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Shannon Livewell

goodbyemotel says hello to America and its music industry

 goodbyemotel formed in Melbourne, Australia in 2008 and later moved to New York (Photo provided by The Press House NYC)
goodbyemotel formed in Melbourne, Australia in 2008 and later moved to New York (Photo provided by The Press House NYC)

“We journeyed across the seas to the U.S. about a year ago,” lead singer Gustaf explained to me when we chatted about goodbyemotel being described as an Australian, Brooklyn-based band by The Huffington Post. “We’d been coming back and forth for the last couple of years to do some recording here, but finally got the whole band moved to NYC in mid 2013.”
Gustaf himself is from Sweden, while the rest of the band originates from Australian roots.

“There were many reasons that brought us to the states, but in particular: we landed some sync spots on the American TV-series: Gossip Girl, Covert Affairs, and Suits,” he said.

“Last Flight Of The Bat,” produced by PLW’ Entertainment’s multi-platinum award winning record producer, Paul Wiltshire, premiered on the fourth season of Gossip Girl.
The other show licenses came quickly to follow.

“We love the culture around music here; people are passionate and love seeing and listening to the music they love in a very engaged way. Not to say people don’t do that elsewhere, but we noticed a distinct difference here in people’s pursuit of finding great music and seeing it live. I think we’re influenced by whatever is around us, our environment surely factors in, but I think it’s also just as much by what we are all experiencing personally at a particular time.”

“SXSW was ducking great,” Gustaf joked in response to my inquiry about the band’s experience at South by Southwest and how it all came about. “A series of circumstances saw us invited by SPIN to play at their day party so we performed at their SPIN Media Party/House of Vans at the Mohawk in downtown Austin, TX. We got to premiere our 4D Live Music Experience, a visual show the band has created and it was great to share that with an entirely new audience. We had some great reviews from that performance,” he reminisced.

I asked how the band’s 2014 tour had been going, and if they had a favorite city they’ve been to thus far, or one they hope to play in soon. With such a unique group of people with a myriad of backgrounds and origins, I figured this answer would differ from other U.S based-bands who normally always choose their home city as their favorite place to perform.

“Since we got back from SXSW in March 2014 we did a lot of recording in Brooklyn, so we stayed local through that time, and in that time we got the chance to play Mercury Lounge in NY’s lower east side, an iconic venue in our view. We were stoked when we hosted our 4D Live Music Experience there and they invited us back for a second round time,” he answered. “In terms of cities and places we want to play I’d say New Orleans is on the list, one of our favorite bands: Mute Math is from there. It would be fantastic to experience some of the city’s rich musical history first hand.”

“Hurricane” is the band’s first single off of their unreleased album iF. With a 90’s twinge to the building instrumental, reminisce of early Goo Goo Dolls, coming together with the Dave Matthews Band, this track has a nostalgic feel as soon as the first hook comes in and rings strong throughout the rest of the track.

“I think we chose ‘Hurricane’ as the first single because it was one of the first songs we wrote when we arrived on American soil in mid 2013. There was an excitement and freshness in the air, and that song came to life then. I think we felt like it had the right intention and drive that we all felt when we got to the U.S. and were about to get on the road, through this vast country, for the first time,” Gustaf said.

The last thing I asked in my time with Gustaf was something I ask every band I speak with, because I’m curious if the elements I hear in their music are intentional based off of influences they’ve had in their creative careers.

“I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count, but I’d say a few key influences of ours would be Pink Floyd; their very visual sound and concepts have been hugely inspirational to this band. Led Zeppelin, I am personally a huge fan of this beautiful and heavy four piece. Other bands like Mutemath and Radiohead are also key inspirations to us. Our influences always keep adding on, as we discover music from left-right and center. It’s hard not to be inspired by something that resonates with you.”

What Gustaf said is key; “it is hard not to be inspired by something that resonates with you.”

That’s exactly what goodbyemotel unintentionally projects upon their listeners. Their music resonates with you visually, conceptually, musically, in every way possible, and that is something that sure has inspired me, and I hope will inspire you too.