Why Goon is ‘Freaking Out’ About Next Year
With TIDAL Rising we’re constantly showcasing new music from our favorite up-and-coming artists across all genres, and each week we pick one artist in particular to shine our spotlight on. Presenting the TIDAL Rising Artist of the Week: Goon. Read on for more on lead singer Kenny Becker.
On how the band formed… We met in college [Biola University]. Basically, my plan was once I graduated, I would start a band. In 2013, more or less all of us graduated. I formed the band then and over the following two years or so, it fell apart and reformed again with more or less the same members each time. I really wanted to be in a band, but was struggling with the logistics of actually having a band.
We broke up and reformed a bunch of times, each time taking it more seriously. All along, I made recordings in my bedroom of what I would want the band to sound like. It got to a point where all these demos ended up being actually kind of cool recordings. Basically that’s our first EP.
On Happy Omen… After being a real band for a while, we decided we wanted to record a record. We started doing that in June of last year. It started off as a pretty normal album-recording process where we were in the studio, having fun but we got to a point where we realized what we had recorded in the studio was good. It kind of needed to be a little weirder in general.
That started a second phase of recording where we kept a lot of what we did in those first sessions but I also recorded songs in my bedroom, weird electronic tracks just in the spirit of exploration. Then we ended up with around 16 or 17 tracks. Ten of them are the LP, which we haven’t released yet, but we realized the remaining six worked well together in kind of a weird autumn vibe way. The intent wasn’t really to make an EP, but I’m happy that it’s out and I really like it.
On ‘She’… That song actually was from those first sessions that I mentioned. That actually wasn’t part of the experimenting phase, which was kind of weird because I think it feels experimental in a way.
On early music memories… My mom made me take piano lessons when I was a kid. It was kind of the classic thing where she was like, ‘You’re going to thank me for this.’ I eventually grew out of it but later, I was totally thankful for it. I’m not good at piano at all any more but it kind of put this base level of music in my brain from an early age, which was cool.
On religion… In high school, I went through this really deeply religious phase. I was really Christian. My favorite band at the time was this Christian band called Norma Jean. They were all hardcore screaming and crazy time signatures and stuff. I became really obsessed with drumming, and specifically that style of drumming.
I was also going to church a lot. The worship band needed a drummer so I was just like, ‘I’ll learn drums.’ That was part of my life where I think I really started seeing music as an escape or something fun to do on my own.
[As for religion], it gives you really easy answers to really terrifying existential questions like what happens after you die? Or why am I here? You just get really nice answers to those questions and you never have to struggle — maybe that’s being a little unfair to religion. I do think there are some Christians that would disagree. I don’t know. It seems like the majority of people use it in that way. That made me really suspicious of it and sort of drove me away from it. That’s kind of where I’m at now.
On early writing… When I first started college, I would mess with GarageBand and stuff. I was kind of making little song ideas for a while. The first song I ever properly wrote, I wouldn’t say it was a religious song. In fact, I always felt like I needed to make my songs more religious because I was like, ‘Man, I’m trying to write these weirdo rock songs, but I have this phase so I feel like I need to be saying Jesus more’ or something. It didn’t really happen.
On what’s next… Next year, I’m kind of freaking out about it. I’m so excited to put this LP out finally. By the time it comes out, it will have been over two years since we started making it.
Before I got into music, I feel like you always hear about bands and they’re like, ‘Oh, man. We’ve had this album done for a year.’ You’re like, ‘How can it possibly take that long?’ It just does and it’s weird. I don’t know. I feel like a bit of a cliché saying that, but it’s so true.
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