Riding on an upcoming single launch of new track In My Side, a not-too-distant name change and coming 2nd place at Jack Rabbit Slims Jam-Boree band competition in 2016 – Grok talks with bassist Kane Batka on the name change, the band’s influences and the revelatory fact none of the band actually drink goon.
Why the change of band name? Is the band now under a lucrative goon sponsorship?
I don’t know—Goodnight Moon was always a bit of a shitty name, then one of our friends said we should change it to Midnight Goon, and then at first we laughed, but then we ended up taking it seriously.
How did the band come together?
I met Shaun the drummer and Kieran the guitarist with another guy who used to be our singer, and then I met Sean at a party; someone introduced us because we both loved Jimmy Hendrix and thought we would be friends.
I then told Gus who said we were looking for a guitarist, and I said sweet let’s have a Jam and the rest is history.
How did it go from the first jam onwards?
We had jammed a couple of times—an introductory one just to see how we sounded together. After we jammed a couple of times we started to write songs and make a band.
Were there any cheesy ice-breaker activities involved?
You play Smoke on The Water, that’s how you break the ice.
The band has a very distinct grunge feel – does the band take a lot of its inspiration from the 90s?
I’d say we do. That’s the common ground of all our musical tastes and Kieran is really into Radiohead, Joe Citriani, and Nirvana; Shaun is into Pearl Jam and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, so that’s where it all comes from.
Does every individual taste of each band member come out in the song?
So one person would write a different part of the song and that’s where the different sounds come from because we’ve all got really different tastes in music.
Will the band get a metal head to shake things up?
Gus is the closest thing to that; he is the heavier side of the band.
Do you think the local scene has played a part in the band’s sound?
I can definitely say we have a local influence—even just going to gigs and seeing guys playing their stuff and thinking it’s really cool, maybe we can take a leaf out of their book. Sean our singer loves Tame Impala and POND so he’s got a bit of that influence.
The producer of the latest single In My Side Sam Ford has worked with many local acts, how did you get him on board?
I think Woodsy our manager or Kieran thought we should give him a try. We gave him a crack, he definitely produced it the way we felt it should sound in our heads. He brought out what we were thinking. Which is great, he is a hell of a producer and mixer.
We knew what we were doing this time; it has made it easier for everyone involved.
How did it feel coming 2nd place in Jack Rabbit Slims Band Jamboree competition—was it something the band expected?
We went into that competition thinking we are just going to play and have a fun night and whatever happens, happens. It taught us not to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. I was up in the green room when it was announced and I was so surprised.
Was there a different feel for the band after winning that competition?
I think there was a different feel—our last three gigs including Saturday after that have been at Jack Rabbit Slims to pretty big crowds, so that feels like a big change in sense that we are actually playing a big venue with people, which feels good.
Is the new single In My Side a different direction for the band sound wise?
I think that was one of the reasons why we were keen for a name change, is because we changed our sound quite a bit. We have figured out to write songs a bit better, we know what we are doing a bit more.
How do you expect the single launch to go?
I am really excited for it—it should be a loose night. Every night at ‘Jrabbs’ is a big night.
What’s the band’s favourite goon?
Probably Coolibah, although none of us really drink goon—we should have called ourselves Midnight Swan Draught.
Midnight Chardonnay if you get WASO on board.
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