Lunsford, an emerging Fayetteville pop-punk band, has fully embraced a DIY mentality. The band records demos in their basement, lining the room with pillows and blankets and draping quilts from the ceiling to replicate the sound insulation of professional recording studios. As I step into the house before their first show on April 25, Hartley Willmuth, the band’s guitarist, is carrying two stacks of burned CDs out to the car. He wears a shirt with “Foundation: Hang Your Head” written across the front and “The older I get, the angrier I am” written across the back.
“We finished the demo this morning, and we’ve been burning these CDs individually all day,” he says, gesturing to the two CD spindles in his hands as people carrying amps and equipment move in and out of the room, bumping into him. “Abe!” he calls over his shoulder, “You’re going to have to burn the rest of them on the way there in your truck because it’s almost three, and we’ve got to go. Julian already left Jonesboro!”
Julian Sanchez is the only member of Lunsford who doesn’t live in Fayetteville, in this house with two (sometimes three) other guys. Lunsford is a four-person band, but all of the guys have been playing music — some of them together — for at least five years.
There’s Doug Harlan on vocals and lead guitar, the deadpan, detached, and sarcastic front man of the group; there’s self-described “hardcore kid” Abe Foster on drums, a bright-eyed, lunatic funnelhead for all things too loud; there’s Julian Sanchez, the quick-witted bassist from Queens, N.Y., nearly finished with a business degree, but who dreams of touring the country in a band; and there’s Hartley Willmuth on guitar and backup vocals, the most mild-mannered, but also one of the most well-spoken members of the band.
“We’re giving the demos out for free,” Hartley continues, strumming an unplugged electric guitar in the back seat of Doug’s car. “This is just a hobby. We’re not a corporation, and for all the music I don’t pay for, at this point we have no right to try to make a profit off of ours.”