There is something delightfully familiar about Goose. A New England based jam band grinding it out on tour, leaving blissful fans and melted faces in their wake. Still, there is also something intrinsically fresh about their music. They have a modern indie sound with an authentic jam band attitude, and I for one really dig it.
As you are likely very aware, there is a lot of excitement surrounding this band right now. If you are at all familiar with their music, or have had the opportunity to see them live, you know it is for a good reason. They are absolutely killing it right now and getting better with every performance.
Leading up to their 20 date Fall Tour, the guys in Goose graciously answer some of my questions. I am beyond grateful they agreed to do so, and I hope you enjoy the interview.
Weekend Wook: Is there one city or venue on your upcoming fall tour that you look forward to the most?
Peter: This tour is unique because none of the cities are debuts for us, so it’s really like we’re getting back in touch with our friends with each stop; making for a really fun tour. A big difference this time around though, is that some shows have already sold out (Boston + New York City), which is super exciting for us.
WW: You recently released two studio singles. Will a full album be following soon?
Without being too specific, there’s a couple projects we have in the works yes.
WW: With your heavy tour schedule, are you still able to get out and see live music?
Peter: Occasionally we can get out to see a show, which is super relaxing by the way. The last show I saw was King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard — it blew my mind. They had two drummers who literally were in sync the whole show, I’ve never seen anything like it.
WW: We recently concluded the 3.0 Phish Jam Bracket. What is your personal favorite Phish jam?
Rick: The Stash from A Live One definitely hits home. The tension they build during that jam is second to none. That’s something I think we’ve learned a lot from and continue to work on. Also, the dynamics and musicality in the Bowie from IT has always spoken to me. I know it generally wasn’t the best time in the bands career, but the playing from that weekend always struck me as this unique and evolved sound as far as improvisational rock goes.
WW: Out of the entire Goose catalog, what do you think is your best jam vehicle?
Peter: One of my favorite things about the Goose catalog is how malleable it can be on any given night. We have the option to stretch any song out and our best jams often come from unexpected places.
Rick: All it takes is the right attitude, I think. One thing I’ve noticed is which song it is matters way less than the overall vibe of what’s going on. When you’re not on, your sturdiest tune can still be whack. And likewise, when it’s on, your weakest tune can be a total slammer.
WW: How do you come up with your set list? How often do you stray from it live?
Peter: I’d say around 75% of the shows we end up straying from the setlist and some shows we don’t have a setlist at all. Our process as of late is to come up with a master list of songs for any given night, then start blocking them into 1st or 2nd set, then order them. Rich and I both utilize the notes app on our phones to streamline that whole process.
WW: You have played several movie soundtracks in the past. I'm curious what your favorite movie is.
We do definitely love movies. There are lots of favorites individually, some recent van staples are Swingers and My Blue Heaven though. Also, Point Break is forever in our hearts.
WW: Is there a reoccurring process for how you write songs?
Peter: It varies - Rich and I both have different writing styles. Something we both value though is staying true and aware to our original inspiration. Now a days, it’s easy to get distracted and dilute away from the original idea.
Rick: I’m finding it changes as you change, which I think is cool. Sometimes things that used to work don’t work anymore, and sometimes new tools appear that you didn’t know about before. Seed ideas can start as any one of those things you mentioned. What’s funny is sometimes that seed idea gives way to a bunch of other cool stuff and the original thing gets scrapped altogether.
WW: I understand that Rick & Peter both play PRS Hollowbody-II’s. What is it about that guitar that led you both to choose it?
Peter: Both of us incidentally didn’t play the guitar before ordering it and neither of us really knew each other when we first got them, which also happened to be around the same time ironically. I play a 2011, Rich plays a 2012. I had been looking into semi-hollows for a bit and they all seemed too bulky. I eventually nailed it down between this one and a Gibson, opting for the PRS based on its versatility. Rich was on tour with his band Vasudo at the time, and accidentally backed up over his old guitar, prompting him to order a PRS Hollowbody on the spot so he could play the rest of the tour.
Rick: I fell in love with PRS when I was in middle school after my father took me to the house of guitars in Rochester NY. Looking through their stuff, the HB II always seemed like the mecca to me.
WW: Are there any places musically that you have yet to explore as a band but are excited to at some point?
Peter: I’d say the most exciting thing is the unknown musical places we’ll end up exploring. Not knowing where we’ll be musically next year is part of the fun.
Rick: Yeah, I think It’d be hard to move forward if it felt like we didn’t have endless possibilities to explore. The most exciting thing about it is the not knowing where we’ll be drawn to, both in writing and improvisation.
WW: Have any of the band members been classically trained or taken theory classes? How long have each of you been playing music?
Rick: We’ve all taken theory and music lessons in some capacity. I studied a bit of classical composition in college, but I don’t think any of us have technically had much classical training from a performance standpoint, more so various types of jazz and rock. Ben and I met while studying at Berklee.
WW: How have things changed for the band over the last three years?
Rick: A lot has changed over the last three years. Overall, I would say that change has all inevitably moved us closer to ourselves as a group and what type of band we want to be. I think every move we’ve made and direction we’ve pursued, whether a “positive” or “negative” experience, has inevitably informed us of what we truly value in this type of work, and allowed us to slowly and surely implement those values in the ways we operate.
Naturally, it’s very much an ongoing process and there is undoubtedly and infinite amount of learning still before us; however, I’m proud of the growth we’ve undergone internally as a band over the past few years.
WW: Where do you want to see Goose in ten years? Is there a master plan?
Rick: I’m not sure there’s anything too specific. Naturally, the goal is to create sustainable careers for ourselves, which is difficult and a privilege to achieve in this line of work. However, I generally believe that undergoing change and growth, then reflecting those experiences in some way through their medium is inherent in the role of the artist in the world. So, if there’s one thing I would pinpoint as an underlying goal it would be simply that. In other words, creatively speaking, in ten years I hope to see Goose doing things I can’t even foresee at this point.
WW: If you could pick only one thought, quote, or song that your band would be remembered by, what would it be?
Rick: That’s a really interesting question and one I’m not sure I can answer simply. The most interesting thing about music, and art in general, is how individual its interpretation is. A line in a song can mean completely different things to two different people and be just as significant and meaningful to each. It’s an honor to see someone resonate or be touched by something you’ve made, and I’ve noticed it’s quite often not at all the thing you thought would connect the most.
Short answer: Whatever it is that made you feel something the most, that’s the thing.
I really hope you all enjoyed this interview with the winner of the 2019 Wookie for Outstanding Up and Coming Band - Goose. It’s been great getting to know them a little better and I look forward to seeing where they take this thing. See you on tour!
You can see a full list of Goose’s upcoming fall tour dates below.