I was first introduced to rising singer/songwriter Gerald Goode in the summer of 2011 while on vacation in Provincetown when Gerald performed "Hell" on Ryan Landry's "Showgirls." From the moment Gerald took the stage, I was instantly captivated by the whole package (his voice, music, and looks). The icing on the cake came when I met Gerald after the show and was introduced to his kind, calm, and soothing personality. I then immediately purchased his debut CD "For Those Who Have," and could not stop listening to it. His music is profound, heartfelt, and most of all honest. Check out the video below of Gerald performing "Hell"
On a recent trip to NY, Gerald took the time to sit down with me to discuss his music, his influences, his upcoming sophomore album "SuperDry," and working with/for Suzanne Palmer, Junior Vasquez, and Peter Rauhofer.
Gerald Goode is a New York Metropolitan Area-based musician known for his incredible voice, dynamic production work, Billboard-chart-topping remixes and his long-time tenure as the lead singer of the rock band Simple Jim. With just one listen to his self-produced debut solo CD, “For Those Who Have,” it is evident that his passion for music is strong and his artistic vision - bold. Released September 2008 on Gerald’s own imprint Vessel Music, with veteran producer Scott White on mixing detail and Grammy Award winning engineer Phil Magnotti in charge of mastering, the outcome is a collection of songs that are well-executed, insightful and unforgettably melodic, taking the listener over an emotional arc from start to finish. Throughout the 14 self-penned tracks on “For Those Who Have,” Gerald puts his heart out on the line as he sings about failed relationships, addiction, self-respect, the ins & outs of love and the loss of innocence.
Gerald began his musical within a family of skilled amateur musicians. In 1995, during the latter half of his senior year, older brother Jon cast Gerald as the lead singer in his college band Simple Jim, and not long after, Gerald's star began to shine. Everyone was talking about the group and the ‘crazy kid’ they had as their frontman. The band's popularity in Southern Connecticut swelled on account of Gerald’s raw performance style. His onstage antics set a new standard of performance and entertainment for cover bands throughout the region.
Not long after forming, Simple Jim began to turn their attentions to writing original music. With Gerald as chief lyricist, he would often demo songs in his home studio, and then bring them to the band to be picked apart and adapted for live performance. By 1999, Simple Jim had released two albums of original material through their own label, and the band sold several thousand copies in the tri-state area. The band continued to draw their legion of rabid fans to such legendary venues as Toad’s Place, CBGBs, and The Elbow Room. Their song, ‘Laqueeda,’ about a gender-bending club kid, garnered the band airplay on Connecticut’s #1 Contemporary Hit Radio Station KC 101 (WKCI-CT). It was only a matter of time before Gerald began to expand his musical horizons. He began to frequent the NYC underground club scene, spending weekend nights at the Sound Factory, Tunnel, Roxy and Limelight, and fell in love with the energy of house music.
In 2001, armed with a fierce desire to have his production skills recognized, Gerald began remixing under the professional moniker ‘Blue Room’ and went on to become a presence on the Billboard Dance Charts with his remixes for RuPaul, Lisa Hunt, and Amuka. His productions and bootleg re-workings of songs by Mariah Carey, Madonna and Mary J. Blige, were frequently incorporated into Celebrity DJ Junior Vasquez’s sets. In 2005, Vasquez commissioned Blue Room to remix “Set It Free,” a song from house artist Jason Walker’s debut record, which found a place among Billboard’s Top 20 regular players in 2005. Grammy Award winning producer Peter Rauhofer also enlisted Gerald to write and produce a track for Star69 Records artist Suzanne Palmer’s full-length album, “Home." He simultaneously became a resident DJ at clubs in both New York and Connecticut.
Now, Gerald is finishing up work on his sophomore album, “SuperDry.” So come hear this extremely talented rising singer/songwriter on Friday, January 13 at 8pm at Huntington Street Café (90 Huntington Street, Shelton, CT 06484) as he debuts songs from “SuperDry” as well as selections from his debut album “For Those Who Have,” as well as songs from Simple Jim back catalog.
1. Who or what inspired you to become a singer/songwriter? There was a lot that influenced me, I don't know if it was anything in particular. I know from the time I was four years old, I was always performing, holding my family a captive audience as I performed on our front steps. I would perform songs from "Evita," yes I was a total showtunes queen when I was a kid. I just came from a family where music was always a big part of our home life. My dad and brother are guitarists and they listened to The Beatles and Eric Clapton. I always felt an inclination towards music.
My first musical love was Olivia Newton-John. I was totally, totally into her. I remember seeing her concert when I was a kid at six years old. It was the most elaborate stage show I had ever seen at that time. Later on, Madonna definitely influenced me from a performance standpoint. Sheryl Crow was a huge influence on me from the depths of her lyrics and the way that she phrases things. There was a melancholy tone to her music. Sarah McLachlan also influenced me. "Surfacing" was my coming out album.
1a. Since I'm a huge Olivia Newton-John fan. What was your favorite Olivia Newton-John song? As a kid I loved "Physical," but I just recently found her Greatest Hits CD and popped it in and I think "Magic" is an incredibly written song. I always loved "A Little More Love" because of the song structure and how it changes up and how it totally takes a left turn at one point. I always thought it was a great song.
2. If you could perform alongside anyone or work with anyone in the music industry, who would you like to? I think musically I would love to work with Linda Perry (of 4 Non Blondes and she wrote "Beautiful" for Christina Aguilera, she actually wrote that whole album, "Dirty" with Christina, she produced P!nk's "Get The Party Started," specifically "M!ssundaztood"). Her CD "In Flight," which was post 4 Non Blondes, was incredible to me. She worked with the same producers who did Sheryl Crow's "Tuesday Night Music Club." I think the album was critically acclaimed, but it didn't get the public's interest. I loved it. It was dark, moody, and had a little bit of Led Zeplinesque influence in there. That was another huge CD for me in my coming out. I just started to follow her career after that. She actually wrote "Beautiful" for herself and if you go on YouTube, there's actually footage of her performing that live. For me, she's an inspiration, even though her solo recording career wasn't a big success, she was able to parlay everything. She's an amazing writer. If you look her up and see the list of songs and people she's worked with, it's unbelievable. I would love, love, love to work with her.
3. How did you come up with the title and concept for your debut album "For Those Who Have"? For me, it meant for those who have loved before or experience being in love and maybe experiencing the darker side of what it's like to be in love. Somehow I always have a little bit of Catholicism throughout. I remember when the title came to me when I was in Church for some strange reason, but there is this part during Mass where the Priest says, "For Those Who Have Gone Before Us," and it was something about that phrase, "For Those Who Have," those four words just jumped out at me and I took it in a different direction. It really is left open to interpretation.
4. What do you hope listeners come away with after hearing it? As an artist I just hope people can connect with it on whatever level they can. I would hope listeners also come away with an appreciation for the work that it took for it to be what it was. It was like a five year recording process off and on.
5. What's your favorite part of the creative process in putting an album together? I usually write a lot of lyrics first. I don't have any particular structure with them or idea melodically with them as to what's going to happen. It's awesome when I actually sit down at the piano and start to take lyrics I've written and make them into a more tangible song. When you have that moment when you feel it's becoming something, that's really cool. Another thing I love is when I get my first groove down rythmically and really start to get into it. There is something about recording vocals that I can't stand and that's really weird being a singer. Doing stuff on my own is a little bit difficult because all these technical things get in the way, so it's hard for me sometimes to be emotive about it. I feel like some of the emotion got lost in my first CD because it got over produced. But, I've learned from that experience and this time around I'm going to make recording vocals more enjoyable because I won't be as micro managing about that. So I'm really looking forward to starting work on my new CD.
6. Where is your favorite place to write music and practice on your own? A lot of my lyric writing happens in the car, when I'm driving. Then I have to pull off the road and get it down onto my phone. There's just something about going that makes my mind start thinking about things.
Anytime that I can come across working on an actual piano is great. There's something about the feeling about playing on the piano that make more musically productive rather than working on a keyboard. It's usually in my own studio that I'm forced to use a keyboard. A lot of the songs on my first album, like "Beautiful" and "You and Your Device" were written on this piano I was babysitting. It just made such a big difference because there is something more emotive about playing a piano.
7. What have you learned about yourself from being a singer/songwriter? That I have to remain active with it or else I start to go crazy. Anytime I think that I can walk away from music because trying to earn a living from it gets difficult. In the past couple of years, when I don't do anything with my music, it builds up inside of me, it gets to a point where I have to do something to keep it alive because it's not going away. I feel like I have a responsibility to it. It's something that I've been given as a gift. To fill my life up with things that aren't worth my time, it's not honoring the fact that I have this gift of songwriting and singing. It's almost like having a kid and I have to take care of it in a sense and when I haven't, I've become really unhappy. I've also learned the more and more I make it about trying to be successful with it, that's when I get myself into trouble and the whole idea of music becomes unenjoyable. But when I do it and try to stay true to myself that I found the most happiness and comfort in it, especially over the past year. I did walk away from it for a while and focused more on remixing.
After my CD came out, I was pushing it hardcore, and it just got to be too expensive to pay musicians to promote it and I wasn't entirely comfortable doing solo shows yet and started to get performance anxiety. Me: How did you get over that? Gerald: I took a year off from it and rewired myself. I really learned that I have to do it for me and that it has to come from a real, true place.
8. What's the best advice you've ever received? To try to do something I'm afraid to do as often as possible.
9. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I would say my grandmother because she passed away in 1999. It would have been cool to know her as an adult. That was right around the time I was coming out. I was out, but only to the immediate members of my family, but not to the grandparents. I think she would have been okay with it because she was the more accepting one of the bunch. It would be cool to see what she would have been up to.
10. What was the best part about working with Junior Vasquez, Peter Rauhofer, and Suzanne Palmer? I can say because I personally worked with Suzanne, I will never forget that session. I never had an opportunity to be in a studio with somebody who's voice could make the hair on every single part of my body stand-up. Her voice is so powerful. To work with somebody who can nail it in two takes was awesome. Her vocal ability is unreal. I never worked personally, side by side, with Junior Vasquez or Peter Rauhofer, but I did work for them and just to be recognized by them was awesome. It was a great boost of confidence because it made me feel like I had good production skills.
11. What do you hope to do with your upcoming album that you didn't do with your first album? I really want to stay true to what I'm feeling in the moment. Vocally, I've definitely have grown more into my voice since recording my first album because I've had voice lessons. I want it to be a lot cleaner and simpler. I think it might be more electronic based. I'll still probably will keep up with more orchestral sounds in the background, but I want to keep my beats more electronic. It's going to be more beat driven. I felt like everything was literal on my first album. I think my lyric writing has gotten more vague and I realized after listening to other people's music, I don't have to be so literal and everything doesn't have to make perfect sense. I do want to take it into a more poetic territory lyrically.
12. Favorite way to spend your day off? Spending the day in bed watching any TV series from start to finish like "Ab Fab" or "Desperate Housewives."
13. Favorite way to stay in shape? Gym, biking.
14. Boxers or Briefs? Definitely briefs. Boxers to sleep in.
16. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.