My Goodness Prepares for Their "First Real New York Show"
My Goodness is yet another slice of hard rock, ahem, goodness to come out of the Pacific Northwest. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, and the duo--comprised of Joel Schneider (guitar/vocals) and Andy Lum (drums)--are awash in soulful rock vibes, especially on their new album Shiver and Shake, due out this June.
Courtesy of Secret Service Publicity My Goodness
Halfway through their first national tour, a 30-date stint as openers for Augustines, Joel took some time out while they were in Virginia to talk about their origins, the new music, and what New York audiences can expect from their "first real New York show."
My Goodness opens for Augustines at Bowery Ballroom tonight, 3/3, at 9:00 p.m.
Tell me about growing up in Seattle. Did you and Andy grow up in the midst of the grunge explosion at that time?
We were in elementary school. We were young when that was happening [laughs]. It definitely shaped the music we got into later on, like in high school. We just kind of had a propensity to listen to heavier music, I think. And there was a pretty thriving hardcore scene in Seattle while we were in high school. We would go see bands like Blood Brothers and These Arms Are Snakes. We definitely have a background in heavier music for sure because of the grunge scene.
What was your involvement in the hardcore scene while you were in high school? Is that when you started performing or did you just attend shows back then?
[Andy and I] were both in punk bands in high school, but we mostly just went to shows. Constantly. It's kind of funny now because we're playing with our friend Cody who plays bass for us now. He was the guitarist in the Blood Brothers. He's been on tour with us, so it's been pretty cool to have him on board. We used to see his band all the time when we were in high school. Mostly though we were going to the shows then. We were in pop punk bands [laughs] and competing in Battle of the Bands. That's actually how me and Andy met. We were around 15 or 16 years old and we were in pop punk bands and played at the Battle of the Bands in high school. We were both at separate high schools and in separate bands, so that's how we originally found out about each other. We actually didn't talk for three years afterwards, but we knew about each other through that experience while we were in high school.
How did the two of you reconnect three years later to form My Goodness and move away from the pop punk scene?
I think when I was around 21, I walked into a bar and heard Muddy Waters and was like "what is this?" It was great, so I started listening to more blues and soul and stuff like that when I was in my early 20s. I was learning to write music and started experimenting with things on guitar. It wasn't until a couple years later I started writing a lot more songs on guitar and brought them into a practice session with a guy I worked with named Ethan. I hadn't ever play the electric guitar before but picked up during the practice and said "woah this sounds pretty good!"
I worked at a venue named Neumos, it's like a 600, 700-person room, and we were having an employee band night. We had about three or four songs and a two-piece band we decided to put together for our band night and the reaction was beyond what we had gotten when we were in other bands. The reason why our working title for that show was "My Goodness" was that it was our goodness, our selves, literally were planning on playing that show. We decided to take that working title and go ahead.
So that's how the band started and within that year we signed to a little local label and put out a record. We were buying the record back from the label months after it came out so now we have tons of vinyl laying around [laughs]. But yeah, that's how things started and things didn't work out with Ethan pretty quickly, and that's when I hit up Andy. We actually connected at SXSW that year, 2012. We reconnected and talked about it, and then we ended up playing a music festival in Portland a few months later. We decided to record a record last year, and it's all done now. We just have to master it and put it out in June.