Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Folks Behind the Music - Bill Goodman - The Soda Shop

The Soda Shop has earned a legendary status in the halls of stoner rock and doom.  With an endless passion for the "heavy" The Soda Shop did it all; reviews, podcasts, free album compilations, Daily Bandcamp recommendations, news . . . you name it.  If it was important to the heavy rock scene, the Soda Shop was there.  

Now on hiatus while main man, Bill Goodman tends to other duties, we tracked down Bill to see how it all started.  And for those who miss their dose of Daily Bandcamp Recommendations, Soda Bill is now contributing them on a regular basis to these pages of the Ripple Effect. 

Also, fresh breaking news . . . we can all expect Bill to come back soon, starting up a new blog that will be certain to follow the grand tradition he set of bringing the heavy rock scene right to all our open doors.  Keep tuned and we'll keep you posted as more news comes out.

Start at the beginning, how did you get started with this crazy idea of broadcasting about music? 

When I discovered Graveyard back in 2008, I was finally convinced that non mainstream music had something to offer. The more I dug, the more I found. Through some messages on a torrent site, someone pointed out The Sludge Swamp to me. I spent more time on that site than I care to admit. I really wasn't sure what I was going to like so I downloaded almost everything I could. After a few months I cracked a joke that I should join the crew. By the end of the day I was part of the staff there. about a month later Jake was looking to revive The Soda Shop. We shared the same passion for the music and he asked me to join.

We're all the product of our musical past. What's your musical history? First album you ever bought? First musical epiphany moment? First album that terrified the hell out of you? 

As far as musical talent, I don't have any. I've tried picking up a guitar and bass multiple times but never was able to grasp it. I started listening to music when I was really young. at the age of about 5 or 6 I was picking up my mom's LPs and playing them. I was huge into cartoons as a kid and she had picked up some soundtracks for me. She had bought me a Mighty Mouse soundtrack, a Disco Duck album (which was a knock off of Donald Duck singing to Village People songs), a Star Wars holiday album and a few more that I can't remember. My Mom listened to disco which eventually lead to some of the early 80's pop music that I was exposed to. She liked Neil Diamond too which I listened to a lot. My biggest joy at that time was when Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' album came out, my Mom bought me the picture LP and I wore the grooves out on it within a few months it was played so much.

Once that phased out, my parents divorced around that time, we moved and my music interest kinda stalled. I was getting into GIJoes and Transformers at that time. Toys were my new priority. When I hit middle school, my interest in music picked up. My friend got me into Guns & Roses, Megadeth, Metallica and Motley Crue. The first album I bought with my own money was Guns & Roses 'Appetite for Destruction' on tape. I can't recalled my first musical epiphany but I had a lot around mid 1999 to 2000 when I was discovering, or shall I say re-discovering older music that I had long forgotten about. A lot of it was stuff I would listen to in the car with my Mom or Uncle and I would hate. Stuff like Ozzy Osbourne, CSN (and sometimes Y), Neil Young, any post Beatles solo material (minus Ringo). Terrified? Well nothing I can think of.

What's the last album to grab you by the throat and insist you listen? 

There's been a few recently. 'Fables' by an Italian band called Dead Man's Miracle is one. I listened to it and I wasn't so sure I liked it but I kept listening to it and now I think it's actually a pretty kick ass album. It's a little prog, a little metal, lots of hard rock. Another album is the newest album by Chili Cold Blood. 'And Now The Dawn' is the album. It's a lot darker than their past albums. They are essentially 2 bands, The Moonhangers is the other band. The Moonhangers is more country rock and Chili Cold Blood more Southern blues rock. The latest album they almost completely ditch the blues rock and darker and almost doomier. The new album by The Freeks (Full On) is killer too.

What do you see happening in the music scene today, good and bad? 

Well mainstream music will continue to destroy itself and the society that follows it. I'm not sure how much more SWAG they can come up with but they'll find something. As far as non mainstream music, I think it'll continue to grow and flourish. There's a lot of talented people out there making music and do it not for the almighty dollar, but more for the love and passion of making music and playing in front of crowds big and small. I see that with bands such as Mothership, Midnight Ghost Train, Mount Carmel, The Truckfighters and Lo-Pan just to name a small few.

With so many music sites, how would you describe what you do? What's your unique take on the music and writing?

I tired to do almost everything possible. News, reviews, downloads, Podcasts, I wanted to do it all. For awhile I was pretty successful at it. As The Soda Shop got bigger, the requests were coming in faster and faster and I couldn't keep up. It got to the point where I would have to pick and choose what was posted due to time constraints.

Illegal free downloads on your site. Yes or no, and why? 

That's a double edged sword right there. As far as what was offered on The Soda Shop, it had to be legal. Anything offered for download would have 100% blessing from the bands involved. As far as illegal downloads, not on my site because I didn't want one bad download to take down the whole site.

What's been your all time greatest "Find"? That band you "discovered" before anyone else and started the word spreading? 

It's funny how blogs and online journalism works, they all feed off of each other. There's been a bunch of bands I've written about after discovering them and anywhere from a few hours to a few days later, other blogs and online sites are talking about them. Of course it's worked the other way around as well. I do remember discovering on my own The Dirty Streets, Mothership, Mount Carmel, Goliathon, Zed, Ancient Warlocks, and The Heavy Eyes. After writing about them, I noticed a surge of articles and links on those bands on other online sites.

If you could write a 1,000 word essay on one song, which one would it be, and why? What makes that song so important? 

I never thought about that so I had to. I'm not sure why but it would have to be "Sparks" by The Who form the 'Tommy' album. It's an instrumental that's more of an outro to "Amazing Journey." The song has constantly popped up in my head over the past 15 years and gets stuck there.

 Give us three bands that we need to keep our eyes out for.

Wolverine Blues (stoner rock), Black Pussy (hard/classic rock), and Killer Moon (Heavy psychedelic)

Tell us about your personal music collection. Vinyl? CD? What's your prized possession? 

I had a ton of CDs. They're inexpensive so they can stack up fairly quickly. I got back on the vinyl kick a few years ago when Stone Axe (pre Ripple signing) was releasing all those 7" records with extra stuff. I was buying them but didn't have a record player to play them on. Once I got one I was starting to see the value in LP's over CDs. Now I buy mostly vinyl. I love it when you can buy a record off of a band's Bandcamp page and get the digital download at the same time. As far as prized possession, well I think that would have to be Slo Burn's 'Amuse the Amazing' EP on wax. It's old, hard to find, and looks damn sexy for a slab of wax.

What makes it all worthwhile for you? 

This is going to be a bit cliched but it's true, music is an escape for me. No matter my mood, I can find something to listen to.

How would your life be different if you weren't involved in music? 

 I'd probably be glued to a TV or something else unproductive. It would probably be very boring and terrifying.

Ever been threatened by a band or a ravenous fan? 

No but I do have one terrifying moment. I'm not a big person. The very first Metallica concert I went to when I was 18 I had lawn seats. At one point the band played "Whiplash." A mosh pit broke out, I was near it and some asshat pushed me in. I fell down and people were stomping on me. Some big husky dude pulled me out when he noticed.

 In the end, what would you like to have accomplished, or be remembered for? 

As far as within the music community, perhaps someone with a passion for music and loved to share it with everyone and anyone that was willing to listen to me. Hopefully a few bands get signed to labels in the process.

Many people may not realize the hours you devote to what you do for little or no pay. Is there a day job? If so, how do you find the balance?

There's a day job. I'm a locomotive engineer by day. I drive trains. I'm the guy you flick off because I made you late for your hair appointment or make you miss the first few minutes of Sons of Anarchy. The hours vary, anywhere from 36 to 72 a week. I do have downtime which varies and I use that time to get caught up with listening to albums, writing or sometimes, sleep. There's also a wife and 3 kids that takes up a lot of time. Finding a balance is tough sometimes. I play it day by day.

 What's next? Any new projects? 

A'm always thinking up of the next best thing. Trying to execute them though is always tough due to time constraints.

 Finally, other than the music, what's your other burning passion? 

I have a lot of hobbies and interests that I bounce around to from time to time. Movies, TV shows, video games, photography are a few. I just bought a new house so my inner Bob Vila has decided to come out and play for awhile. I'm actually having a lot of fun with it despite the time and money needed to get the projects done.

1 comment:

Arthur said...

Bill, please come back! The Soda Shop was one of the best! I miss it very much. Still visiting web site just to check. Too bad now its unavailable.

Ripple Effect, Thank you verry much guys for long awaited news about the Soda Shop!

Someday I will put my shit together and translate whole
"The Folks Behind the Music" category in Russian. Great work! Always a pleasure!

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