and geographically to make this work any longer, and the local scene’s interest level in us has kind of peaked. I feel like if I am being honest with myself we have played for most of the people who are going to like us or hear about us.
I think this is the record we have always set out to make and I don’t really know where we’d go from here without being repetitious. I think it’s a great record for us to go out with.
Songwriting seems to be at the core of what you do. What is the process of constructing your songs, if there is one?
I am aware of my limitations as a musician and don’t find any fulfillment in approaching this alone. So, the best possible solution is to work with people who think about music the way I do, who can easily translate what I am looking for when we sit down to write their parts. I have been extremely lucky in who I have worked with over the years. Jordan (Elam) has been playing drums for any project we’ve been involved with since we were in sixth grade. Chuck (Smith) has really been my right-hand-man with Okay Lindon. He is the most powerful force outside of my initial songwriting that shapes the way our music sounds. Dave (Thomas) is one of the most creative bass players I have ever met and Eric (Miller) is the most dedicated and hard-working musician I have ever played with. He is the Johnny Ramone of Okay Lindon.
Everything in Moderation was released in 2009, but the group had been at it well before that. How has the band’s sound evolved over the years?
Our approach is pretty simple. Over the years we have become better and better at translating what I envision versus what actually makes it to tape. This record is the closest we’ve ever come to what I had originally envisioned, and anything that changed was for the better. We’ve been trying to make this record for a long time and finally did it. I feel like this record is what all of our other records were supposed to sound like.
After almost a decade on this journey, how does it feel for it all to be coming to a head? Is there a sense of nostalgia, or is it something you are ready to put to bed and move on from?
I am the king of sorrowful nostalgia, so I am sure there will be a great deal of heavy-heartedness about the subject in the future. I think it will come more from us as friends than the idea of the band as a whole though. Moving on is the best decision for us, but these albums really brought us together on a regular basis. We’ve grown close as friends through spending that time together as well as having something that we can work on, accomplish and be proud of together. I still want Chuck to come over every Monday night, Eric on Tuesdays, etc. and that’s just not going to happen anymore.
Any plans for the future?
I can’t speak for everyone, but my personal plan is to try to motivate and assist the rest of the band to put their own songs to tape. They are so talented and we come from a lot of different musical backgrounds. I think each one of them really possesses a desire to do something that is completely their own. I want to return the favor and give them all the dedication and attention that they always gave Okay Lindon.
I am just uncertain at this point where I am going next. This record killed me. I think taking some time to work with the guys on their music will give me a nice break to relax a little and figure out exactly what I want to do next. Maybe one day I will figure out how it’s possible for someone as obsessive-compulsive as me to make a record in less than two years. Otherwise, I am just going to be a miserable portrayal of a less talented Scott Walker.
Okay Lindon’s farewell show/album release will be Friday, Oct. 12 at Blind Bob’s, 450 E. Fifth St. Also on the bill are Jesse Remnant and Handsome Jordan Elam Plus Three. Everything Will Work Out Fine will be available as a free download from okaylindon.bandcamp.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Rusty Pate at RustyPate@daytoncitypaper.com