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MUSIC: A Conversation with Blues-Rock Band My Goodness

Monday, March 03, 2014


Andy Lum (left) and Joel Schneider (right) of My Goodness. Photo: Hayley Young

How many times have you showed up late for a concert because you didn’t care about the opening band? Opening acts can be underwhelming at times, but there are exceptions to the rule. That being said, you’d be sorely mistaken if you decide to pass up the opener at the Fete Lounge in Providence. This Thursday, Seattle-based duo My Goodness, which consists of Joel Schneider (guitar/vocals) and Andy Lum (drums), will bring their unique brand of gritty blues-rock to Fete Lounge as they make their Rhode Island debut.

With this in mind, GoLocal spoke to Schneider about the group’s forthcoming album, the band’s unique sound, and what it’s like playing the East Coast for the first time.

A Conversation with Joel Schneider of My Goodness

How does your upcoming album Shiver + Shake compare to your debut album?

With the new record we were able to take a little more time to try new things, add bass and organ, etc. On the first ST record we only had a few days to track. We did do both records with a very similar approach though. Both were tracked in a very live way. Most guitar, bass, drums, and some vocals were tracked all together. That being said, I will say that I think the new record is a better representation of our sound...it's a little more polished sounding and has a clarity that the first record lacked a little.

How has the band grown during that time?

Adding Andy into the band has made a huge difference. His solid meter and ability to be very technical but still groove on drums has opened up a lot of avenues in the song writing process. I'm able to leave more space in a song because I know that he will be able to help me fill it. Before I had the tendency to cram too many ideas into a song. I feel like the new record is easier to listen to because I'm able to simplify things a bit, while still keeping a song dynamic sounding.

Having grown up in Seattle, how did the grunge movement of the '90s influence your sound?

It was definitely is what we listened to the most growing up. It was constantly on the radio and eventually carried us into a pretty thriving Seattle hardcore scene in our high school years. It really left us with a propensity to play heavier music. Although we've branched into different genres since we still have that as one of our main influences in how we write and play. I think that energy translates into a lot of what we do.

I’ve read comparisons between My Goodness and other rock duos like The Black Keys and White Stripes – what do you think of these comparisons? Are they accurate at all?

We are big fans of both bands and I understand how when people listen to our first record they might make those comparisons. That being said, I think we were able to develop our own sound with Shiver + Shake. Although we are super flattered by those comparisons, I don't think we will get as many with the new record.

I hear elements of rock, blues and punk in your sound, where do you draw your inspiration?

From all those genres. We have a background in heavier music but love our blues, soul, and Americana. We listen to a ton of Daptone artists as well as classic blues artists such as Junior Kimbrough, Snooks Eaglin, and Son House. I think our music is a mash up of a lot of the music we listen to on a daily basis.

You’ve added a bassist for you current tour, is this just for live performances or will you be incorporating this into the future studio sessions?

We have added bass for both live performances and studio sessions. We added bass and some keys to almost every song on Shiver + Shake. I think it has made the band quite a bit more dynamic. We are strongly considering permanently adding bass.

Have you ever played New England before?

This will be our first time there! We’re very much looking forward to it. Almost everything after San Diego on this tour is a new city for us. It's been pretty rewarding so far playing for so many people who have never heard our music.

Aside from a one off New York showcase a couple years back, we have never been to the East Coast. Our Feb. 26 show in Washington, D.C. was actually our first New England show.

Although your sound can be described as bluesy garage rock, you have done acoustic songs like “Lost in the Soul." Does your new album contain any songs similar to this one? Is this type of sound something you intend to revisit?

Yes it does. We have a new slow song called "Bottle" on Shiver + Shake. We also added bass and strings to "Lost in the Soul" and will be re-releasing the new version. I write quite a bit of these slower tunes. I usually put then together on acoustic at home and record them. Every now and then I feel like one will be a good fit for My Goodness.

When can fans expect to hear your new album?

Right now the date is set for June 24th via Votiv Music. We are looking forward to getting it out there!

Check out My Goodness when they open for indie rock group the Augustines on Thursday, March 6 at the Fête Lounge. For ticket information, click here.


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