Last month, I came across Good Kid‘s debut single “NOMU” on Spotify. As soon as I heard it, I knew I had found a special band. I initially described the band as a mix between Panic! At The Disco and Two Door Cinema Club – it seems the band gets the former a lot. “NOMU” has been on repeat ever since and it will continue to be played until the band releases more material. Upon doing my research, I found out the band was from Toronto, ON. In other words, I was beyond excited to see that they were local.
After reaching out to the band, the guys in Good Kid were kind enough to chat with me about their debut single “NOMU” along with their plans for 2016. Unfortunately the band’s guitarist David was unable to join us.
Good Kid is:
Nick Frosst (Vocals), Jacob Tsafatinos (Guitar), David Wood (Guitar), Michael Kozakov (Bass), Jon Kereliuk (Drums)
You can read the full interview below.
What has Good Kid been up to in 2015?
Michael: Four of us are programmers. We won a programming competition at UofT (University of Toronto) and they sent us to Korea to do another one. In the end, it didn’t work out because there was a MERS virus outbreak so they cancelled the whole thing. But by the time they cancelled it, we all booked our tickets. So we still went to Asia.
Nick: Then we came back, and we recorded [Nomu] before the summer but never really got around to releasing it until we got back.
Jacob: We all work different jobs and people were in different countries in the summer, so we decided to wait. We’re pretty new as a full band to be honest. Nick, Michael, and I have been playing together for a couple years. We got Jon and Dave to make a real band in the past year.
Did you release any music when it was just the three of you?
Jacob: No. Well, “Madeleine”.
Will it see the light of day under Good Kid?
Jacob: It totally will. It’s one of our better songs. We’re going to be recording that one in December – rerecording it. We recorded it in my friend’s basement before. There’s a demo out there somewhere.
When Good Kid started writing music together, was it difficult to agree on a style of music you wanted to play?
Jacob: Yeah. It’s like the biggest conflict in our band.
Michael: So, we’re called Good Kid. But the joke is that we have good kid songs and bad kid songs. We come from different directions. Jon played in a metal band before.
Jon: And I play lots of Jazz.
Michael: I come from more of a pop background.
Nick: I play a lot of folk stuff.
Jacob: I’m like indie rock, pop punk.
Michael: Nomu was written by Jacob.
Jacob: I brought that song to the band. All our songs, you can usually tell who brought what to the band to work on.
Nick: We all work on them and write them together. But normally one person comes with the first idea and then we all work on it. We figured out how to marry all those things – sort of. But there’s still now and then one song that sounds like a totally different band.
Michael: You can hear it in “Nomu”, too. Even though it’s a happy-go-lucky pop song, the comparison we get the most is Panic! At The Disco which is more of an aggressive sound, which Nick brings in.
Is “NOMU” similar to the other tracks you guys are working on?
Jacob: Yeah. We’re going to record three songs in December. “Madeleine” is a slow, sappy song, but it’s still within the same kind of vibe. We’re trying to get everything to be more cohesive moving forward – to make things have a consistent style. So when people listen to it, they know they’re listening to us.
Michael: We’re working with this guy Crispin [Day], who produced “Nomu” – he’s amazing. He kind of has a vision to release [multiple] songs from the same band, to make sure they all have the same sound. I’m sure the next song we release will make total sense with “Nomu”.
Are you guys working towards an EP?
Michael: I think for now the idea is to release several singles after one another and see where that goes. Then, we’ll probably release a few more songs and package that together. But that’s something we still have to figure out.
Jacob: There’s a discussion amongst the band about the direction of music distribution. Lately, with most big artists, you put out one song, two songs, and people don’t make EPs or records anymore. They just do singles. I kind of understand why. It’s a lot more effective. At the end of the day, people probably hear that one song you release every two months, instead of putting out one album all together and then they only pick out one or two songs. Every song you release as a single, more people are going to hear it.
Michael: But it’s also a different mindset. That means whenever you write a song and release a song, you have to think of it as a single.
Jacob: I also romanticize an album or an EP. I want to put out an EP because I grew up listening to EPs and albums. You still want to be a band that puts out a work that’s supposed to work together.
Michael: Then we’ll release a deluxe edition [laughs].
What sort of music do you guys listen to?
Michael: Recently I’ve been listening to Day Wave. I love him. He’s super cool. He kind of had a similar thing as us. He just released a song on SoundCloud and then it just exploded out of nowhere. He’s kind of three steps ahead of us, where I kind of listen to him and think, “Oh my god, maybe we’ll be there soon, too.”
Jacob: I’ve been listening to this seventeen year old kid from the Netherlands called WRLD. He kind of does video game, synth music but I really like it. It’s not like my usual style of music but I can’t get enough of him. He also did a thing where he put out one song and then an EP of songs. His album art is amazing.
Nick: I’m listening to Stan Rogers a lot – for about a year. I keep thinking I’m going to be bored of Stan Rogers and then instead I just keep on listening to more Stan Rogers. I also listen to a lot of electronic stuff and Two Hours Traffic, Tokyo Police Club.
Jon: I’ve been listening to a lot of Erykah Badu lately. She’s super funky. Electric Mantis for electronic stuff, Son Lux for indie stuff.
How long did it take you to write “NOMU?”
Nick: We finished recording it before May of last Summer, we just didn’t release it.
Michael: We played “Nomu” in two different shows. One in December of last year and one in March or April of last year. They changed drastically between each show and then after the shows we went into the recording studio and the song just flipped upside down.
Jacob: The actual answer, “Nomu” was started over three years ago. I started working on this song a long time ago. I can still find the old emails of me sending it to my old drummer being like, “What do you think of this?” for an old band David and I used to play in. That band was falling apart so I didn’t want to use it for them. So, I brought it to Michael and Nick and started working on it. I started writing the guitar for that at least three years ago. As a full band, we only worked on it since we became a band. It’s one thing working on a song when it’s just guitars but when you get a drummer to go over it with, it goes so much faster.
When did the five of you become a solidified band?
[The band debates amongst themselves]
November of last year (2014).
Have all of you been in bands before? Or is this new for any of you?
Jon: No, I think every single one of us has been in a band before.
At your last show at The Cavern, what song received the best response?
Nick: People who come to our shows are really nice to us. It’s because they’re really nice that it’s hard to figure out which one gives the best reaction.
Jacob: We have this one song called “The Ground” that gets a really great reception all the time. It sounds nothing like the rest of our stuff.
Jon: That’s our ‘out there’ one. We use it as a set opener.
Nick: It’s folk. It’s very dramatic and over the top.
Jacob: “Nomu” had a great reception because we played it last and people were like, “Why didn’t they play ‘Nomu’?!” We weren’t even trying to do an encore but I just didn’t write it on the set. So, we played it and I think it got a great crowd reaction.
Michael: We covered Arctic Monkeys “Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong, But…”. Somehow that turned into a mosh pit in the middle of The Cavern. That place is pretty small but we overpacked it. I’m just playing and then suddenly my friend is just flying somewhere.
Jacob: “Madeleine” has a pretty catchy chorus that people can sing to. It’s pretty emotional.
Do you know what song you’re releasing next?
Jacob: No, it really just depends on how they turn out.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We’re recording more and will be releasing more music hopefully in January/February. Our next show will be announced soon. Oh! And, we reply to Facebook messages.
Jacob: Yeah. Some guy was like, “Hey, can you send me the chorus to the song?” and I tabbed out the entire song on guitar for him!
You can download “NOMU” on BandCamp.