Review Fix chats with Dave Goddess about the origin of his group, their creative process, goals for 2020 and new single, â€œWhen Youâ€™re Happy Iâ€™m Happy.â€
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Dave Goddess: Even as a little kid I loved rock â€˜n roll. I begged for my first guitar. My uncle was a songwriter and a big influence on me. I watched him writing and eventually weâ€™d be riding on the car and one of his songs would come on the radio. Even then I knew I wanted to do that too. And now when I hear myself on the radio, I always get a similar kick.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Goddess: I always try to be receptive to whatâ€™s around me, and I jot down ideas all the time. I tend to write songs in groups, mostly because when I get in a zone, I try to maximize it. I just sit down and do itâ€”there are no shortcuts. Once I have lyrics and melodies, I take the ideas to my band and work on arrangements. We push and pull a lotâ€”we try different tempos, feels, instrumentation. Eventually we come to something that works.
I will say that it is rarely the case that I actually do what I set out to do, either lyrically or musically. Hopefully the end result is good, but it is something elseâ€”because writing and recording is a process of discovery, and in spite of your intentions, you can wind up in a place you hadnâ€™t planned on going. Picasso said, â€œI donâ€™t seek, I find.â€ Iâ€™m not Picasso, but I know what he was talking about.
Review Fix: What inspires you?
Goddess: When I was writing my new album Once in a Blue Moon, I was travelling a lot and trying to force myself out of my comfort zone. That usually opens up my mind and I let the ideas come to me. I try to write about things I see and understand, things that move me or amuse me–human stories that have a core of feeling or truth. Or sometimes just fun.
Review Fix: How do Strength, Struggle, Romance, and Resilience play a part in your songwriting?
Goddess: Theyâ€™re all part of any musical journey, and you have to embrace that journey if you want to be happy. Even under the best circumstances there are lots of highs and lows. Iâ€™ve played for ten thousand people and Iâ€™ve played for ten. Been admired and insulted. So you need to be strong and resilient just to persevere. It can be a struggle, but so what. The romance part I think provides the inspiration that fuels your creativity and makes you want to do it in the first place.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Goddess: The music we play is pure American roots rock–rough, ragged, and soulful. We dig deep and weâ€™re always on the edge. We give it our all. That makes it fun for us and hopefully fun for the audience.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Goddess: We definitely try to capture the energy of our live show in the studio. Seems like that would be easy, but itâ€™s not. In the studio thereâ€™s no crowd to urge you on. You can do many takes and you can be very analytical in evaluating your performances. It can be tough to keep it raw. You absolutely have to embrace imperfections and go for an overall feeling.
Review Fix: What inspired your latest single?
Goddess: My song When Youâ€™re Happy Iâ€™m Happy came to me pretty quickly. I heard the phrase somewhere and it stuck in my head. The point of it is that you canâ€™t choose who you fall in love with. Weâ€™ve all either been in relationships or at least seen relationships where a couple is in love, but they just canâ€™t seem to get along. They get into a cycle of breaking up and making up. My song takes place in a courtroom where the girl is trying to divorce the guy for the third time. He knows that heâ€™s screwed up but is pleading with her for one more chance. We donâ€™t know how it ends up, but Iâ€™m rooting for them.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2020?
Goddess: My album has a song on it called Dance While You Can. I was thinking about how life wears us down and makes us dull. We watch TV or stare at our phones while time slips by. Iâ€™m going to do all I can not to be that guy. Dance While You Can is about finding more joyâ€”remembering what you love doing and doing more of it before itâ€™s too late. So my goal for 2020 is to take my own advice.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Goddess: Since I have a new album coming out, I have a lot to look forward to. I love sending my songs out into the world and seeing how people react to them. I have a great band and weâ€™ll be playing lots of live shows. So weâ€™ll see what happens.