Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Interview with Goodnight Sunrise

Who: Goodnight Sunrise
What: Rock / Pop band in concert
Where: The Icon, 1235 N. Main Street, Pocatello, Idaho
When: Saturday, February 13, 2010, doors open 6:30 p.m.

I first started writing about Goodnight Sunrise in early 2008. I finally saw them play live almost a year later and was VERY impressed. They've got the sound, the look, and they were tight. Moreover, the song structures are complicated and diverse. I had a blast, and I hope you will too.

Goodnight Sunrise is exactly that kind of pop rock that makes you smile and bop your head. Just hearing the single, It’s the Stare, made me want to get up and clean house or something. Definitely move-your-feet kind of music. Their CD's get regular rotation in my CD player, and in my kids' players too. These guys are good. Very good.

I caught up with Sam Smetana, bassist for Goodnight Sunrise, about their music, the band and their upcoming show at The Icon.

SLG: Describe your genre of music in as much detail as you like. Maybe list your three best crowd-pleasing songs? Can you explain in what way do you most appeal to your fans?

SS: We like to call the music we play "pop & roll" and/or "riff pop." It's nothing ridiculously flashy or out of the ordinary, but we focus on writing pop-structured songs with fun riffs. We write honest and personal lyrics about life on the road and how it's shaped how we live.

I think that a lot of our fans are happy with the honesty in our music - we write songs that have meaning for us, and we're incredibly appreciative whenever that meaning carries over to someone else. We'd love to write the music for the soundtrack of our fans' lives, but we'd be happy to occupy a chapter. Some of the best fan sing-a-longs we've experienced were during the songs "It's The Stare" and "On Your Birthday."

SLG: Who's in the band? And how long has this line-up been together?

Dan Murphy / Vocals, Guitar
Sam Smetana / Bass
Justin Benner / Guitar, vocals
Mike Ogle / Drums

SS: This lineup has been writing and playing music together since late autumn in 2006.

SLG: Tell us where you're from and currently based in what town?

SS: We're currently based in Helena, MT - Dan and Mike are cousins who started playing together at the beginning of middle school, and Dan, Justin, and myself all went to Clancy Elementary School together. We've known each other for what seems like forever!

SLG: Past shows or venues you'd like to brag about? Past or future shows in the Pocatello area?

SS: We've been on 14 regional and national tours, and some of the coolest venues we've played have been on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. Getting to play the Whisky-A-Go-Go right after my eighteenth birthday was surreal!

SLG: I'll bet! I've been to The Whisky. Great place. Describe this particular show. What can people expect if they come to this show?

SS: We'll be playing in Pocatello at The Icon (1235 N. Main Street) on Saturday, February 13th. It's an all age show, doors open at 6:30, and tickets are $8 - you can pre-order at smithstix.com. Other acts include locals Madison Lights and All Bright as well as The Trademark from Salt Lake City. Goodnight Sunrise will be playing last around 9:30 pm.

SLG: Any comments about the local live music scene, the music industry in general? What do you think is the best way to get your music out there?

SS: As far as the live music scene in Montana goes, things are pretty stagnant. It's great that Southern Idaho now houses an all-age music venue like the Icon - it was an area that desperately needed one!

The industry is in a huge transitional period - it is now easier than ever to record, distribute, and market music independently. The next few years will exhibit a continuing shift in the recording and music industry and where money comes in as records sales continue to plummet.

SLG: Do you have any favorite videos of your band or your music on YouTube?

SS: Check out an HD segment of our a tour documentary. This is just a tiny glimpse into our life on the road.

[Ed. Note - click image at left for more videos from Goodnight Sunrise on YouTube.com.]

SLG: Recordings? Will you have CD's or more for sale at the show?

SS: We'll have two EPs for sale at the show - "Close and Counting" (2007) and our latest release, "Stop, Drop, & Roll" (June 2009). We'll also have t-shirts, tote bags, Goodnight "sundries," and more for sale - stop by and talk to our friendly, red-headed merch man, Duncan!

SLG: How can fans contact you? Myspace? or another website?

SS: The best ways to get in touch with us are facebook.com/goodnightsunrise, twitter.com/gnightsunrise, and myspace.com/goodnightsunrise. All three sites are linked from our official website, goodnightsunrise.com.

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