Seattle, Washing three-piece My Goodness, featuring Cody Votolato on Bass, recently dropped a record titled Shiver + Shake. Now available on Votiv Music, I caught up with Andy Lum via email to talk about the new release, their upcoming plans for the remainder of 2014, and a fun lineup they’d like to be a part of in the future. Onward!
G- Hi and thank you very much for taking the time to speak with Live High Five today! How has everything been going with My Goodness lately?
A- We’re feeling pretty good these days. Summer in Seattle is the best and we’ve been writing a lot of new material and working on some acoustic versions of songs from Shiver + Shake. We’re looking forward to getting on the road later this year.
G- You recently released your latest album, Shiver + Shake, on Votiv Records. How do you feel about the final product, and what is it like working with Votiv Records? How did the partnership with the label come about?
A- Recording Shiver + Shake was a long and rewarding process and we couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out. This was the most time Joel and I have ever got to spend on a record so it was great to have the ability to try different things and make decisions along the way. Growing up in our first bands, home recording technology was pretty lo-fi and most of us didn’t have any connections to more professional producers. Working at London Bridge with Rick Parashar taught us a lot about how to get the sounds you want and how to structure, restructure, and add layers to our songs. I think this is what makes this record stand apart from the sound of the self-titled full length that came out in 2011. One of the things we’ve heard people notice is the balance between raw and refined when it comes to the sound of the album, I think we’re really proud of that because it was something we talked about from the beginning of the album process.
G- Can you tell us about the recording process for the album? Where did you record it, who was behind the boards this time around, and how long did the release take to record and get ready for release?
A- We spent about a year on Shiver + Shake with Rick Parashar (RIP Rick) at a couple different studios. We recorded almost everything at London Bridge in Shoreline, mixed at Synergy Studios in Greenwood, and mastered with Howie Weinberg at his place in Los Angeles. The important thing for us to remember was not to rush the process. When you spend a year on a record you grow a lot as a musician as you’re recording it, meaning there were moments when we came back to listen to the songs with fresh ears and the ideas started flowing again. It was cool to work with a couple producers who were willing to try our ideas out and discuss whether they served the song or not. We actually came back to record two new songs that begin the record because they became works in progress during the recording process and we felt they had to be on there.
G- So what are your plans for the remainder of 2014? Any tours or interesting tidbits you can share with us?
A- We are coming down the West coast to play a couple small shows in Portland and San Francisco. We love playing those cities. We actually had our Portland show with Augustines earlier this year canceled due to snow, so we’ve really been looking forward to getting back there and playing some new songs. Spring 2015 should be very busy for us and we’ll be announcing tour dates for that timeframe soon.
G- 4 albums every fan of you should know about and why. Go!
Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger
The Blood Brothers – Burn Piano Island, Burn
The Beatles – Revolver
Queens of the Stone Age – S/T
G- Do you have a favorite song you have ever written? If you could only give 1 song to someone who’d never heard of you before, to try and make a new fan, what song would you give them and why?
A- My favorite song is probably either Pay No Mind or Hot Sweat. Those were songs Joel and I worked on a lot together and represent our sound very honestly. Pay No Mind has this awesome intro Joel worked in that borrows lyrics from a Blind Willie Johnson song “Soul of a Man”. It pretty much represents how we pump our blues influences into our louder/heavier sound.
G- Are there any bands or artists that you hope to share a bill with in the future? Give us your dream lineup to be a part of if you could pick 3 bands to share a stage with.
Queens of the Stone Age would definitely be an experience. I know we would love to share the stage one day with an older act with Seattle roots like Soundgarden. We love what’s going on in “rock” right now too, Portugal. the Man, Death from Above 1979, METZ, Foals.
G- What is the craziest or most memorable show that you have played to date? Where was it and what was it like?
A- At SXSW last year, we played a dive bar in the middle of the older part of Austin, TX. People were up on stage while we were playing, spilling drinks, dancing, getting wasted, etc. One guy had an embroidered jacket that said “Professional Drunk Drivers of Texas” on the back. It was a pretty unique experience and one of the most punk rock shows we’ve ever played.
G- What is the most important thing to consider when thinking about being in a band and relating to your fellow band members?
A- The most important thing is listening. Sounds cheesy but there’s really no other way to explain it. When you play music with the same group of people every night, you become closer as friends so I think mutual respect is just a given. Bands that listen to each other while rehearsing, writing and playing live are going to be able to grow and stick around for a long time. I’ve played in groups before where each person was lost in his or her own musical bubble on and off stage. What I like about being in My Goodness is that we feed off each other’s ideas and energy without explicitly speaking or even making eye contact while playing.
G- Lastly, what advice can you give some of the young, up and coming bands everywhere who want to make it in music, on the road, and as a professional musician?
A- Educate yourself about the instrument(s) you play, doesn’t matter if it’s a guitar or a computer. Dedicate yourself to the songs you want to write and make careful choices all the time. Choose who records your music carefully, who speaks on your behalf, manages your day to day, and always make sure you’re sharing things that represent your vision. Lastly, especially for bands just starting out – keep everything (stage setup, equipment, etc.) as simple as humanly possible.