THE GOOD IN EVERYONE
May 14, 2015
We sat down with Nick, singer and guitar player with The Good In Everyone, to talk about their tour with Alea Rae, new releases, and supporting the arts.
1. Disco: The Secretaries Blues - Beulah
2. My Love's Reflection - Yo La Tengo
3. Motor Away - Guided By Voices
4. Stay In The Summer - Weed
5. Flies - Alea Rae
6. He's In Stock - Twerps
7. Grounded - Pavement
8. Chest Fever - The Band
9. Civilian - Wye Oak
10. Mieke - Flake Music
G: How did you get started and how did the band come together?
N: I grew up playing the piano, but when I was around 13 I decided to say screw classical piano - I want to play bass in a crappy pop punk band. I did that for several years, until, like all bassists, discovered I hate playing the bass and wanted to play guitar instead. So, I taught myself that around 17 or 18. I’ve sung my whole life.
This particular project is born of another project called Mercy Years, which we were all in. That project branched off into a couple projects, and The Good In Everyone has five members with four full-time and our fifth rotating.
G: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard you?
N: It’s interesting because I think we sound very different recorded versus live. Recorded, we sound like very straight Canadian indie-pop-rock. Live, we’re a lot louder. There are a lot of more obvious Yo La Tango and Broken Social Scene influences live, especially because of the lead guitar parts. It’s not as nice live, it’s a lot more pounding and melodic.
G: You have an EP (S/T) up online, is there something new in the works?
N: We recorded that a couple years ago, and released it last year. We’ve got five new songs we’ve been working on since then. They’re quite different, but it sounds like the same band. We’ll be recording in the fall, so a new release should be on it’s way.
G: What is the creative process you take in recording? Do you all write together, or work separately?
N: We sort of write the songs together. What usually happens is that I’ll write the shell of the song, some words and a basic melody, and then it gets warped in a million different ways by everyone else, which I like. I don’t think in a band you should micromanage what people are playing too much, because then you lose what people have to contribute as a musician.
G: Lets talk about the tour.
N: Yes, we are co-headlining with Alea Rae. We’re really excited to just be in the car. We are all really good friends, and love to hangout. Once you get in that tour van, you just have fun. I can’t wait to play Montreal, since I’ve never played there, and our shows in Alberta will be great - we’ll be playing with some people we know really well. All the cities and venues are great, really.
G: Do you have any essentials you’re bringing on tour?
N: Honestly, on this tour we are bringing as little as possible. We’re renting two mini vans and won’t have much space. In one of my guitar cases, though, there is this little Red Power Ranger toy I bring around, it has come everywhere with me since I was a kid. I don’t do it intentionally, it usually just turns up. But, I guess, ultimately the goal is to bring as little as possible, and to drink as much crappy coffee in strange places as we can.
G: Our website really focuses on the Canadian music culture. Do you feel as a musician that you are well supported in this country?
N: I think there are different kinds of support. One kind would be support from the local scene (people we know, publications, etc.), and those people are incredibly supportive and put a lot of effort into everything. Then when it comes to monetary support, and you are writing grants, it can be harder to find an audience that suits the people that will help you financially. It’s a bit difficult in Vancouver because there is so much music here. You really need to have a big audience here, and it’s definitely hard to gain. That being said, I can’t complain from the support we’ve gotten from people who sometimes don’t even have anything to gain from supporting us. I’m definitely thankful for that.
G: Is getting more support for the arts something we can support on an individual level, or does it need to be more of a cultural shift?
N: I think it’s a cultural thing. I think that the cultural thing ends up hurting the music scene. For example, in Vancouver we keep the music scenes very separated by genre. Yet, when you get to the top of each scene there is this incredible band. We just don’t see the genres blending and putting on more diverse shows. If you go further east, you’ll find groups playing together that play such discrepant types of music, and it’s so interesting.
G: Do you think that the Canadian underground music scene is recognized internationally?
N: I think that the Canadian underground scene has been riding the coattails of Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene for the last decade, and it can make it hard for other genres of music to get the recognition because people want to hear that indie-rock style.
G: So, do you think there should be more recognition for musical diversity?
N: Yes, and I think that the problem is that we reward people for playing only a certain style of music, and that doesn’t help other brilliant musicians really express themselves. We’re all very competitive, but maybe if we focused less on what we can get out of music, and instead invest on what we can put into it, it’ll really grow. We could create something completely new.
G: At the audience level, have you experienced any really outstanding support or touching experiences?
N: We get a lot of really diverse groups coming out to our shows, and giving us awesome feedback. Part of the reason we are going on tour with Alea Rae is because they have been so incredibly supportive. I have no complaints about the music fans here, they’re very supportive. Any time I have ever sat down and talked to a musician in Vancouver it has been incredibly enlightening.
G: Do you have a favourite joke or story to tell on-stage?
N: I usually try to tell the story of a song name. We tried jokes, they didn’t go over super well (A chemist sits down at a bar and asks for an H2O. A guy sits down next to him and asks for an H2O2, he dies.).
We have a song whose working title is Accidental Shotgun, and right as we went to play it one time our drummer mentioned he had never shotguned a beer before. As we were playing the song, we played loud enough that a beer-can fell off an amplifier from across the room and sprung a leak on the ground. So while we kept playing, our drummer gets up and shotguns the beer.
G: Do you have any favourite spots in Vancouver?
N: I love Neptoon and Red Cat Records. I always go to both. I love Main Street for nice cafes. My favourite is Matchstick. But, when I’m on tour I revert to plain oatmeal for meals, and sad stir-fries for dinner.
G: So here’s a good question - How do you do that? How do you live this lifestyle?
N: Honestly, I just want it really badly. When you want something that badly, you learn to deal with poor living situations. Tours are sometimes people bonding in shared misery, but at the same time it’s amazing and you’re having fun. You just have to forget about being in a car that stinks for eight-hours a day.
G: Do you want to give some shout-outs to local bands?
N: Shout-out to Alea Rae, Adam and the band he’s in called Altona, and Hollow Twin (thanks for shouting us out in your interview!). I’ll keep the shout-outs at a small number so they’re more meaningful!