EXCLUSIVE – GOOD FRIEND INTERVIEW
Newcastle based, Irish born trio Good Friend are set the release their debut album on US punk label Red Scare Industries on the 25th November. RUSHONROCK writer Adam Keys caught up with singer/bassist Adam Carroll ahead of the launch.
RUSHONROCK: Firstly, you have labelled yourself as ‘lion hearted rock and roll.’ What is lion hearted rock and roll?
ADAM CARROLL: When we first stepped into the rehearsal room and stood there with our instruments strapped around us we discussed what ‘sound’ we wanted to go for. Usually when you are in a band you will throw other bands’ names forward or parts of certain songs that you think sound progressive that you would like to replicate in some form. With Good Friend that wasn’t the case. We just wanted to play and play anything. We didn’t want to be pigeon-holed or have to live by the rules of a genre – we wanted to do whatever we wanted within music.
RUSHONROCK: Punk ideologies, melodic riffs and Irish mythology is a bit of an odd mix. How would you sum up this combination? And what sets Good Friend apart?
AC: We are pretty much a product of our environment. We grew up in a very unique DIY punk scene on the North Antrim coast so we were always surrounded by the mythology with the Giants Causeway only a stone’s throw away. What sets us apart? We lived this album. We put every penny we had into it and recorded it. We believe in it. There isn’t anyone out there doing what we do.
RUSHONROCK: You recently signed to Red Scare Industries in Philadelphia – what made you chose that label in particular?
AC: Red Scare are a label that we have known for a good few years now and although we had other interest once the guys from Red Scare wanted to get involved there wasn’t really any other choice in our minds. We love what Red Scare has done and are glad to be part of it. They share our drive and goals and we have a hell of a good time what else can you ask for from a label?
RUSHONROCK: What bands would you compare Good Friend to? Who influenced you growing up and what were your influences behind this album?
AC: Growing up I was influenced by a lot of Nirvana, Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash, The Lawrence Arms, Alkaline Trio, Chuck Berry, Rod Stewart and somehow I think that has come full circle. I still love individual things about each of these artists and have always carried them with me. For this album we listened to such a vast range of music. Weekly me and the lads share our song of the week with each other and it is always to try and take in as wide a variety of music as possible. But we did listen to a lot of Nirvana, Gaslight Anthem, The Xcerts and Dinosaur Pile Up while making the album. I wouldn’t really be able to compare us to anyone out there right now. We are Good Friend.
RUSHONROCK: It’s taken almost three years to write Ride The Storm. What’s the theme of the album? And what took so long?
AC: We’ve been working! Slaving to the man! To make the rock and the roll happen one needs the monies. We self-funded the recording of the album and recorded it in sessions with heavy touring in between. So it was three years from the writing process beginning to actually having the album complete.
RUSHONROCK: Neil Calderwood recorded the album in Manor Park Studios? What made you chose the studio and Neil?
AC: Neil is someone that has recorded an extensive backlog of incredible Irish musicians through the years. He is someone we feel comfortable with and someone that was enthusiastic from the get go. He’s the most chilled out guy with a great sense of humour and he created a great atmosphere around the studio.
RUSHONROCK: The Northen Irish music scene has produced many RUSHONROCK favourites such as The Answer and Fighting With Wire and Good Friend are latest to come from a strong rock culture. How would you sum up the scene in your homeland?
AC: It’s thriving at the minute. I’m really loving The Wood Burning Savages, Hot Cops, No Matter, Empty Lungs, ASIWYFA, Daveit Ferris and The Emerald Armada especially at the minute.
RUSHONROCK: The single you’re best known for is Irish Goodbyes, which opens with the lyric ‘my bad habits don’t mix with your bad luck.’ We’re sensing there’s a story behind this one?
AC: Basically the moral of the story is ‘If you wanna’ drink whiskey, you best keep up.’
RUSHONROCK: We love the closing track Barflies, as it is a brilliant way to tie off a racing album. What made finish with something so fun and different?
AC: We always felt that the album needed a breath of fresh air near the end and we just wanted to finish it with something upbeat and light hearted. The song is the only song on the album that was actually written in the studio.
RUSHONROCK: Is there any news on a tour?
AC: Yes, We have plans for plans for Germany in Spring and US in Autumn and we will have more UK dates to announce in the near future.
Northumbria University Journalism graduate, rock and roll enthusiast and co-editor of RUSHONROCK.com.