Whiskey slinging, lion hearted rock and roll trio Good Friend hit the road next month, heading on a month long American tour. RUSHONROCK co-editor Adam Keys caught up with vocalist Adam Carroll to discuss the tour and what U.S. audiences can expect from Good Friend.
RUSHONROCK – Good Friend have made a few appearances on ROR before, even gaining the accolade of album of the year 2016. But, for new fans, tell them a bit about the band.
Adam Carroll (Mad Adam) – Hello, Thanks for having us back Big fan Big fan. I am Adam. The vocalist and bass player in lion hearted rock and roll trio, Good Friend. The band also consists of myself, Andy Reid on Guitar and Leon Connolly on drums. We come from the Northern Coast in Ireland, think near the Giants Causeway but we took the chance and moved across to Newcastle in England to give the band thing a shot. We won album of the year in 2016, I thought we would get a trophy or award or something, we didn’t. I built a cabinet…We released our debut album ‘Ride the Storm’ in November of last year with Red Scare Industries in the USA and Gunner Records in Europe and have been touring the UK and Ireland for the last few years heading out to America for the first time on the Red Scare ‘League of Nations’ Tour starting Oct 20th.
RUSHONROCK – You’re signed to Red Scare Industries. Tell us a bit about working with Toby Jeg.
AC – Toby is one of a kind. The first time I met him I wasn’t sure if he even liked me or not. He has a unique sense of humour, let’s say. But it turned out all his anti-Irish jokes were out of love…I think…Toby runs the label like a family, not like the mafia but a family, every band looks out for each other and would do anything for each other and that’s something we are really proud to be a part of. It’s a special label and we’re super thankful for all the hard work Toby, Daisy and everyone have put in.
RUSHONROCK – The album came out last year. Tell us a bit about the sound.
AC – It’s mad to think that it hasn’t even been out a year yet. ‘Ride the storm’ wasn’t just a debut album for us. It was three years of our lives put to music. We recorded it in different sessions. Flying back to Northern Ireland to record it with Neal Calderwood in Manor Park. We have a great relationship with Neal and were stoked to have him on board. The studio is in the middle of the countryside so when we went there we got our heads down and completely divulged ourselves in the matter at hand. We describe ourselves and the album’s sound as ‘Lion hearted Rock and Roll’ because we never wanted to be pigeon holed. There are punk rock songs on the album, there are songs with post-rock, alternative, acoustic and pop influences. I really believe there is something on there for everyone. We try to mix things up a little and we are always looking to further ourselves as a band.
RUSHONROCK – You’re about to hit the road and head State-side. How did that come about?
AC – We’re really excited about this. This came about after signing with Red Scare and putting out the album. We signed around the same time as MakeWar and Toby wanted to put us together with those guys and get us out to the US and we jumped at the chance. It’s great that we get the opportunity to work with friends and bands we love as well as taking in 11 states in 20 days. It’s going to be the first time we’ve had the opportunity to play some shows in the heat. That will be an experience. I think Andy is only packing shorts, I don’t think he understands fully the diversity of the place. But Toby has put a hell of a lot of work in to this to make it special. We have Brendan Kelly and The Copyrights on the mid-western shows, We have The Fest in Gainesville, Florida, We have brewery shows, a bowling alley show in Ohio, House shows iIN Georgia and Halloween in New Orleans. And The Renaissance Fayre is in town when we are in Philly. I mean the shows will be fantastic but our first renaissance fayre is gonna be DEADLY!
RUSHONROCK – You’re touring with the fabulous Make War. What can fans expect from that partnership?
AC – Musically these guys are playing some of the best good time, fast punk rock out there AND they have a hell of a lot of heart. I have been binging on them recently actually. I’ve even done a marathon of their albums in the order they were released going as far back as when they went under the moniker of ‘Sad and French’. What did I learn? José has a heart of gold, Edwin knows how to have a good time, they really like drinking beer, they are seriously talented lads and they really enjoy a good slice of pizza.We’ll get on like a house on fire!
RUSHONROCK – You’ve had a bit of a line up change for the tour. Tell us a bit about Izzy Curran.
AC – Izzy is a really good guy who is an incredible drummer and a talented tattoo artist. He has fit in perfectly to Good Friend as we get ready to head to America. He’s in a band called Shinobi Fantobi from Newcastle and we love to hang and play shows with them. We’re actually playing their album launch at the Surf Cafe in Tynemouth. He is well drilled on how we do things already which is cool. It’s great having him along.
RUSHONROCK – You’re known for your whiskey loving, political infused shows, that have been described as a kick in the dick. What can the US audience expect for you?
AC – We’re out to play like it’s our last night on earth and learn a bit more about the place as we do it. We’re not out to preach about politics or tell anyone how they should live their life. If anything people can expect a lot of questions about politics, burritos and their town. I don’t need to ask any questions about whiskey. Do I switch to bourbon for this tour, we’ll see…
RUSHONROCK – Any venues that you’re particularly excited about?
AC – They are all exciting in their different ways really. New Orleans is on Halloween. We are ready to get weird. I’m excited about Chicago too. The last time I was in the city I wasn’t even the legal age to enter this venue. So it is going to be pretty sweet to see it in its full this time round – made even better by Brendan Kelly being on the show. Brendan is a ‘good friend’ and we haven’t had the chance to catch up in a while so it will great to hang.
RUSHONROCK – Politics – that goon in the White House… you’re heading out there, so here’s your stage to tell us what you think about the umpalumpa in less than 100 words.
AC – Impeach?
RUSHONROCK – Album number two? New videos? Singles? What’s next release wise for Good Friend?
AC – We’re about to put our foot to the pedal really. Once we get back from this tour we are aiming to continue to write the next album. When we are stoked on what we have we’ll be hitting the studio again. I already have a few songs written and Andy does too – it’s exciting. This time round I think we will do it all in the one session which means new songs quicker. We also have a video to record when we get back with our buddy Mark Easton which has a real sweet concept.