Lackluster was initially entirely based on the songwriting, production, and performance of Jon Hayes. Jon played in local bands around his home town of Columbus, Ohio for several years before packing it all up and moving cross country to Seattle, where he attended the Art Institute of Seattle for Audio Production. After graduating, and spending a few more years playing around town, he enlisted in the Air Force. While enlisted, he spent two years in Germany, during which time he recorded and independently released his first LP, "Everything I Ever Thought I'd Never Need to Know." Now, back in Columbus, OH, the band has taken up additional members. Bassist Jimmy Weisbarth, and drummer for Columbus staple "Verner Caliper," and drummer Michael Bailly.
What sets Lackluster apart from the rest is it's simplistic nature that is as much a science as nature itself. Songs weave with hooks you find yourself whistling throughout the day, but each listen opens up more. The details are in the fine print, but to judge this book by it's cover is hardly less rewarding. Softer moments have been compared to "Jack Johnson's coziness mixed with Bright Eyes' ability to amaze," and the the stuff you break the speed limit to is a little more in the vein of Queens of the Stone Age meets Gorillaz. If that sounds like a train wreck, you're way off. Each song has it's own personality. You won't get an hour-long set of the same song, or a cliche in leather pants. The live setting ranges from solo performances involving samplers and such, to a much more bombastic and explosive experience with a full band.
"...pulsing with compassionately persistent truth-seeking and unblinking self-awareness..."
- Don Allred, U Weekly (Apr 08, 2010)
"The musical production of Lackluster is absolutely insane." Catsask.com
"It was great! There were trendy scenester kids dancing everywhere... seriously! I haven't seen a crowd reaction like that for a local band in a long time."
- Tim Razler, quarantine media (Aug 24, 2009)
J Hayes - Vocals, Bass, Guitar, keys
J Weisbarth - Vocals, Bass, Guitar, keys
M Schiller - Drums
Everything I Ever Thought I'd Never Need to Know (2007)
So It Goes (2009)
Two Birds, One Stone (2011)
4 play: Lackluster
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Jon Hayes recently summarized his Columbus-based band Lackluster's work in progress: "There aren't r...Jon Hayes recently summarized his Columbus-based band Lackluster's work in progress: "There aren't really any tracks that address issues from the point of view that someone else should have done anything differently. It's basically a look at something gone wrong, and stepping back to get a clearer idea and take personal responsibility." He's right. Check the posted version of "Liar," pulsing with compassionately persistent truth-seeking and unblinking self-awareness. The new album's completion continues; meanwhile, even Eddie Murphy's jumping reverie "Party All The Time" fits Lackluster's rocking live sets, in a typically revelatory way.
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Lackluster was really good. One of their best performances to date. Whereas the dance floor was comp...Lackluster was really good. One of their best performances to date. Whereas the dance floor was completely empty for the first two bands, people from the front of the bar and from outside filed into the main room after the first couple songs. that's a pretty good sign that you have a good sound. In fact, out of all the bands from my hometown of Reynoldsburg, Lackluster has the best chance of actually accomplishing something. The song that stands out the most is the brilliant cover of Eddie Murphy's Party All the Time. when i first heard that they were going to cover this, i thought it was a terrible, horrible, incredibly stupid thing to do. However, i was wrong. It was great! There were trendy scenester kids dancing everywhere! seriously. i haven't seen a crowd reaction like that for a local band in a long time.
Local music: Lackluster
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"...Lackluster's got a good handle on arrangements and melody, interweaving their synths and guitars..."...Lackluster's got a good handle on arrangements and melody, interweaving their synths and guitars in epic fashion."
- Chris DeVille, Columbus Alive
Lackluster- Not Another Word
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Written by Owen Mckeon Like Leicester’s brilliant Sam Isaac, Jon Hayes (or Lackluster if you pre...Written by Owen Mckeon
Like Leicester’s brilliant Sam Isaac, Jon Hayes (or Lackluster if you prefer) seems to be all husky tones and mellow acoustica, but that’s just the very surface.
‘Each It and I’ is the aforementioned summer laze but just when it seems like the similarly laidback ‘Not Another Word’ hasn’t got quite enough bite to truly engage, it all flies off into Hope of the States meets Forward Russia territory and begins to dazzle.
Lackluster is anything but his odd choice of name and mixes in Jack Johnson cosiness with Bright Eyes’ ability to amaze.
‘Where I Belong’ turns into a frankly astonishing diatribe against the Iraq War. Try out “I can't distinguish preachers from the non-believers, they're all running wild spitting lies, and pointing fingers.” Or “Just a little blood to protect our shores….sometimes it takes a leader to leave it alone.” He’s got a bit of anger in his belly this boy, and while a lot of the time his lyrics are either muddled or overly simplistic, when he gets it right he nails it and the effects are awesome.
To top it off the lucky little bugger even looks like Matt Damon in his Bourne moments. If only we were all this gifted.
Music Now Exclusive:Lackluster
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Singer/Songwriter Lackluster can been heard making magic on his debut album entitled Everything I Ev...Singer/Songwriter Lackluster can been heard making magic on his debut album entitled Everything I Ever Thought I'd Never Need to Know (2007). His acoustical soulful voice reels you in for more as he has a way of delivering lyrics that are meaningful, passionate, and sexy. Now living in Las Vegas, the Columbus, Ohio native is making his bid to bring his music to the masses.
Recently, we were privileged to review his EPK (Electronic Press Kit) on Sonicbids.com (Music Submission/Resource Company); we were impressed with what we heard. His music is now available through Lacklusterband.com and iTunes. Make sure to check it out. In the meantime, check out this Spotlight that Lackluster did for Junior’s Cave.
Isaac-Joseph: Hello, how are you doing today? I am excited that you are taking the time to do this interview with our Indie Publication. Let’s talk about the name first off. Where did the name come from and what is its meaning?
Lackluster: There’s nothing particularly special about the name really. It came about in the same way most band names, I just needed one. I’ve been using it since 2000, and I feel it suits the music okay. I mean, to me, Lackluster is obviously something dull or without shine. But it sits in my head like something that could be polished, something that has a shine, it’s just buried.
Isaac-Joseph: What caused you to want to pursue a career in music? What is your driving force?
Lackluster: I don’t know; I’ve just always loved music. But it’s a much more stable environment to communicate in for me. For me, communication has always been something like the creation of the universe. When I’m a bit player, it seems like there’s no method to the madness, and it can be a little overwhelming. When I’m writing and arranging it, there’s just a calm that usually isn’t there.
Isaac-Joseph: Describe the creative process that you go through when making your music?
Lackluster: I usually wear my heart right on my sleeve. Melodies come out of boredom mostly, but it evolves from whatever happens to be heaviest on my mind at the time, lyrically speaking. So, to me, the songs are all pretty vivid snapshots of times that once were. Beyond that, I try to implement instrumentation to kind of aide in the painting of said picture. Once a song has established its identity, all parts exist for its benefit, ya know?
Isaac-Joseph: You are like a one man arsenal when it comes to music. You play guitar, bass, drums, and perform vocals. Elaborate on your musical training for the readers of the magazine:
Lackluster: I have no training whatsoever. For a long time, when I was younger, I would just lock myself in my room pretty much, and practice for hours. I’d learn entire albums, and try to wrap my head around the finer points of their performances; The subtleties really.
Isaac-Joseph: I read in your bio that you moved from your Hometown of Columbus, Ohio in order to plant your presence in Seattle, where you attended the Art Institute of Seattle for Audio Production. Describe to us what made you decide that you needed a change of venue?
Lackluster: I’d like to say it was something honorable, but really I was a grunge kid, and that was about as far from home as I could get without having to learn another language. Though, I’d have to say the most unique and creative people I’ve ever met, I met in Seattle.
Isaac-Joseph: What were some of the important lessons that you learned while attending the Art Institute of Seattle for Audio Production that you have incorporated in your own music?
Lackluster: I think mainly just the whole DIY work ethic that you have no choice but to adopt as a dirt poor engineer. I learned a bunch of technical crap, but what I really took away from the place is how to make the most of what you have. Though, I wouldn’t say its really affects my music any more than what’s in the trunk of my car affects my driving.
Isaac-Joseph: I also read in your bio that while in the Air Force, where you spent two years in Germany, you recorded and independently released his first LP. Expound on the process of making this LP and what does it mean to have it out on the market?
Lackluster: I’d had a lot of these songs kicking around for years, and I’d always planned on committing them to something tangible. Some of them were newer as well, and I was meeting people who were positive influences, creatively. It took forever though. Probably about six or seven months of honest work. It basically consisted of locking myself in a room. I’d have to basically paint the beats by hand, because I didn’t even own a MIDI pad controller at the time. So, it was tedious. It means almost nothing for me to have it “on the market,” except that it’s reassuring, to a degree, when someone takes interest. The whole process was like building a road and you’re never quite sure if anyone but you will be able to drive on it. Every once in a while you check, and when there’s traffic; well, I guess that would be success to me. It being on the market is just a means of discovering that.
Isaac-Joseph: Describe a day in the studio: Isaac-Joseph: When you are performing on stage live, you feel (complete this sentence):
Isaac-Joseph: Describe a day in the studio:
Lackluster: I keep a Korg D1600 around, for no real reason really. It's handy to record live things and such, but in the studio I mostly just use it to lay down click tracks. I record primarily in Pro Tools, so I just start the click, and hit record, then go and do something for about five minutes. Once I have that, I record guitars and bass, then go in Fruity Loops to build the beats and add ambiance via VST instruments. My favorite, by far, is Absynth; but I really like Arturia's stuff too. Vocals are always last. Everything on the album was recorded direct though. On the next record, I'll definitely do things differently. Modeling software is just crap. It always has been, and always will be. I don't care who makes it, or how much it costs.
Isaac-Joseph: What are you looking forward to the most in 2007 musically?
Lackluster: I’m writing more, and working on building a lineup for a live act.
Isaac-Joseph: Why should people listen and buy your music? What do you think that you have to offer to music lovers?
Lackluster: You know how some presidential speeches stand out from others? Why? I mean, they were all written by competent speech writers, they all reflect on issues that were important; and with the exception of our current commander in chief, they were all pretty eloquently spoken. Maybe it’s the undertones of urgency, and candor that make things stand out.
Isaac-Joseph: How have your family and friends helped you in your pursuant of your music?
Lackluster: I certainly wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them. My mom bought me my first guitar and amp, and both my parents put me through school. A friend I met while stationed in Germany even put up some of his own money to help finance my project. I’ve always been floored by people who make sacrifices to support creativity. To me, those people are the speeches that stand out.
Isaac-Joseph: How would you describe your music to anyone who is new to you?
Lackluster: I’m terrible at this. When I was in basic training, I got hurt, and had spend some time in their squadron dedicated to those with injuries and certain mental deficiencies. Well, the kid in the bunk next to me had been a park ranger before enlisting, and wasn’t too unlike myself otherwise. But, one day, while in training, he collapsed. There was something wrong with his spine, and he even had to get a couple spinal taps while he served out the rest of his time waiting for an honorable discharge. This kid still took time to help me, and never focused on his problems. It’s just that, the world is full of people who make it through training, and get awards, and maybe even the girl. But sometimes it’s the ones that were right next to you all along who stand out. I’d like to think that my music could be that kid, ya know? Fall Out Boy might be chillin’ with Fergie back stage, but I’m singing to you.
Isaac-Joseph: Here is the part of the interview that we call Shout Outs: Give props to anyone and everyone that matters:
Lackluster: God, of course. I’ve been blessed in a lot of ways, some of which I’m only beginning to understand. Oceans of Algebra, two of the best friends I’ve ever had up in Seattle. Jim, he could articulate comatose. My family of course and those I still sing about; they know who they are.
Isaac-Joseph: Shameless Plugs: Let us in on any new updates, releases, tour dates, anything else that is new with you:
Lackluster: Currently, I’m playing with another band you’ve featured on your site, Lyric Road. But I’m also trying to build that live lineup as well. In the meantime, I’m writing for the next album which I hope to have ready come spring.
4 Play: Lackluster
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"I should have recognized the signs/The lies within our eyes.../They hide in your eyes too/But mine ..."I should have recognized the signs/The lies within our eyes.../They hide in your eyes too/But mine combine and build.../Say goodbye to the truth." Yeah, because neither one has paid their truth bill, so, "The collector's come to smoke us out." Columbus-based Jon Hayes, AKA Lackluster, one-man band turned bandleader, sounds like he could be all the people in "Liars," and other original postings. Self-assertive multiplicity, and even his ruefully lyrical vocals, also smokes out a slamming cover of "Party All The Time." Live, Lackluster and his rhythm section further combine and build with samplers.
Sets are typically 30-60 minutes, but can be extended or shortened with notice and tailored to match intensity of environment... ranging from unplugged to our full setup included in our stage plot. We have the DI's we require. We only need sufficient XLR's to run them.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.