El Goodo’s music is too joyously colourful to properly describe, but imagine Dusty Springfield, The Ronettes, Syd Barrett, Count Five, The Byrds, The La’s, Creation, Les Fluer De Lys, Beach Boys, Beatles, The Seeds, Lee Hazlewood and The Kinks, getting washed out to sea with nothing but songs to save them.
Colour Is Sound were delighted to catch up with Elliot from the band to find out more about the best kept secret in music.
CIS: You’ve just released Order of the Moose, one of the stand out - top 3 albums of 2017 in our humble opinion. Before that there was the equally brilliant Coyote (2015). Where can folks find your first album?
EG: It’s probably not available from record shops anymore. The best place to get the first album is at our gigs.
CIS: Cian from Super Furry Animals, produced your last album and released it on his Strangetown label. Since then you guys have been busy and have all but completed a new album. Tell us more!
EG: It’s so new I honestly can’t remember most of the songs. It changes a lot, it goes from pysch to country and is probably like our other stuff, but I just think it’s much better recorded. We did the drums and guitars at Rockfield then we went to Jim Lewis’s studio, the keyboard player in Spiritualised whose been engineering the album.
CIS: How do you guys work in the studio? Is it rooted in contemporary digital recording or do you favour a classic analogue sound?
EG: 99% of what we do is onto tape. With drums and guitars, we’ve always liked the sound that recording onto tape creates. I love the sound of vintage drums; modern drum sounds have a complete lack of character. I’ve been trying to get Ringo’s drum sounds for years but can’t get anywhere near it. Folks are quick to spot a sixties influence in our sound, but we don’t think we’ve cracked it. If you listen to the snare sound on Dusty’s Son of a Preacher Man, that must be the best drum sound ever. Trying to nail such elusive influences does mean we end up with something that’s getting closer to the source.
Musicians can learn technique, you can even learn to play like Ginger Baker or Mitch Mitchell, but no one can study to play like Ringo, a left-handed drummer playing a right-handed drum kit. Ringo has a totally unique individual feel. He was very particular about his drum sound, he’d use a certain fag packet to put on his snare. Just check out the drumming on ‘Rain’.
CIS: If you could support any band, who would it be and why?
We’ve been really lucky. Super Furry Animals is probably our favourite band and they took us on tour and put out our first record. I’ve played with Love which was amazing. Forever Changes is one of my favourite albums of all time. We’d love to play with Teenage Fanclub, Jesus and Mary Chain and The Velvet Underground, although they are all dead now so that could be tricky. We are big fans of The Olivia Tremor Control. We went to see them and ended up having a great night with Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine, another band we love.
CIS: Colour Is Sound’s favourite band T-shirt is Spacemen 3’s classic ‘For All The Fucked Up Children of the World’ tee. What’s your favourite band t-shirt of all time?
EG: Psychocandy. Sonic Boom from Spacemen 3 has been to a fair few El Goodoo shows.
CIS: Cool. We hear he is a stand-up fella, when he can stand up that is. He certainly knows his music and we love his solo stuff. Sonic remixed a track on Gerry Love’s (Teenage Fanclub) solo album. You should ask Sonic to remix one of your tracks from the new album when it’s done. That would be amazing.
What’s the plans for El Goodo gigs in 2017/18?
EG: We are playing this Saturday in Cardiff at Clwb Ifor Bach, and then on the 18th in Bristol at The Department S Club Night. We are playing in London on the 17Th of February at The Lexington. Best bet is to keep an eye on our Facebook page as we will be announcing more gigs on there. https://www.facebook.com/elgoodomusic/
CIS: We will definitely be coming to your London show, can’t wait! What was the last record you played all the way through?
EG: Kind of Blue by Miles Davis.
CIS: What a record. I tried listening to the 4 or 5 discs that you get on the Bitches Brew box set, all the way through from start to finish and I lost my ability to balance for an hour or so afterwards. Amazing!
‘Order of the Moose’ is one of the best, unique and most complete records of 2017, yet its birth was somewhat bumpy. How difficult was it to nail the sounds in your head onto tape?
EG: We ended up mixing and mastering it twice. We mixed it at Abbey Road, but we couldn’t quite get the sound we wanted. We got there in the end.
CIS: In the mind’s eye of the Moose, what does 2018 look like?
EG: I honestly don’t know.
CIS: Maybe I should ask the Moose?
In a society where everyone’s worth is measured by productivity, rock n roll is dead. Bands need to have a sizeable social media presence before they can attract A&R. Groups must offer commercially focussed websites as fancy as Debenhams; branding to the fore. Gone are the self-taught gangs, replaced by organisations replete with skill-sets to enable market share. You can even do a degree in song-writing for fucks sake.
(Colour Is Sound song writing tip - get dumped by someone you love, take a heroic dose of something, turn the lights off and keep playing D…..Shit will happen).
One of the defining qualities of this truly brilliant band, is their relentlessly soulful commitment to music, not marketing. El Goodo’s records will take you deep into a cinematic world of melody, harmony, sound, colour and feeling. Lose yourself in wonderfully complete albums by six fellas from Resolven in South Wales. The name of the village perfectly reflects the world they have built within the music. Pixy Jones, (singer, guitarist, keyboards) honed the harmonies and arrangements on Coyote, over eight years, travelling back and forth in the car to work each day. Thank fuck for traffic jams in South Wales…
In a world where Black Friday is deemed exciting whilst 40% of the world is without plumbing, soulful resistance; music, is in danger. Fast tracked to become yet another download. Fortunately, there are those amongst us like El Goodo who remain untainted by the land-grab. Ladies and gentlemen, please raise your glass to Elliot, Canny, Jason, Tom, Pixy and Matty!
Now, go get their records, quick, before everyone catches on.