Band Name: The Good In Everyone
Genre: Indie Rock
Band Members: Nick Russell – Guitar/vocals, Benjamin Mott – Guitar, Laura Genschorek – Keys/synths/vocals, Jamison Gladysz – Drums, Olivia Sharpe – Guitar/vocals, Matt Gostelow – Bass
EP Name: The Good In Everyone
EP Release Date: April 18, 2014
Date group was formed: January 2013
Next Gig: CD release, Saturday July 26th at The Biltmore Cabaret
Listen Here: thegoodineveryone.bandcamp.com
Y57 Media caught up with Nick Russell from The Good In Everyone.
You all played together in a former band, known as Mercy Years. What drew everyone back together to form The Good In Everyone?
We were never really apart, so coming back together didn’t take much effort! We all needed a new outlet for our creative energy in the aftermath of Mercy Years’ breakup and The Good In Everyone filled that void for a number of us. It started with me and Ben getting together to work on adding lead guitar lines to some songs I had written. We share a love of Canadian rock from The Band and Neil Young to Sloan and Broken Social Scene, and seem to end up on the same page effortlessly. Ben’s got an amazing knack for creating engaging counter-melodies on guitar. His parts are so original and melodic, the songs just took off from there. Before long we had Laura and Jamison back in the fold as well, and things were rolling again. Olivia Sharpe’s powerful voice and Matt Gostelow’s perpetually solid bass playing are more recent additions to the team.
After how long and contentious the process of naming Mercy Years became, I decided to take a more systematic approach this time around. So I guess you could say it was inspired by pragmatism and a desire to avoid conflict! I wrote a list of song names from some of my favourite bands that I thought could double as good band names, and settled on The Good In Everyone, which is the name of a Sloan song. I love Sloan. They are one of the few bands that I listen to as much now as I did when I was fourteen. Also, I like the idea that people going to our show will have to say that they’re “going to see the good in everyone”. Playing music is such a positive, rejuvenating experience for me psychologically, and a name reflecting that positivity seems fitting.
Does the name of your band influence the type of music your produce?
While I’m not sure it directly influences the music we make, it serves as a constant reminder of how much fun we have playing music together. When this group meets to practice and write, all pretensions seem to get left behind. What’s left is a room of talented people that understand and trust one another in a creative setting. The Good In Everyone is a fundamentally collaborative exercise built on the idea that each individual has a unique perspective and skill set from which they can contribute. This approach is key to getting the good… or best, out of everyone!
As musicians, how do you keep the creativity constantly flowing?
It’s hard at times. Creating art often feels less like something that you do and more like something that happens to you. Forcing myself to try to write music and think creatively rarely produces satisfying results, although it can help with working through ideas. A lot of the songs and parts that we love tend to be born of spontaneity – less thought, more action. That’s why I love working with this group of musicians. We all trust one another’s musical instincts.
Most of the material was written over about three months prior to going into the studio, although the seeds of the songs were planted long before that. Shambolic and Whiskeyjack had been playing around in my head in some form for close to a year by the time we recorded them. Manning Park and Skip Down The Stairs had been performed by Mercy Years but never recorded (at all in the case of Skip Down The Stairs) in a fashion that I was particularly satisfied with. Once we were in studio it was frantic. We had 48 hours at Fader Mountain with Paul Boechler, a brilliant guy who is a joy to work with. Somehow we managed to get four songs done over those two days. They are a blur. Laura somehow managed to record her flawless vocals to Skip Down The Stairs at about 1 AM. I had a migraine and was wearing earplugs and sunglasses in studio all of the second day.
Do you ever experiment by playing with new genres or sounds when you practice together?
I feel like I might be making some kind of sacrilegious statement when I say this but no, not really — aside from silly, improvised diversions during practice. We will play around with new sounds on our instruments of course, but always within the context of a song with a structure that already exists. Just about everyone in this band has had experience with a variety of genres in the past, whether it be from playing jazz or classical piano, playing stringed instruments or saxophone in school bands, and/or singing in choir or vocal jazz groups in high school. I think that this exposure to various genres at a younger age actually makes it easier to create a more focused sound when we get in the room and play together. Because of those experiences, we know what we like and what we want to do, which makes it an awful lot easier to write songs and be satisfied with them.
The hands on the cover of the EP are overlaid in a way that makes them look like flames in a bonfire. The number of hands in the fire and the variety of colours among them represents to me the warmth produced by community and the embracing of diverse opinions. Contact and collaboration between individuals of different backgrounds provides the friction that sparks creativity and progress whether it be artistically, academically or politically. The image itself was designed by the supremely talented Lauren Carr. If you’re a band you should contact her about doing work for you, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my girlfriend. I promise!
What was your favourite part of recording your music in studio?
Aside from the studio assistants who would run to buy me turkey sandwiches from Save On (helping us sound great wasn’t enough for them apparently!)? Because that was pretty awesome. But in all seriousness, hearing the songs grow track by track into the final product is the highlight for me. I wasn’t aware of just how intricate and distinctive some of Jamison’s drum parts were until we recorded them. The time the studio affords you to focus on each piece of the puzzle separately reveals a lot about the songs that you don’t really notice while practicing or playing shows. In those environments you are often so focused on getting the parts you are contributing right that it makes it hard to appreciate some of the great music being produced around you.
Lots of things are happening! It’s exciting times on our end. Aside from preparing for our CD release show which is scheduled for Saturday July 26th at the Biltmore, we just recorded a live session at The Farm Studios at Fader Mountain. It includes a couple of songs from the EP and a new track, which we’re really excited about. It was done with the help of Spencer Carson and John Lindsay (assisted by Brendan Guy) on sound, and filmed by Adam Sharp, Evan Petkau and Iain Marshall. The whole project, done in collaboration with Big Smoke records, should be ready to be released within the next month! We’re also having one of our songs included on Common Courtesy’s yearly playlist, and we’re in the process of hammering down some dates for a small August tour. Check out our website or Facebook page to keep up with new videos, songs and developments!