Interview: Sonic Detour
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Goose: It started very young for me. I have vague memories of my grandfather leaving old gospel and bluegrass shows on T.V. to keep me entertained whenever he left the room or the house. I remember songs being stuck in my head when I wasn't watching, and I was fascinated by that. My grandfather on the other side was a very good guitar player, in a bluegrass style, and taught me how to play guitar. As soon as I knew I liked songs, I knew I wanted to write some of my own.
If I weren't into music I'm sure I would be into some other form of artistic expression. I write a lot. But if I had never gotten into music I probably would have spent the same amount of time trying to get better at some other artform, maybe painting. If I were smarter, I'd put that same effort into learning to be a plumber.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Goose: I write a lot. I like to read, although I haven't had as much time for that as I would like. Sometimes I read to challenge myself and other times I read for fun. I think I write music and lyrics in pretty much the same way.
How long has your band been around?
Goose: Sonic Detour was around for almost a year before I came on board, although I think of that more like their gestation period.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Goose: We all live in Saint John, currently, although most of us have spent some time living in other cities. We're doing what we can to create a unique sound, both locally and in the bigger picture. It's inevitable that people compare you to other bands, but that never sits well with me. Even if I like the bands we're being compared to. I would much rather create a sound that people can't quite place, even if some of its elements are familiar.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Goose: To me, the shows I remember most are the ones that didn't go quite right, but we held it together. We played a show in Fredericton a few weeks ago for what might have been nine people, but we played it as if we were playing to a full house. I'm proud of that. It would have been very easy to phone it in that night, or hide behind our instruments, but we went all out. And I think that proves more about who we are as a band than having a good show in front of a big audience who's excited to see us. Putting on a show on nights like that is easy. Putting on a show for nine people is hard.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Goose: I really enjoyed the night we played for just a handful of people at Broken Record Bar & Music Room in Fredericton. I like venues that go out of their way to support artists, and I think artists should go out of their way to support those venues.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Goose: I would love to play with Viagra Boys and Idles.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Goose: Be fearless, especially when it comes to what other people think about you.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Goose: Beware the woods.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Goose: Breathe Out, of our debut EP, means the most to me out of the stuff we have already recorded. It's an intensely personal song about a subject I don't like to talk about openly, and I don't think I'm capable of expressing the feelings I have on that subject any better. I like leaving it open to interpretation though, and I hope there are people out there who think the song is about something entirely different, but also that it means something to them.
With that said, we are currently working on new material, and I think there will be several songs that mean a lot to me. We have been playing two of them live for a few months, and I think they are, as of now, the best songs we have.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Goose: Our song Numb Tongue has never failed to get a big reaction live. You can see the energy in the audience when we play it.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Goose: Typically I try to stay out of the music writing process. There are times, and maybe too many of them, when I have a very good idea where I want a song to go vocally, so I will push the band to take it there musically. But if I don't know exactly what I want to do with the vocal melody, I will try to stay out of the way. The band will work out the music, and then I will chime in a little more on the structure side of things. Then I will start toying with vocal melodies. The band has listened to me sing gibberish for months at a time. Lyrics usually come last. The music will give me a mood, and I'll use that mood to write lyrics.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Goose: I just want to make people feel something. Sometimes not even a positive thing. To me, music is like any other form of art. You watch a comedy to laugh, you watch a horror movie to be scared. A great painting can make you sad. You listen to songs to find those same feelings, and I think the more intense those feelings are, regardless what they actually are, the better the song.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Goose: We disagree on pretty much everything. I once said we would never do a political song because I'm pretty sure it would be the end of the band.
We get past disagreements by writing good music together.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Goose: We've felt like we've been on a leash for two years during the pandemic. Now we can play live, and that's our live show is our biggest strength. So you should probably come see us.
Also, new music. And lots of it.