Both Sides of Goose, America's Premier Jam Band
It's not easy to put Goose in a box. The band, which includes three Berklee alumni (Rick Mitarotonda B.M. ’16, Ben Atkind ’11, and Jeff Arevalo B.M. ’13) doesn't exactly straddle the boundaries between indie, folk, and jam—it floats freely above all those categories.
On their latest full-length, Dripfield, the band's songcraft is as dialed-in and richly textured as any of the indie acts its members cite as influences—Fleet Foxes, Vampire Weekend, Father John Misty. But catch one of Goose's often sold-out live shows, chat with some fans about what brings them out, and it's impossible to dispute the group's status as "the next best jam band, if they aren't already"—as one fan told Sounds of Berklee.
So on this summer edition of the podcast, we're exploring both sides of the Goose experience, from the studio to the stage, and hearing from the band as well as their fans along the way. Listen to the episode, and read excerpts from the conversations with Goose and with the fans who saw the band at a recent sold-out show in Portland, Maine.
Goose, on the making of Dripfield:
Rick Mitarotonda: I think the intention was to stray from [jam fusion] quite a bit with Dripfield and focus on other pursuits and other textures and things like that. I mean, there are improvisational passages and things like that, but it’s really not the emphasis of the record, obviously. It was really refreshing to stray from that at that point. I don’t know, it just felt like a proper change up. And I think D. James Goodwin—Dan—who produced the record was really the perfect master of ceremonies to guide us in that journey to open up new doors, texturally, for us.
Ben Atkind: It’s such a different energy in the studio than it is live. And often times we’ll get into the studio, and we’re trying to track a song that we played live hundreds of times, and you realize very quickly that what works live does not necessarily translate the same way we work in the studio. So automatically, right there, you kind of have to shift your mindset. But then working with Dan—D. James Goodwin—he was just kind of getting us to think in different ways and it kind of just opened up these new territories and headspaces, and that studio energy, it’s just calmer—I don’t know. I think it’s easier to kind of relax and let go. . . . and just being in a studio with all these cool instruments and, like, old wooden things and everything, I don’t know. It’s a space that’s really opens up a lot of creative energy.
On what keeps fans coming back to Goose shows:
Shane (Goose fan): The band’s ability to just take off in a new direction with a song that we’ve heard a handful of times already is super organic . . . and that’s what keeps me coming back. Cause it’s always fresh, and a nice heaping of jam, really. . . . What they do in the studio and then how it transfers to where we stand today is amazing—their ability to almost have two sides to the band Goose.
Produced, engineered, and edited by John Mirisola
Coproduced by Bryan Parys
Theme music by Sleeping Lion
Media excerpted (all songs by Goose):
"The Whales" and "Feel It Now" from 2023/07/06 Thompson's Point, Portland, ME
"Hungersite" from Live at the Salt Shed
"Dripfield," "Arrow," "Honeybee," and "Hot Tea" from Dripfield
Enjoy the show? Have thoughts or questions for the Sounds of Berklee team? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.