Lemmy touched a staggering amount of people’s lives in his 70 rock n’roll years on Planet Earth and almost all of these experiences were positive and genuine. Sure, he could be a cantankerous bastard and equally told as many people to fuck off – but they probably deserved it. He was a man of rare integrity, conviction and passion and he compromised for no one.
When news broke of his death the outpouring of affection was vast and overwhelming. Everyone had a story to tell, a memory to share. From punks to rockers to every aspect of alternative culture, to the mainstream who held him high as a figurehead of rock, his influence is far-reaching. But the stories keep coming back to what a gentleman he was. He always had time for people and didn’t fall into the rock star ego trap. His manager Todd Singerman recently stated: “He was one of the kindest men I’ve ever met. The proof would be to go ask his fans. He never denied someone an autograph, he bought the fans drinks instead of them buying him drinks”.
I first met Lemmy when I was ten years old at a charity football event that my father took me to. I’m pretty certain that Motörhead’s legendary frontman wasn’t kicking a ball around but he was there, I got his autograph and he patted my head. I thought he was cool as fuck. Then in my early twenties I interviewed him for Metal Hammer magazine around the time of the release of their ‘1916’ album. He turned up at the offices at 10.30am with a four pack of Special Brew, sat by my desk, drank the lot and churned out pearls of wisdom after wisdom. I was in total awe of him. I had to do the ‘single’s reviews’ and played some of the latest rock releases on a turntable by my desk for him to comment on, one of which was ‘Sliver’ by Nirvana which I was raving about. “ Yeah, I like that one”, he said. “It’s really interesting and they’re having a go at something by themselves and not just copying someone else. Good one.” It’s fair to say that drinking Special Brew and spinning vinyl with Lemmy on a week day morning is a memory I’ll cherish.
Ph: “Despite my appearance, believe me, I am a gentleman”
My wife has a fantastic Lemmy story that I want to share. Her and a friend were nearing the end of a US road trip in the early 90s, ending up in LA. They were staying at a rough motel at the wrong end of Sunset Boulevard and a gang had tried to break into their room the previous night, so they were scared to return. They were at The Rainbow and started drinking with Lemmy who was famously a regular, and told him their story. He showed concern at two young vulnerable girls with little money and invited them back to his apartment rather than return to the motel late at night. They agreed with some trepidation given Lemmy’s reputation with the ladies, but his behaviour was entirely chivalrous. They spent a fun-filled 2 days hanging out in his apartment, drinking endless bourbon and cokes being regaled with debauched stories from a life of hell-raising. He played them new tracks which were to feature on ‘Bastards’, the album he was working on at the time, allowed them to nose through his collection of Nazi memorabilia whilst he sunbathed in bright pink speedos, and (at their direction) posed for some hilariously inappropriate souvenir polaroids.
The stories go on and on. It’s been heartbreaking over the last year to see Lemmy looking so frail and ill. We all wanted him to live forever. If Lemmy is around still, then all is well with the world. When they played Hyde Park in 2014 with Black Sabbath, Lemmy really struggled and they weren’t on good form. It was so sad to witness. But then a few months later Motorhead played at Wembley Arena with The Damned and they were back to full power and awesome again. That night they were incredible. The greatest rock n’roll band of all time, one more time.
Ph: Rummaging through Lemmy’s dressing-up box
Slash declared “People who live, sleep and breathe rock n’roll, the lifestyle and the attitude. There’s only a handful of guys who are still alive who represent that. And Lemmy represents that to me.” And now he’s gone, taking the loudest band in the world with him. My absolute hero. A benchmark in integrity and passion, principled, opinionated and unapologetic, “I don’t regret much. Fuck ’em.” We will never see his like again. A true rock n’roll warrior. Rest in noise Lemmy.
Words: James Sherry
NOTE: It’s well known that Lemmy collected Nazi regalia but essentially he was more an anarchist than a fascist. Worth noting that both women in these polaroid photos do not support Nazi fantasies.
‘I Wasn’t Born To Lose You‘
Nostalgia has never played a bigger part in music than it does right now.With decades of music to draw from, and with literally every band from the past still active or reformed and playing again, it’s a cluttered world of music that we all occupy, and it’s a wonder how new music even gets a look in. How many of these reunited old bands, however, can return eighteen years after they last made a new album and come back with a set of songs that is as good as, if not better than, the prime of their original material? The answer is of course, not very bloody many. Apart from Swervedriver.
I Wasn’t Born To Lose You is testament to how talented Swervedriver are. Initially lumped in by the UK press in the early 90s with the whole dour ‘shoegaze’ scene (Ride, Slowdive, Chapterhouse etc), it was a label that never sat well with the band. They were tougher, harder and more psychedelic. Swervedriver’s swirling, charging, dusty-road-wasteland rock had its roots and influences in the highways of American blues, the sonic white noise pop of Husker Du, the psychedelic freak-outs of Sonic Youth, the slacker fuzz grooves of Dinosaur Jr. Their debut single ‘Son Of Mustang Ford’ (released in 1990 on Creation Records) wasn’t the sound of a band gazing at their shoes, this was a band tearing down the highway, peddle to the floor, blowing sand and dust in our faces as they tore through the music scene, creating some of the most sublime and addictive psychedelic rock the nineties had to offer.
By 1998, however, their tank was running out of fuel and the band went on hiatus, going their separate ways. By 2007, with their cult status at an all-time high and with the music scene coming around again and catching up with their style, they performed at Coachella and played intermittently for the following years. By 2013, we got out first taste of new material in single ‘Deep Wound’ and the flavour was good! Now we have the whole album in our hands and in our heads and it doesn’t disappoint in any way whatsoever. Tracks like ‘For A Day Like Tomorrow’ and ‘Setting Sun’ are as good as anything, if not better, than the band have created before. Singer Adam Franklin’s voice drawls, whispers and croons, chiming and shimmering against Jim Hartridge’s motorised guitar-weaving to perfection. And then there’s ‘Red Queen Arms Race’ which sees the band ploughing headlong into heavier waters, brandishing tough stoner-rock-Black Sabbath infused riffs to brutal and punishing effect.
Ignore some of the average reviews of this album that have appeared. These people obviously didn’t spent enough time with it. Or they don’t know Swervedriver like we do. The longer you spend with this album, the larger the melodies and grooves grow. Open your minds. Let Swervedriver in.
At the back end of 2012 Baby Godzilla released a video for the storming track Powerboat Disaster that went round the web at mach 10 leaving aural destruction to those who tuned in. Nottingham is their place of residence, a UK city that has serious hardcore history and an area that is renown for its constant frustration amongst youth culture. Their personal time bomb is set to explode in the metal scene year so we decided to get the lowdown from screaming front man Matt ‘Butch’ Reynolds on just how long it will take until they take the back doors off the UK and beyond.
This one’s obvious but how come you chose the name Baby Godzilla?
It was actually something that our ex-guitarist’s Dad thought of, it was a band name that he wanted to use in the 80s and never got to, we thought it was pretty cool and we’re shit at naming stuff ourselves. It certainly matches the ferocity of what we do, untameable and immovable. That’s pretty cheesy right?
Cheese on an 11 for sure. So, Powerboat Disaster made a big impact last year, how many weird stares from the locals came with shooting that video?
We had what seemed like the whole village come out to see what was going on, the hardest part became not controlling the 8 foot high wall of fire but keeping them all behind the camera. We’d set up a take and have to stop right away, turning expecting to see a couple of local kids that had strayed into the shot but instead finding a couple of fully grown adults having a kick-about behind us.
It looks like you are playing in an allotment, that right?
It was filmed in the overgrown grounds of a pub in a very small village in Chesterfield called Poolsbrook. We asked the landlady “can we make a 8 x 20 feet wall of fire around the back of your pub?” she smiled and said “yes” and proceeded to point out things that she would like us to torch. Maybe she had a screw loose, I don’t really know, but I made a snap decision that I like the way the people of Poolsbrook work.
Are you all Nottingham based?
Yes, we all live within 5 minutes of each other, it makes it easy to get together and share ideas.
The hardcore scene in Notts has always been really strong. Have you grown up around releases from legendary acts such as Bob Tilton, Heresy, Concrete Sox, Hard to Swallow, Iron Monkey etc or are you too young to remember such awesome bands in the local area?
All familiar names, I’d be in danger of sacrilege if I were to deny Nottingham’s strong roots in hardcore music, especially with the bands listed and Earache Records HQ being right on our doorstep. But I’d be lying if I said I grew up around those awesome releases, we’re all a bit too young really, I was busy listening to Metallica as a kid.
What’s the local scene there like at the moment and who is pulling the strings?
There’s quite a lot of cool stuff going on here at the moment. There’s a recording studio just on the edge of town called JT Soar and they’ve just opened their live room as an underground gig venue. They put on lots of brilliant bands from all around the world and let you bring in your own beer so there’s a huge sense of community about the place. There’s also a grass roots promotions company called ‘I’m Not From London’. They’re headed by one very tenacious and ridiculously hard working man called Will Robinson; I’m not quite sure how he does it. They helped us a lot in the early days, we owe quite a bit to Will, he’s pretty much rebuilt Nottingham’s scene single handed. To see ‘I’m Not From London’ now going from strength to strength is great. Band-wise we share a practice space with a new band called Def Bridges that I predict you’ll be hearing lots more of towards the end of the year, they’re noisy, shouty and bassy. I’m also quite fond of a band called Grey Hairs, they’ve got a really cool garage rock vibe but they mix it up with raw punk, they’re great live.
So, the’ Oche’ EP is out there, what plans do you have for releases this year and have you started recording process yet?
We’ve been writing solidly all this year so far, the original plan was to release an album towards the end of 2013, but now we’ve decided to put out an EP to bridge the gap and whet people appetites for the big debut album. The EP is going to be very thrashy and trashy judging on what we’ve been putting down of late. We just received a final master back of the first single from it and it nearly ripped open our speakers! Needless to say it carries on from where OCHE left off, it’s going to be fucking loud.
We’ll be putting out the first single with a video in a couple of weeks.
Leaving Notts in flames. Photo by Carla Mundy
Are there any albums out there you have heard recently that soundwise carry the ingredients needed to make your debut the ultimate listen?
‘IDEAS’ by Hawk Eyes is pretty much a perfect album, the way it is put together is just brilliant, the songs kick ass and it sounds absolutely huge. We listen to that a lot on the way to gigs. Other than that you can pretty much guarantee some Refused or Nirvana will get stuck on which always gets me fired up. At this very second I’m listening to …’And Justice For All’, I’ve got the bass turned right up so it sounds right. It’s getting me through a very incessant hangover.
So what about producers? If you had the choice to pick a producer to work with on your album, who would you pick and why?
I’d be very interested to see what working with Steve Albini would be like. Mainly because his whole ethos towards recording a band is very similar to ours, everything should be tracked together live. If we weren’t all together in the same room tracking live I don’t think a recording would really capture what we do. On top of that we all need to look at each when we record otherwise it would sound like a bag of spanners.
I also would really love to work with Eskil Lovstrom and Pelle Henricsson, they made ‘Shape of Punk to Come’, it’s one of my favourite albums of all time. Our buddies James Cleaver Quintet just got back from recording their second album with them, I really excited to see what they’ve come up with!
Your live shows have been lauded. How will you find the middle ground between the energy created live on tape?
Lots of space in our live room! And stuff to climb on in there too would be good. Although I’m not sure we ought to recreate what we do live to the letter on tape, we barely hit a note live. It would probably end up just being Paul Shelley playing the bass with the occasional broken guitar making an awful squeal. Pretty unpleasant!
If there was one story from that came from playing live that is still discussed as a ‘moment’, what is that and where from?
One thing that comes to mind is a gig we played at Hackney Trash Bar. The sound guy was really not into it. We played the first song and I couldn’t find my mic afterwards, so I used Paul’s. After the second song another mic went missing. At that point we realised the sound guy was just taking away all the mics one by one after each song, it was quite rude. Then he turned off the p.a. altogether. Had he just asked us to stop we would have, but he just went about it in a really antagonising way so we just kept going. we had a megaphone out on tour with us so me and Jonny took to shouting in people faces through that and We just relied on the guitar amps making noise from the stage. Generally we have a pretty good relationship with sound engineers though, we always reassure before we play that if anything gets broken it will be something of ours (drums, guitars, bones) not theirs.
Try and explain the blackout one gets from the first note of a live show. It’s one of the most surreal experiences of being in a band but can it be explained well by Baby Godzilla?
That’s a toughie because I really have no idea. From the first note all bets are off really. I literally switch off and don’t come to until we switch the amps to standby at the end of the set. I’ve come back to reality to Paul telling me that I managed to twat some guy with my guitar before, not good. My space awareness has gotten loads better though.
What is one of the most mental things to ever happen at one of your shows?
I have a bit of a habit of climbing things that are way too high. We played some festivals over in Poland and I ended up swinging from the rafters that were 20ft up. It’s okay though, I was wearing a helmet. Some guy in the crowd had passed me an old style Polish Army helmet! Brilliant country!
How does your lyrical content come together?
I tend to write lyrics way ahead of songs actually being put together. I’ll write pages and pages of prose, I have notebooks full of absolute drivel. When we piece together a song I tend to fish through it all and pick out something on a topic that makes sense and edit the words to fit the song. It’s quite a nice way of working, it steers you away from relying on recycled clichés in your lyrics.
Lyrically, is there one particular track that you can discuss that means something so personally that you believe to be an ‘anthem’ in your locker?
However much we’d all love it, I don’t think we’ll ever be considered an anthems band, more a band that our parents say “you’ve got such lovely voices, why have you got to do all of that shouting nonsense? I can’t tell what you’re saying!” There is however a 16/17 minute long opus that we’ve written that’s intended to close the album. The whole thing is a 3-part concept based on an unwritten trilogy from my favourite author B. S. Johnson. He wrote the first book of a Trilogy just before he died called “See the Old Lady Decently”. The whole trilogy was titled so that each book’s title would make grammatical sense as a statement alone but when all together the titles would form a complete sentence. The unwritten books were going to be called “Buried Although” and “Amongst Those Left Are You”. The song itself has a lot of political themes that share an agenda similar to that of Johnson’s
There’s also a lyric in one of the new songs that repeats over and over that I love, “You’re all whores and I’m Jack the Ripper” I absolutely love some of the lyrics for our new material. As a body of work it’s definitely my favourite that I’ve written to date.
It’s definitely the year of longer tracks so far. If there was a phrase from OCHE that has meaning more than any other, what would it be ?
We have a song on OCHE called Dave Lankester, the lyrics to that are from a really nasty angry letter that I intended to send to an ex-girlfriend. I didn’t send the letter and it’s probably a good thing but there’s a lot of emotion in the song. The lyrics are hand written in the inner sleeve to the OCHE mini-album too. I was definitely a little drunk when I composed that letter.
Matt hangs out with the crowd. Photo: Carla Mundy.
When the album drops, will you be inviting the likes of Elton John to appear on it as a guest like Queens of the Stoneage?
Probably not too be honest, although if Queens wanted to guest themselves then that would be fine. We’ll probably get a couple of pals to do little guest vocal bits and pieces, there’s a track on OCHE called Thotty that has our friend from Captain Dangerous Miles, playing violin on and Ali Powers from Hot Japanese Girl guesting on vocals. So we’re definitely not strangers to having guest appearances.
So, when you get huge and become millionaires, what will be your first extravagant musical purchase?
Probably gear that works and a Dodge Charger with blacked out windows so we can ignore our gazillions of fans.
Look out for Baby Godzilla on your travels on tour with the Wildhearts in April and beyond. All can be found on their Facebook Page.
Fri 29th March: Santiagos Leeds
Thu 04 Apr – w/ The Wildhearts, O2 ABC Glasgow
Fri 05 Apr – w/ The Wildhearts, Manchester Academy Manchester
Sat 06 Apr – w/ Rock City Nottingham, UK
Sun 07 Apr – w/ The Wildhearts, Wulfrun Hall Wolverhampton
Fri 10 May w/ Eureka Machines The Adelphi / New Adelphi Hull
A Wolf At Your Door Records Facebook
The eagerly anticipated debut album of Cambridgeshire rock band Mallory Knox is almost here with a release date of 21st January. The album is being released through Wolf At Your Door Records.
Opening song ‘Beggars’ is easily one of the most catchy songs on the album, with a very upbeat tone to it, it is clear that Mallory Knox’s style is fitting into the new trend of upcoming rock bands such as Don Broco and Deaf Havana – but Mallory Knox are much heavier. It’s a fast paced and exciting album for sure.
Mikey Chapman’s easily recognisable and unique voice will make you remember who Mallory Knox are as he uses his lungs to their full capacity; some ‘singers’ scream and shout, but not Mikey, he can actually sing, which can sometimes be rare from a rock band nowadays. Bassist and backing vocalist Sam Douglas’ voice mixes in perfectly in all songs, it’s sort of like soft whispering in your ears.
Acoustic guitars and slow drum beats are proven to be a a new development from the band as we are introduced to songs such as ‘1949’ and ‘Bury Your Head’ which are a work of art. One thing a rock band can never go wrong on is having a slow intro to a song into full on headbanging with thrashing guitars.
Loud, uncompromising and bold is an easy way to describe this album. One outstanding song on Signals is ‘Bury Your Head’, this being the first ever “slow” song by Mallory Knox, it is sung with emotion and has is truly stunning. The soft piano is something new from the band that have never shown a calm side that is quite like this.
The only trouble to Mallory Knox is that some of their songs can sound very familiar, and that is because a lot of the songs sound the same, but that isn’t to say they aren’t fantastic. Signals is a difficult album to review as it clearly shows the band incredible development since filming ‘Resuscitate’, their second ever music video, in a potato warehouse in the middle of nowhere in early 2010.
Expect a lot more from Mallory Knox in 2013.
RATING: 10/10 FOR FANS OF: Young Guns, Don Broco, Deaf Havana, You Me At Six
Check out Mallory Knox’s latest single ‘Lighthouse’:
One of the most spoken about new bands of 2012 decided to return to their hometown roots and perform a monster of a show in a tiny 400 capacity venue that very few had ever heard of, although it has hosted shows for bands as big as Coldplay and Supergrass.
The four piece pop-rock band with their hook-heavy and energetic songs wasted no time and got the show into full swing. The distinguishable routine ‘The Walk’ makes an appearance within seconds as the band open with the song ‘Priorities’. Somehow the band reminds you of a teen boy band as they perform their rehearsed dance moves. Band members and the rowdy crowd are not holding back tonight.
With a mixture of old material and songs off of their debut album ‘Priorities’, their performance is full of energy and the band work together fantastically; their timing is outstanding. Crowd favourite ‘Whole Truth’ involves the audience getting onto each other’s shoulders; lead singer Rob Damiani encourages people as people are flying high above the crowd as strangers become friends within the audience. All the band are interested in is making this show as fun as possible for everyone.
The smile on lead singer Rob Damiani’s face showed his amazement to the crowd’s reaction as the crowd screamed at the top of their voices right back at him. The sweat drenched crowd “really take the biscuit” as some audience members decide to join the band on stage with a bit of cheeky crowd surfing, it’s all fun and games here.
Although the show was disappointingly short, with the band only performing for one hour and five minutes, the show was truly one to remember. From a teenage dream to reality, it is clearly obvious that Don Broco still haven’t showed us everything they’ve got. Expect much more from them in 2013.
Don Broco are touring in 2013, see dates below
February 18 Arts Centre, Norwich 19 O2 Academy 3, Birmingham 20 Joiners, Southampton 21 Underworld, London 22 The Haunt, Brighton 23 White Rabbit, Plymouth 24 Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff 26 The Cockpit, Leeds 27 Corporation, Sheffield 28 O2 Academy 2, Newcastle
March 01 Cathouse, Glasgow 02 Academy 3, Manchester 30 O2 Academy, Liverpool
April 13 53 Degrees, Preston 14 Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton 16 Concorde 2, Brighton 17 Academy 2, Oxford 18 KOKO, London 20 Hit The Deck Festival, Bristol 21 Hit The Deck Festival, Nottingham
Photo: Emma Wallace – taken at Red Bull Bedroom Jam Finals
After years of patience, Mallory Knox has announced that their debut album will be released on 21 January 2013.
The studio album named ‘Signals’ will include three previously released songs: Death Rattle, Wake Up and Hello. The band previously released Wake Up as their latest single alongside with a music video.
The band will be performing songs off the album at a hometown show on 19 January 2013 at The Junction, Cambridge – fans will also be able to buy the album at the gig two days before its official release; the band have also said that it will be the last time that they will be playing their first E.P ‘Pilots’ in its entirety.
Tracklisting for new album ‘Signals’ is below:
03. Death Rattle
06. Wake Up
09. Bury Your Head
The album will be released through Wolf At Your Door Records.
Watch Mallory Knox’s latest music video, Wake up, below:
You have no excuse not to know who Bloc Party unless you have been living in a South American rainforest, licking neon coloured toads for the past 10 years…
I can sum up their latest release in one sentence. It’s absolutely bloody amazing.
However as this is a review, I won’t leave it there, so let’s get the simple things out of the way first… ‘Four’ is a tour de force of indie guitar licks, riffs and hooks with all the Bloc Party trimmings.
Kele and co. have made us wait a while for their latest offering, but as soon as you press the play button, and you here the drum beat and distorted guitar that signal the start of ‘So He Begins To Lie’ you wont be able to sit still. This album works its way into your subconscious and induces some serious moments of tourettes-style head banging and foot stomping.
There isn’t a ‘bad’ track on this album. It swings between slow burning songs that build to a crescendo with squealing guitars through to some southern delta blues inspired throat-ripping guitar chords. The truth is, it is easy to love every single track on the album; so to pick a standout song is a bit of a task. Saying that, the songs that went down best here at Crossfire has to be the hauntingly epic ‘Real Talk’ and ‘V.A.L.I.S’, the hooktastic indie anthem that will have you singing along in not time at all.
If you’re into indie/rock then you should own this album. It’s one of the best albums to grace 2012 so far. A near perfect example of what Indie music should be.
If you have never heard the legendary Monster Magnet album Spine of God, then you are in for a treat. Monster Magnet have scheduled a European tour for November this year to celebrate 20 years of the release of this mammoth album that is stuffed full of crunching stoner rock and acid drenched psychedelic delights. Put this in your dairy today.
Monday 12 Nov Norway, Bergen
Tuesday 13 Nov Norway, Hagesund
Wednesday 14 Nov Norway, Oslo
Friday 16 Nov Finland, Tampere
Saturday 17 Nov Norway, Helsinki
Monday 19 Nov Sweden, Linkoping
Tuesday 20 Nov Germany, Hamburg
Wednesday 21 Nov France, Paris Friday 23 Nov UK, London
Saturday 24 Nov UK, Manchester
Monday 26 Nov Germany, Stuttgart
Tuesday 27 Nov Austria, Vienna
Thursday 29 Nov Switzerland, Pratteln
Friday 30 Nov Switzerland, Zurich
Saturday 01 Dez Germany, Erfurt
Monday 03 Dec Germany, Aschaffenburg
Tuesday 04 Dec Germany, Saarbrucken
Thursday 06 Dec Germany, Krefeld
Friday 07 Dec Belgium, Brussels
Saturday 08 Dec Holland, Einhoven
Seattle duo Joel Schneider & Ethan Jacobsen who make up the explosive blues-rock duo My Goodness have just left the UK after a 2 week stint touring sold out venues. The pair thumped out an incredible jam at London’s Dingwalls venue this month that resulted in most people queuing for tee shirts and considering they were for a support act, that’s extremely rare. Getting to the front of this queue for some words before most, Sophie Eggleton spoke to guitarist/singer Joel Schneider about their musical quest looking back on a tour that they will never forget.
You’ve just come off UK leg with We Are Augustines. How was that experience? Do you think your bands married well together sonically?
It was an incredible experience. We had toured once before with We Are Augustines in the States and were already good friends before this tour. It made things nice and comfortable once we got over to the UK, especially since we were sharing a bus. I think if you listened to both of our records you might not think it the ideal sonic pairing for a tour but if you saw one of the gigs you would think differently. Both our bands play with an incredible amount of heart and passion that comes through in our live shows. In that way I think it was a great pairing for a tour.
Do you write your songs from personal experience or did you make more broad statements?
I definitely write from experiences. I like to tell a story with my songs. It can be my own story or someone else’s as long as it means something to me. I’ve written a lot of our songs about the ins and outs of trying to be in a relationship in your early 20’s. I’ve pulled from my own experiences and also those of close friends of mine. I use music as a way to get things off my chest that I feel the need to put out in the open. It’s kind of my own little source of personal therapy. I find it quite effective. I grew up in a strict religious environment where “secular” music was looked down upon and disallowed in the house. When I started writing my own music it became my escape, a way for me to say how I felt without as much of the backlash. I think I’ve continued on into adulthood with that same outlook and writing style.
How do you think the Seattle area has influenced you? Is it still as vital and vibrant as it was in the 90’s do you think?
It has definitely influenced me. I’ve always liked my music nice and loud, even as a kid. Growing up in Seattle during the 90’s we were surrounded by Seattle music. You couldn’t really turn on a rock station without hearing Seattle bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden on constant rotation. I used to hide a little FM radio under my pillow and listen to the local rock station until the early hours of the morning. My teachers always wondered why I was so exhausted at school the next day. Those bands definitely initiated my love for music. In my high school years (early 00’s), There was a great hardcore scene in the city. Bands like Blood Brothers, Harkonen, Botch used to play all ages shows on a monthly basis. I would try and go to every one. I think our music is a blend of all this music we grew up on and the classic blues, soul, and country we have come to love. We still definitely have a louder is better attitude though.
Music in Seattle will always be a vital part of the city and everyday life. I would say the heavier scene in the city has lacked focus for a while but things are now changing. A couple record labels are coming up and really creating a community of heavier bands in the city that there has not been in a while. It might not be quite where it was in the early 90’s but its heading in the right direction again. Either way it is a fantastic town for music.
Many of the reviews and articles I have read about you reference Jack White. How do you feel about that comparison? Has his work informed your sound do you think?
I have always been a big fan of Jack White’s work. I think a lot of the comparisons come from the fact that we are a two piece band with blues influences in our music. I don’t think his work has specifically had any influence on our sound, although I have always loved that in his live shows he’s never been afraid to let loose and lose himself in the music. To me that’s what it’s all about. I would say if there were any similarities that would be the biggest.
What records were you listening to at the time of writing or tracking the album?
There was a lot of Stones, Dylan, and Junior Kimbrough in my playlist around that time. Also was listening to Seattle bands Helms Alee and Murder City Devils a bunch.
Everything on your album was recorded to tape, with no effects or digital enhancing. Is it essential to you that it sounds real and raw and matches your live performances?
Yes, that was definitely the idea we had in deciding to do our record that way. We wanted our live show to transfer over to our record in the most organic and warm way possible.
Because you have chosen not to use the likes of pro tools, did you put in a lot of practice before recording? Was in nerve-wracking every-time the record buttons was pressed? (Did it take many takes)
It actually wasn’t all that bad at all. We did the whole record in a week. The only part that really took a lot of concentration was watching our tempo; making sure we stayed in the pocket without speeding up or slowing down too much.
Before you formed My Goodness you were both in other bands. What sounds were you making with them, and why didn’t they fulfill you enough?
I’m actually still playing in a band called Absolute Monarchs when I’m back home. It’s a far heavier band and is still a blast to play in. The difference is it’s far more structured and rigid than My Goodness. With My Goodness I feel like I can go in whatever direction I want with a song. I can fully express myself musically which is a very liberating feeling.
What would you/do you do when you are not playing music. Are you working other jobs simultaneously like many other bands are?
Ethan stays at a friend’s house when he is home. I’m still trying to keep an apartment in the city so I bartend a few days a week at a venue in town called Neumos.
The story goes that you closed a bar one night in early 2010 and went for a jam in a nearby practice space. What the musical chemistry instant? Was the sound you made together that night indicative of what My Goodness would end up producing?
It was. I think we ended up structuring the majority of “C’mon Doll” and “In the Sun” in that first session. I had already had a few basic ideas for songs formulated on acoustic at home prior to that night. When I started working through them with Ethan it came together pretty seamlessly.
When was it clear that this was the formula that would allow you to tour other areas of the world?
Honestly not until recently. We made some unfortunate decisions on who we decided to work with when we first started out. For a while I felt like because of that we weren’t going to ever get out of Seattle. Just in the last few months we were able to free ourselves of that situation. It’s been a breath of fresh air. Things have been moving fast and in the right direction since.
Can you tell our readers a bit about your debut single C’mon Doll. Where was it written, what spurred the lyrics, what do you want it to give to the listeners?
I wrote the majority of C’mon Doll at home on an acoustic guitar. I was having a lot of repeating disagreements with the girl I was in a relationship with at the time and it was starting to feel really redundant. Like the same shit over and over. The song is basically me saying “Hey! Let’s stop acting like idiots and let bygones be bygones – forget it and work shit out” It’s really just me trying to put things in perspective. A lot of times people let small issues become way bigger problems. Most of the time it’s completely unnecessary and caused by pure emotion and not a lot of thinking. I’m as guilty as the next person of doing this.
Are you constantly writing or do you wait to do it intensively? Have you already begun thinking about the next album?
I am always writing, although sometimes the creative juices are flowing a little more than at other times. Recently it has been going great. We have the majority of a second record already written and are quite excited about it. We’ve been playing a few of the new songs out at shows and they seem to be going over well.
I heard that Dave Grohl did the last Foo Fighters record to tape. I’d be pretty intrigued by that collabo.
Recently played on your ipod?
Jim Ford, “Long Road Ahead”
Stage you’d most like to play?
A packed house in the back bar of the Bon Temp Roulette, New Orleans. You can only cram about 150 people back there if you’re lucky. It’s my happy place and I recently had a dream about it. I think we can make it happen at some point.
Staying in bed all day.
Aims for 2012?
-Keep on having fun playing music. Album is coming out in the UK by the end of the year so we will definitely be heading back over there to tour. We can’t wait!
Watch the making of the C’Mon Doll video here and download the single for FREE from this soundcloud link. You can find them on Facebook here.
It may be November still but the Download Festival are already pleasing rock fans by announcing two heavyweights will headline the festival in 2012. Metallica have been conformed they will headline on Saturday and play the ‘Black’ album. Let’s hope they leave Lou Reed at home as he is no match for the mighty Black Sabbath whose original line up of Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward will grace the 10th anniversary of the festival!
Download 2012 will take place on the weekend of 8-10th June 2012 at Donington Park. Get your tickets sorted now to avoid missing this one.