Brooklyn Duo, Great Good Fine Ok, have racked in a consistent 1 million monthly listens on Spotify and continue to ride the high tide into the new year with their latest release, “Easy”. I caught up with the guys to discuss balance and making sure that you are taking care of your part in your interpersonal relationships, their three latest singles, escaping from stimulus while on tour and more.
“Change” and “Touch” are great introductions to what is to come within your upcoming album release. Tell us about your creative and recording process so far and what you have learned along the way.
The creative process has been the same since the very beginning. Luke creates the music, sends it to me, and I write the lyrics and the melodies. Or sometimes the opposite, I’ll have a melodic or lyrical idea and bring it to Luke and we’ll work that way. After that initial step, we go back and forth and polish up everything together, but it works for us to separately do the things that we are best at. This band has taught me the power of collaboration. Years ago I thought that writing with other people could water down my “vision”, but on the contrary, I was limiting my vision by relying solely on my particular skill set.
If you could go back to day one in the studio, would you have thought that both singles would have turned out the way that they did?
Both “Change” and “Touch” (mainly “Touch”) evolved considerably since the day we started them. Hearing a song take shape over time is part of the joy of what we do. When we started “Touch” it had a very edgy electronic vibe that reminded me of the band Muse. As it progressed and we added lap steel and acoustic guitar it turned into something completely different.
Showcasing the human in you, what is a challenging thought that you recently had and were able to overcome over time?
For me, 2018 was filled with a lot of life extremes. Love, death, joy, pain and everything in between. I do believe that you learn more from the pain, so in that sense, I am grateful. Looking at it like that makes it easier to overcome these things.
What is your perception on the digital world that we live in and social media culture?
Similarly to the way some people are more equipped to do drugs recreationally, and some people, for whatever reasons, should never do drugs, I believe some people are more equipped to handle the social media vortex. You only see the extremes. Famous/successful people, rich people, or people failing or battling hard times. Most of life is somewhere in between, and that is a much healthier place to focus. I use social media to reach our fans or connect with friends. Period. I try not to get caught up in just scrolling and I know that most of what I am seeing is not reality. Some people have a harder time with that, and it can be triggering and dangerous. I have mixed feelings about the digital world. In some ways, it is endlessly good, but I worry about what it is doing to the generation of people who never lived without it.
No career path or amount of followers negates the fact that you are a human being that has feelings. Tell us about some parts of you beyond being a musician that you take pride in.
Being a good friend, family member and partner is important to me. Interpersonal relationships effect me on an emotional level much more than my career does. I like when I can nurture those things. I take pride in being kind to others and making a constant effort to see the forest through the trees.
As you are exposed to tons of stimulus, how do you proactively take care of your mental and emotional health when you’re out on the road?
There is a lot of down time and traveling when we are on tour, so we try to use those times to center and escape from the stimulus. We try to exercise, eat healthy, and explore different cities – helps us stay sane.
You have toured with a wide variety of musicians over the past years and have played at some major festivals. Tell us some words of wisdom that you have collected along the way.
I heard the frontman of one of the bands we toured with say something along the lines of, “You shouldn’t get nervous because wherever you are, you deserve to be there.” I am paraphrasing, but I often think about this sentiment.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with either yourself as a child or yourself as a wizened senior citizen, who would you choose and why?
I would definitely talk to the wizened me. I’d rather learn from myself, than teach myself. The child me would definitely benefit from talking to me, but he needs to learn certain things on his own. So does current me, but…I’d still love to know the things I’ll learn in the next 50 years.