The Joel Schneider Interview
The Seattle duo My Goodness , Joel Schneider and percussionist Andy Lum, make their first appearance in Nashville at The High Watt on February 23rd with Augustines in tow and a bass player!
My Goodness recently recorded a cover of Seattle’s early garage rock pioneers, The Sonics, “In The Sun” while on a tour stop in San Diego and had the event pressed to vinyl in time for fans during this cross country jaunt that brings the band through Texas before ending up in Tennessee.
While the band had been to SXSW in the past, they never made it to Nashville until now. Joel Schneider took a few minutes with The Nashville Bridge to talk about the bands roots in Seattle and the opportunity to spend some time here in Nashville.
Brad Hardisty / The Nashville Bridge: Is this the first time in Nashville?
Joel Schneider / My Goodness: It will be. Yeah.
TNB: You will like the High Watt.
JS: Nashville is actually one of the places I am looking forward to be playing at on this tour. When we looked at a map the first time, I said I really want to play Nashville and then also I would like to go to Montreal. Those are the two places I can’t wait to play.
TNB: If I’m right, you have about 25 dates scheduled this tour?
JS: We had 30, but now we have 29 because we had to cancel Salt Lake City.
TNB: Cancelled! That sucks because even Salt Lake City is starting to have a little bit of a scene.
TNB: The thing that interested me when I was hearing your music is that it was not like what some of the other two man bands are doing, I mean I hear a little bit of Jeff Buckley, a little bit of Blue Cheer. Can you kind of define what you are after?
JS: Something came up about Jeff Buckley before. I actually write the majority of songs on acoustic guitar at home. They kind of start off as more mellow tunes usually and then once I take them into practice and, you know, this whole band setting definitely changes things. We get a lot more heavy. We add parts and what not. I started playing back in high school. Andy [Lum] and I were really big into the all ages hard core scene, so we kind of have a background in pretty heavy music. A little later on, I got into a lot of soul and blues music and stuff like that. A lot of my writing is kind of a mash-up of the two and whenever I start writing at home it’s a different technique, but with the band it starts to get pretty heavy.
TNB: Are you out of the Seattle Hard Core scene or did you start somewhere before that?
JS: We started in Seattle. I started when I was a teenager and that was what the particular scene was at the time. We are definitely out of Seattle. We have played together for a couple years now.
TNB: What’s it like in Seattle now?
JS: It’s pretty eclectic. There are a lot of different little communities there. You can be between scenes which is what I like. You can be in a folk band and can still be friends with a heavy band. You can still support each other, which is really cool. There have been a lot of scenes that have come out of the city, but there has also been kind of a heavy scene that is starting to come up and there is a record label which just started up a year or so ago. They are really giving an outlet for heavier bands that have been around for a while to get the recognition that they are getting now, which is really cool, but, there is definitely a variety music in Seattle.
TNB: We kind of have our own collection of two man bands here, like Jack White moved here a few years ago and The Black Keys followed a couple of years ago and we have had Jeff The Brotherhood around for I think probably 6 or 8 years.
TNB: Do you know any of those guys?
JS: No. As bands for sure, but, I have never met any of them. We already have met a lot of people on this tour. Our good friend Cody [Votolato] is playing bass with us. He is gone for a few dates so we are playing as a two piece for a few dates and then he will meet up with us. He will be with us in Nashville. I think the addition of bass playing has added a lot to what we do.
TNB: Does Cody normally play in another band?
JS: He was playing in a band called The Blood Brothers for a long time. They are out of Seattle. He has been on tour with a couple of other bands, Telekinesis and Old Cave. He is just a really accomplished musician and he helps out a lot. He was our first choice and we are just lucky that he said yes.
TNB: What do you find is the biggest challenge of doing a cross country club gig tour as opposed to a regional tour?
JS: Just being away from home, bro! It’s definitely the longest I have been away. It will be almost two months since I have been home and we have girls back home so, just keepin’ that going, it gets a little tough but we are making it work. I am having a good time trying to keep it light, you know?
TNB: Are you doing any in-stores while you are here?
JS: In Nashville, I am not a 100% sure, I’ll have to look. I can always check on that for you.
TNB: I saw you pressed a vinyl seven inch about the time you hit L.A.?
JS: We came down and played a few dates last winter and there was a studio [Lost Ark Studio]in San Diego that invited us in to do a song for their singles compilation. We decided to do a Sonics cover and they decided they wanted to press us 500 copies of the song and they had us do a second song too. We just picked up the vinyl copies two days ago. It was really, really nice of them. They didn’t charge us or anything. They sound great.
TNB: Hopefully you will still have some of them when you get to Nashville.
JS: They gave us a lot more than I expected them to give us so we should have some of them for sure.
TNB: Are you doing this around the same time as SXSW or are you going to come back?
JS: We played SXSW the last couple of years, but we are going to be in Austin a week or two before so we are going to miss it. We just signed to Votiv Records. If there is not a reason for us to go, I’d rather not. It’s pretty chaotic, you know, down there. We went for a couple of years and it’s always a good time. It always feels a little stressful.
TNB: What are you looking forward to the most when you come out here?
JS: I think we have a day off after the day we play, so I just want to walk around Nashville a little bit. I hear the music scene around Nashville is amazing. I want to check out a couple of clubs and listen to a little music.
TNB: There is definitely a lot of clubs here now. One of the most interesting things is over at Third Man Records they have an antique restored make your own record booth. And it’s from the 1940’s and Jack White restored it. It sounds like a 78 when you record on it. It looks like a telephone booth.
JS: Oh wow.
TNB: Neil Young just got threw recording an entire album in there. You can walk in there and for $15 you can press straight to vinyl in the booth. If you have an acoustic guitar or something you might want to try that while you are here.
JS: That would be awesome. It sounds really cool.
TNB: I hope you have a good time and looking forward to the show.
JS: Thank you.
- Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN thenashvillebridgeathotmaildotcom