Meet Overlook. Four childhood friends who met in a Fort Wayne, Indiana basement and instantly started jamming together. Each went off to different schools. Then the pandemic hit, along with it, confusion, money challenges, extreme uncertainty and a yearning, ineffable desire to be making music and performing on the biggest stages together. After a year of zoom college for Sam, Carson and Jim and having just finished high school for Colin, they each abandoned formal education and moved to Nashville, where they have been living together in a shared house, making a living together playing on Broadway in Honkey Tonk bars, writing and recording songs together with the capable assistance of Scott Rottler, a producer and engineer for Styx, and regularly performing their own sold-out live shows in Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio and elsewhere. With an impeccable work ethic and an irrepressible desire for success, Overlook has honed its sound, and is poised to become one of the next great American rock bands.
That first Overlook EP was recorded in 2018 with rented gear in Carson’s basement and mixed by Jim in his bedroom. Each of us was raised on The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and B.B. King, and all somewhere between the age of 16 and 18. Sitting in a poorly made mixing room (Jim’s computer running Ableton in Sam’s kitchen), we made something we were proud of. We took that record on a “tour” of our hometown and played close to every weekend in 2018.
By 2019 we were ready to make something with a budget a little bigger than $200. Our studio search sent us to 1501 W. Berry Street where we met our new best friend, Scott Rottler. We booked a weekend and spent the next 6 months refining our songs… After two days of tracking and a day of mixing, End of Summer was released in May of 2019. We had made an album.
By this time the four of us were functioning as brothers. We were hanging out all the time and beginning to understand each other’s roles in the band. So, when we realized we’d have to part ways for college, we rushed to release another project. Surely college would mean the end of the band… at least for a little while.
Like EOS, Overlook Two was recorded over a three-day period at Berry Street Records except we tracked half the number of songs. With that extra time, we felt the power of the studio for the first time. After a feverish “last” summer in Fort Wayne, we left for college in August, released the EP in September, and that was that. Carson left for Belmont University, Sam left for the University of Southern California, Jim left for Berklee College of Music, and Colin stayed in Fort Wayne to finish up high school.
If you’re decent at math you know what’s next in this story…Covid. School goes online and life as we know it is gone. Our gig schedule and thus livelihood had been wiped out. The four of us were miraculously brought back to Fort Wayne with quite literally nothing to do but sit in a house and write a record. With all that newfound time, we decided to experiment and start recording at home.
We spent the next three months tracking “Over There” in Sam’s basement, living room, and porch. It was funny to see how much had changed since that first time we tried the process back in 2018. We knew what we were doing, but there were plenty of decisions on that song that would make an engineer’s head explode. In our downtime, we used the makeshift studio at Sam’s as a rehearsal space and wrote music constantly.
By the summer, we found ourselves with 12 new songs, so we booked two weeks at Berry Street Records and started recording in July. We spent days crafting tones and writing parts for each song with the help of Scott’s friend, Morrison Agen. It was amazing! We had never been able to spend that much time on songs. All those months in our basement rehearsing really paid off. In what was a dark year we finally had a win, and we left that studio with something we were incredibly proud of.
After that summer, we went our separate ways again. Colin started college at Belmont, Carson went back to Nashville to work with the Kensington Media Group, Jim went to Boston to continue his degree at Berklee, and Sam took a semester off to work at the Sweetwater Guitar Shop. All of us were doing what we thought we should do, unsure of Overlook’s future, but not really happy doing it. As winter turned to spring and we realized our paths weren’t going to get better anytime soon, we called each other more and more often to talk about giving the whole band thing a shot. By June of 2021, we were 0/4 on college enrollment. Nice! Jim, Colin, and Sam spent the rest of the year in Fort Wayne saving money and preparing to move to Nashville, while Carson waited down there.
Now, we’re here.