Los Angeles indie rock group The Gooms just released their new single “Free Sweaters? Fantastic!” along with a music video that is destined to make you smile. This is the second single from their debut album Laugh. which is set to release in mid-July. We were able to chat with the band about their new music and what they’ve been up to during quarantine.
How did you meet each other and form The Gooms?
Chase and Shane originally started The Gooms as a duo after a couple other projects disbanded. Nicole is actually best friends with Chase’s sister, from college, and had been to some of those really early Goom debuts. We were looking for a bass player at the time and through a bunch of random connections were given Nicole’s info, not really realizing who it was. Although Nicole plays guitar and not bass, we thought it was too coincidental to not give her a shot. It was too perfect so we continued on, playing shows with 2 guitars, drums, and no bass. Ryan was another connection through Chase’s sister (we now call her the H.R. Department of The Gooms). She brought Ryan to a show and we all ended up talking and hanging out all night, figuring we would get together and jam sometime soon. The next day Ryan sent us an email with videos of himself playing bass parts to all of our songs. Mind you, at the time we had no released music and no bass. It didn’t take long for us to all agree he was the one.
What artists have influenced your sound as a whole?
Oingo Boingo/Danny Elfman, Stevie Wonder, Talking Heads, Weezer, Pixies, The Doors, The Strokes, Deltron 3030, Arctic Monkeys, No Doubt, John Prine, Led Zeppelin, Alabama Shakes, P.J. Harvey, The Clash, Flight of the Conchords. This is impossible to truly answer, so we’ll stop here.
How is your debut album Laugh. different from your previous releases?
The major difference would be that Laugh. is our first full-length album, so it definitely feels a bit bigger than our debut EP “With an M.” That first release was created using more of a step by step process; each of us contributed to the sound at different intervals because certain songs and parts existed before the band was fully formed. This was the first time that every song on the record was written with all four of us in the same room. The process here was different. It feels more cohesive, more mature, and somehow more “Goomy.”
What is your favorite track off the album?
Right now our favorite is “Unoriginal Boy”–or Republican Grandpa if you’re into working titles that have nothing to do with song meaning. This one exploded out of us a month before we were set to record the album and has always felt really unique to our sound. It is a track where we were able to experiment with dynamics, stripping back instruments, whistling, and a few beats of us practicing our horror movie screams.
Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your latest single “Free Sweaters? Fantastic!”
The original inspiration for the track was based off the song “Dig a Pony” by the Beatles. John Lennon had always said that the words were just strung together without any particular meaning but once they were in place one might be able to find some sort of meaning behind them. The goal was to do something similar, but basing all the verse lyrics around the chorus. The lyrics of the verses are manic nonsense while the choruses are actually concrete. The main idea is that the narrator of the song is completely losing control and although for one split second they might have a sense of their instability, it quickly reverts back to panic, frustration, and mania.
Where did you get the idea for the quirky music video for the track?
It was the beginning of quarantine and we had just terminated the lease of our rehearsal space because we knew we wouldn’t need it for a while. With no set practice schedule and a lot of anxiety, we put our excess energy into making this music video. After enlisting the creative and editing help of Josh Jalil, we decided there was no better way to portray an out of control and unstable song than a seemingly never ending game of self conscious dress up. Creating and acting out a handful of starkly different characters, laughing uncontrollably, and dancing our hearts out became a very cathartic experience during a pandemic.
Who would you love to open for on a nationwide tour?
If The Gooms was a cover band, what band would you cover and what would you name the band?
Harvey and The Dents–We would only cover the Batman theme song.
What have you been up to these past few months during quarantine?
Spending most of our time indoors, re-thinking our existence, and watching a lot of Ken Burns. Can’t forget the occasional “Goom Zoom”, as we like to call it.
What artists or albums have you been listening to?
Squid – “Houseplants”
NNAMDI – BRAT
X – Live at The Whisky A Go Go On the Fabulous Sunset Strip
Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters
Childish Gambino – 3.15.20
Shriekback – Big Night Music
Anything else you want readers to know? Important dates or a message to fans?
Our album Laugh. will be available everywhere on July 24th. Also, this Thursday (6/11) at 8pm we are playing a live show, all plugged in, on a real stage that you can stream at twitch.tv/redhousepresents. Also also, we love you xoxo
Watch the video for “Free Sweaters? Fantastic!” here: