Good Willsmith

Good Willsmith - live image

Maxwell Allison

bass guitar, Synth, oscillators, tape deck, loop pedals, effects pedals.

Natalie Chami

Vocals, synths, oscillator, loop pedals, effects pedals.

Doug Kaplan

Guitar, synth, turntable, electronic tabla and tambura, loop pedal, effects pedals.

Good Willsmith processes guitars, synths, found physical media, and voices through multi-track looping hardware and chains of electronics. The trio incorporates elements of ambient, drone, noise, kosmische, minimalist, metal and Indian classical musics into long-form structured improvisations that overflow with volume and texture. Doug*, Max** and Natalie*** live in Chicago.

For more background info on the band read this interview published by Tiny Mix Tapes (February, 2013) and another on Delayed Graffitification (March, 2014) and another on THUMP (February, 2016) and another on FACT (February, 2016)

Stream and download Good Willsmith’s music on Bandcamp.

Find Good Willsmith on Twitter, FacebookInstagram, and Discogs.

Watch footage of Good Willsmith performing at WNUR’s Airplay (May, 2012), at the grand re-opening of the Silent Barn (December, 2012), at the RCN Cave in Akron, Ohio (November, 2013), at the Archer Beach Haus (June, 2015), and at Elastic Arts(February, 2016).

Check out the video for “If anything happens to me, my password is Lady Lass” directed by John Elliott.

Good Willsmith has shared the stage with ADT, Andy Ortmann, Charles Barabe, Andrew Bernstein, Bitchin Bajas, Black Hat, Brownshoesonly, Chandeliers, Cleared, Clipping., COIN, Eric Copeland, Crowhurst, Date Palms, Eartheater, Form A Log, GDFX, God Willing, Good Stuff House, Grasshopper, Kevin Greenspon, Guardian Alien, Guerrilla Toss, Head Boggle, Tim Hecker, Hex Breaker Quartet, Horse Lords, Illusion of Safety, Imaginary Softwoods, Ryan Jewell, Kill Alters, Andrew Kirschner, Kwaidan, Kyle Landstra, Lockbox, Long Distance Poison, Looks Realistic, M. Sage, Mathcess, Mark McGuire, Mind Over Mirrors, Moth Cock, Mount Eerie, Mountains, MSHR, Pat Murano, Brett Naucke, Negativland, Nerftoss, ONO, Panicsville, People of the North, Plankton Wat, Jon Porras, Potions, Sam Prekop, Pulse Emitter, Radioshock, Derek Rogers, Quicksails, Radiator Greys, Guenter Schlienz, Silent Land Time Machine, Spires That In The Sunset Rise, Son Lux, Sugarm, Sutekh Hexen, Thug Entrancer, Tiger Village, Jean Sebastien Truchy, Unguent, Verma, Witchbeam, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Watchword, Witchbeam, Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa, Wolf Eyes, Work/Death, Wume, Thalia Zedek, Zomes, and many more.

Good Willsmith was a sponsored artist for the Fall 2012 season at High Concept Laboratories.



“Good Willsmith builds itself on structured improvisation; it’s deftly displayed in the Chicago band’s stellar live performances, in which Natalie Chami, Max Allison and Doug Kaplan demonstrate fluid and frightening chemistry.” – NPR

“…they have spent the last four years traversing the outer reaches of semi-freeform, loop-based music. They’re currently Chicago’s best-kept secret, but that oversight is set to change.” – FACT

“…dizzying vocal loops and Grateful Dead-gone-sci-fi guitar exercises, their most intimately plotted and deliriously propulsive release to date… you get the sense that Things Our Bodies Used to Have exists because of closeness which which the three of them operate as a unit. It’s basic chemistry: put the right three elements together and they react—and on the other side is something beautiful.” – THUMP

“Despite how familiar the set-up of loopers, keys and guitars initially sounds, the breadth of timbres employed here is simply staggering. Too few have ventured into the territory on Side A since [Frank Zappa’s] Weasels Ripped My Flesh’s wilder momeents; bending the makeup of the psychedelic rock band at the atomic level into alien shapes that still hint at the familiar.” – Wire

“Sure, you could call what this threesome does “world-building.” You could call it “elemental.” But what Natalie Chami, Doug Kaplan, and Maxwell Allison pull off here is more a process of setting us on a pathway, allowing us to acclimate, then slowly veering it off course until our idea of “where we’re going” is proven ridiculously futile. Each member’s section displays a radically different mindset at work, each individual a piece as infinitely layered and microscopically dense as the others, and each receding back into space as easily as they crept up.” – Tiny Mix Tapes (Eureka)

“Things Our Bodies Used to Have is an odyssey, not of where the three piece has been or where they’re going, but rather for a genre as a whole confined by limited peripherals.” – KEXP

“Because while The Honeymoon Workbook doesn’t hold back, it never feels like Good Willsmith are engaged in a battle. They sound less interested in conjuring sonic spirits through conflict than through communication and concentration.” – Marc Masters for Pitchfork

The progression of their sound from song to song, show to show, or album to album has always paralleled a form of rhetorical analysis, wherein the recording and editing of the music itself is another step in the discovery of its own sound space, rather than an attempt at capturing an idealized song. In this regard, there is often little difference between the band’s live performance and recorded output. It’s a testament to the instinctual quality of improvisation between individual musicians creating in symmetry toward an exact common goal, a final filling of a song’s combined sound space occurring simultaneously with the musical artifact reaching the hands of a listener and being heard by outside ears in any format.” – Tiny Mix Tapes

“…as if you’re caught in the hospital room with someone who just accepted their death while their friend frantically begs them to hang on. Textural drones recur as mammoth-sized versions of their initial appearances earlier in the record, stumbling between the hissing ghosts of tragic chord progressions, yowled vocals, and disembodied sermons. When taken in the context of the whole record, it’s like a severe endorphin rush after a prolonged singe. However, on its own, the experience is chilling, disorienting, and heart-wrenching.”- Ad Hoc

“Good Willsmith is one of the more original and truly inventive bands in Chicago.”- The Deli

“The trio of Good Willsmith had to be on point at all times for this venture to work.  One slip and the entire project would slip like a fraying belt drive.  The Honeymoon Workbook – the trio’s first album to appear on vinyl – is a sound collage comprised of building and shifting layers, a seamless suite that breaks only for the need to flip sides.” – A Closer Listen

“Chicago trio Good Willsmith erect compelling, staticky atmospheres with guitar, bass, synth, voice, and electronics. It’s seriously cinematic in scope, desolately drifting into the eerie ether.” – Dave Segal for The Stranger

“[…] expansive abstraction through drone music and mystic/futurism chanting, spaced with perfected geometrical precision. Expect notes your ears can barely hear but your body knows are happening – these are the young electronic explorations of disharmony.” – KEXP’s Scene and Unheard

“[…] shifting seamlessly between tones and instrumentation. It’s a massively patient approach to song construction that requires equal parts restraint and aggression. An ability to deliver loud and heavy, and still leave the listener an interpretive space in the mix. Sounds like an alien prayer to a 10,000 foot amplifier monolith.” – Guide Me Little Tape.


* b. 1988 in IL, US – Solo: MrDougDoug. Also in: The Earth is a Man, The Big Ship.
** b. 1990 in IL, US – Solo: Mukqs. Also in: The Earth is a Man, The Big Ship.
*** b. 1987 in ON, CAN – Solo: TALsounds. Also in: l’éternèbre.

GWS_Sunshine GWS_Goldrush_cropped GWS_Heads

Good Willsmith - Chillang


GWS @ Trans Pecos (Ashley)