Goat Boy—this year's winner for Best Pop Band—has already made a sizable splash in its short existence. Just a few years old, the band, made up of current and former students of the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts school, started out with a well developed sound, as evidenced by a 2010 appearance on the Greenfield-based local music showcase Valley Homegrown. Tasty and nuanced guitar parts call to mind Pavement or Modest Mouse, while the lyrics hint at a Wilco-esque kind of thoughtfulness.
Early shows at venues like Easthampton's Flywheel (it was, says the band, "filled with awkward pauses and songs without names... In other words, it was awesome!") led to a New Year's Eve gig at Northampton's Pearl Street, and the group hasn't looked back. They released their new album Thank You For Wearing Me a few months ago, and on Sept. 29 they'll return to Flywheel for a show with Walking Ghosts, Janet Mabelle, and Medicine Man. The Advocate caught up with the band between gigs.
Valley Advocate: I was really impressed by your appearance on Homegrown—that was two years ago, and your songs seemed really tight even then. How have your music and the band grown/changed since then?
Jack Demeo (guitar, vocals): Over time, we've learned to hone in on individual songs, really spending time nurturing and revising them. One of the biggest changes came when Sen joined the band—he brought with him great song ideas, and the element of the keyboard. Incorporating the keyboard into what was previously a two-guitar band led to exciting new sounds that we could experiment with.
What was your last song about?
We just finished recording a single called "The Good River," which is about a man who ends up hurting the people he loves. Uplifting, no?
Will Goat Boy continue post-PVPA graduations?
Sam Wardlaw (drums): Good question. I guess it really depends on where we all end up going to college. If we all end up going to college in the area, then I see no reason why we wouldn't continue playing. It would be pretty miraculous if that happened, though. I guess that's one of the problems with being a serious band when you're in high school. You never know where your band members will end up living. That being said, Goat Boy will continue to play together as long as we possibly can!
Who's your most unexpected influence?
Sen Morimoto (keys, vocals): Lil Wayne.
What's the best record in your parents' collection?
Oral Fixation Volume One by Shakira. Every song is a classic.
When you go out to local shows, who do you go to see?
Carly Florence (bass): We usually like to see bands like Big Nils and Lux Deluxe. And we love the band HeadZap. We love to support other local artists!
Do you guys bowl?
You know it! Funny you ask that, actually, 'cause we played a show once at a bowling alley in Palmer called Diamond Junction Bowling Alley. It was probably the most fun we've ever had at the actual venue itself. Once we were done with our set, we just bowled until around midnight or so. It's amazing how well music and bowling go together. We have lots of fun playing together, and I guess that's what playing music is really about when it comes down to it. We have fun doing other stuff too, though.