[INTERVIEW] Goodman

We’re not really sure why everyone’s talking about Goodman’s baby face, but we’re here to fan girl over his mature, musical talent.

Goodman is the man, the band, and soon to be the legend that is Michael Goodman. The New York City native is bringing his Brit-esque pop ballads to the big apple, and we couldn’t be more proud of local music. With perfect pop sensibility and a vintage flare, Goodman’s tunes are smart at their very core, and infectious at the very least.

Even though it’s not cereal, we’re loving this picture of Michael eating breakfast (photo credit to Dan Bracaglia).

With four singles released over the past several months, Goodman has paved himself a path straight into our hearts. Including the intensely addicting “Hiccup,” and the latest, best anthem for the new year “Hourglass,” it’s plain to see how undeniable this young, raw talent is.

Goodman‘s third LP, ‘The Vicissitudes,‘ is out February 3rd via Invertebrate Music (pre-order available now). Help celebrate the the music on February 8th in Brooklyn at The Knitting Factory for his LP Release show with a stacked lineup featuring The Shacks, Color Tongue, and The Misters.

Michael was, well, good enough to talk to Cereal+Sounds, and for that, we’re really hoping he gets that vacation he needs.

With singles ‘Hiccup’ and ‘Strangehold’ already released, and receiving the praise it deserves, how do you think, or hope, your upcoming album will be perceived?

MG: I hope people are into it, obviously. I have zero control over what the perception will be, so all I can really offer is that I think it’s an honest album and I’m really proud of it.

For listeners familiar with your previous work, are there any differences, subtle or obvious, that you’d like them to anticipate or look out for in your new music?

MG: This album is tonally and texturally distinct from the previous albums. For starters, we initially went in with the idea of recording the entire record in mono (although the album is mixed in stereo.) Also, we recorded all of the live tracks without any metronome in order to capture the natural subtleties of tempo change. However, Zac Coe is such a great drummer that one could hardly tell.

Have you run into any unforeseen hiccups (pun intended) creating ‘The Vicissitudes’?

MG: Actually, this album was perhaps the easiest to make for us. We broke ground on it in January 2015, and it’d been almost a year and a half since I’d last recorded a full-length (my second album, ‘Isn’t It Sad’.) I record with my friend-for-life Oliver Ignatius at his studio/musical collective Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen, and after the original studio flooded, Oliver moved to a new location and built a new studio from scratch. He was hungry to record, I was hungry to record. I had a vision for these songs and this album, and as soon as the studio was finished, I got in there. I have a habit of perfectionism when recording, and this time around, everything felt looser and effortless.

 

“Making it” in New York used to be the goal of all goals for musicians. Being a native New Yorker, do you think working with and being accepted by the music community here weighs heavier than in other parts of the country, or even the world?

MG: That’s an interesting question, and I certainly don’t want to be presumptuous about which geographic scene reigns supreme, given that I haven’t logged enough hours in another place to answer that question with any authority. Also, I think that “acceptance” in NYC, like anywhere else, is pretty much a function of getting your name out there a lot, playing lots of shows, etc. Certainly NYC is still a major artistic hub, given that there’s so much here, but I also think the internet has irrevocably changed the landscape of artistic exposure. Also, there are so many bands around that the notion of any one community is far more diffuse; it doesn’t feel like anyone’s running any particular gauntlet. And if there is a gauntlet, I’d like to stay blithely unaware of it. Music, like any other art form, is a process of attrition, so the only recourse is to stay at it and keep one’s nose to the grindstone.

Do you think being in New York has had a large influence over the music you create and how you’ve created it? Do you see yourself branching out geographically solely for a musical flux?

MG: I think kids growing up in New York City have a particular reverence for local musical history, but our proximity to it is (figuratively and literally) more immediate. For instance, my guitar teacher in high school was Richard Lloyd from Television, and he used to give lessons in this building where the Strokes had their practice space. I was obviously doe-eyed then, but the mythology of NYC music was right there, you know? In terms of the music I create, I don’t really have conscious influences, as I’ve been writing stuff all my life, but I think growing up in NYC definitely fostered in me an intellectual curiosity and appreciation of esoterica from a young age. I started record digging really early and listening to WFMU (Jersey City, but y’know, Tri-State is Tri-State.)

As for branching out, I don’t know. I’m overdue for a vacation, though, I can say that much.

 

Are there any local NYC musicians/bands that have really inspired, supported, and/or guided you?

MG: I mean, Oliver Ignatius has been my buddy since we were in middle school and I’ve recorded basically all of my output at Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen with him at the production helm. So obviously he’s my #1. He’s built an extended family of likeminded yet artistically diverse musicians in Mama Coco’s and we all support each other. It’s pretty rad.

We’re obsessed with your ‘Gullah Gullah Island’ theme song cover (that we really wish we had for our FRY YR BRN compilation). If you could do another cover of your current favorite track, and pair it with your favorite cereal, what would it be?

MG: Thanks! I actually first covered it when I was 15, but I lost that recording, so I decided to re-do it on a whim. In terms of covers, I’ve always wanted to do one of Carly Simon’s “Let The River Run”, and let’s go with Puffins.