Time for an interview! This time we have an interview with musician Steve Goold. Steve is a Twin Cities based drummer that plays/performs with many groups and is a drummer sponsored by Risen Drums. Steve knows how to rock, and when he rocks he rocks hard. He is an above average disc golf player and likes to play drums that have lights in them.
Please check out his myspace site: http://www.myspace.com/stevegoold and his video’s here: http://www.risendrums.com/video/Goold_Lessons/Steve_Goold_lessons.htm and his blog here: http://stevegoold.wordpress.com/
FFTB: What are your musical influences? How do you incorporate those influences into your playing?
SG: My influences are everything I listen to. That sounds dumb/obvious, but it’s true. I listen to a ton of different stuff, and it ALL affects me. Sometimes I hear new stuff to try, and sometimes I hear things I definitely don’t like I want to make sure I never do them. Sometimes what I hear gets my brain jogging to a new place that I’ve never been. Every piece of music I hear influences me. I will, however, say that, as an instrumentalist and not a song-writer, my influences reside solely in music, and not life generally. I’ve never felt pushed or inspired by culture/politics/relationships/whatever to play my drums a certain way. I know other instrumentalists who do get inspired that way, but I’m not one of them. The world where I play my instrument is a sonic environment only. I don’t really connect my “life” and my playing at all – or at least not consciously.
FFTB: How important is a good drummer player to a good songwriter?
SG: My experience has been that a drummer will affect a songwriter to the degree that the songwriter wants to be affected. Sometimes writers take an idea and bounce it off of me, and my response will really impact the direction of the song. Other times, a songwriter just writes the tune entirely, and then asks me to merely put rhythm behind it.
FFTB: You’ve played with many different songwriters; do you see any common elements to their songwriting process? How do they involve you? How is this different from other groups you play in?
SG: This is similar to the previous question I guess. Again, they’re all different. Some of them want me to be apart of it, some of them don’t. I will say that the my presence seems to always make the biggest impact on a song’s arrangement. For example, the song might be completely finished, but once the drums are there, the songwriter realizes that they want a turnaround after the first verse, whereas it worked fine without the turnaround when they played the song by themselves and no drums.
FFTB: Can you explain a little about your role in the 87′ Lakers as far as arranging or writing went.
SG: Ha. The Lakers. Sheesh, I can’t even remember. Chris and Vinny wrote all that stuff, and I just played along with it. But, really… that’s a way different scenario than any other project you would ask me about, because of the jazz thing and the anti-pop nature of that music.
FFTB: Is it better to be an expert at 1 instrument or good at many?
SG: Depends on what you want to do. Songwriters don’t really have to be “good” at any instrument. producers have to have a good amount of facility on almost every instrument, but they don’t need to be particularly advanced. But then if you want to be a session player on a particular instrument, you probably need to just focus on that one only, because session guys have to be REALLY GREAT at their instrument, and there’s probably not enough time in one lifetime to become REALLY GREAT at more than one thing.
FFTB: When you practice, what do you work on?
SG: Hmmm. I’ll just tell you what I’m working on currently, because it’s always changing. Lately I’ve been exploring how to make a drumset sound synthetic… with grooves and tones and experiments on how to use each part. I’m also playing at specific tempos and trying to see which grooves work well at those tempos and which ones don’t. That’s a really rough summary though.
FFTB: If you were a fantasy creature what would you be?
SG: Does Predator count as “fantasy”? We’ll say it does. I would be Predator.
FFTB: How important is the snare tone compared with other pieces of the drum set?
SG: Short answer: MOST important. Of everything involved with how a drumset sounds, the single biggest player in how a track sounds overall is the snare tone.
FFTB: You used to always wear a white t-shirt and wood-beaded necklace, what happened?
SG: I’m no longer 21. Now I’m 29.
FFTB: Any advice for young aspiring musicians and songwriters?
SG: Own it. Don’t just try it and get it to the point where you can kinda do it. OWN IT. Get it totally internalized. Get it to the point where everyone can tell that it’s not hard for you. Whatever “it” may be… it can’t be a fight. If you have to fight it, then you’ll never really reach the place where you can say something meaningful with it.
Thanks for the Great inteview Steve