By Nick Landon
the colonnade: Give me the bible of your band. How did it start?
tyler: It started because two years, 2 . years, into college I realized I wasn’t making any progress towards what I love, which is music- writing music, playing music, and I just had this realization- what am I doing?
I’m enjoying it. I’m in school, and I’m enjoying it, but this is what I love. This is the passion that I have and the greatest happiness that I get, and it was that day I literally texted, you know, a guitarist that I know and a guy I knew who plays bass, two friends of mine. And I was like, let’s write some stuff. and that’s all it was at the time, but in my head I was just, I couldn’t believe that I had wasted all this time. Because I’ve been in bands since I was 14, 15 years old, earlier than that, 12 or 13. To just have that period of nothing fly by, I couldn’t believe it.
So, that’s how it started. We got together and we started writing, and I already had some stuff written, but it was very lackadaisical writing. After that epiphany, I just had much more structured writing sessions where I was really determined to write some stuff, and that’s when we wrote our first EP, Be Alright, and we put out three songs off of it, and did really well. It gave me some hope.
C: What’s your writing process like?
T: It’s sporadic, because I will play guitar everyday, hours everyday. Just out of habit at this point, and that’s what’s so awesome. I will just pick up a guitar throughout the day and play it. I’ll say ‘oh that sounds cool,’ and work on that part. Most of the time, the whole EP, I wrote in my head before I put it to an instrument or down on paper or anything.
In terms of structure and the song- it’s pretty much all done in my head while I am doing things I don’t want to be doing, like while I’m at work or I’m standing in line, walking or driving. I’ll drive with no sound to play songs in my head that I’m writing. Then, i’ll just kind of put it to my guitar.
C: If your band had a pandora station, what other bands would pop up as ‘similar artists’?
T: That’s tough. The get-up kids, Into and Over It. But, then I have completely outside influences. Like, I like hardcore music a lot even though we are not a hardcore band at all.
C: Who’d you say you guys steal from a lot? What artists do you kind of hear something from and you’re like ‘I need to take that and make it my own, I need to use that in my writing, I need to use that in my song?’
T: I really would say that’s the one thing that I really try not to do. That’s what’s so interesting is I think a big thing of songwriting is when I do come up with a part or I think ‘oh, this should come after this part,’ I try to think of why that was my first instinct. A lot of times, I can catch myself as in that was my instinct because I’ve heard it here or I’ve heard it there, or that’s just a major theme in music theory, that’s what comes next.
C: Is there anything else to the process of trying to stay original?
T: Probably just repetition. I think I am a perfectionist in that a lot of my art, I paint, also I write short poems and stuff like that, and in my songwriting, it’s like it never seems done. It always gets down to the most minor things. I literally was just working on a song I’m writing right now, which was complete, it was a complete song, it’s nothing short of a complete song, and I changed what amounts to a fourth of a bar. Just- it’s so miniscule. I think it can be chalked up to those tiny little things that can manifest originality.
C: What’s the trajectory for Good Thoughts?
T: For the future?
T: Keep doing what we’re doing and hope it gets some recognition. That’d be nice. You know, that’s not what it’s about, getting recognition and getting huge, but that’s certainly more fun. I can say from experience it’s a hell of lot more fun playing to a hundred people who know the words, than it is to four people who don’t know the words. We’ll just see what happens, keep puttin out music that we care about.
C: How long have you guys been playing together?
T: Two years now.
C: What’s been the most ridiculously fun moment or rewarding moment that you guys have shared as a band?
T: We did a week long tour two summers ago. That was the first tour I had ever been on, it was all our first tour,
and it was incredible. Oh my god, it’s unreal. You just go see places, which traveling, I love; playing music, I love; being with my friends, I love, so it’s three of my favorite things. That has to be one of the best times of my life.
Honestly, the first house show that I did in Milledgeville last Feb., so almost a year ago, that was one of the best things in my life. It was an attempt to bring it away from this bar jam band scene that monopolizes Milledgeville. I brought, you know we’re some kind of punk band, I brought an emo punk band from Athens and Atlanta and had two people play and 200 people show up. I loved it, and people still talk about it to this day. It really just gave me faith that we don’t have to rely on this ‘let’s go get drunk and listen to a band jam for two hours.’
C: Tell me about you guy’s dynamic as a band. Tell me what it’s like playing with the guys.
T: So the way that it usually works, like I said, you know I’ll kind of write the structure and the whole kind of backbone of the song, and then when we all come together, it’s really cool to see how that changes.
I’ll usually bring it to Timmy first, Timmy’s the drummer, and he can’t really write songs, but he knows what’s going to sound good. He knows what needs to happen. He’s got a cool perspective on it. Then Connor and Wes, we all listen to similar music, but we also listen to different music in the same sense, so they always have really cool ideas that I never would think of. As much as I want it to be exactly what I envisioned, it’s really cool to see how different they make it.
C: What’s the strangest influence you guys kind of pull into your music?
T: Either Drake or I don’t know, I love Drake, he has to influence my music, but I don’t know how he would.
C: I’ve heard you guys cover “Just Hold on We’re Going Home.”
T: Oh, we all love Drake. I think probably the strangest, and I don’t know if you could pull it out as a listener, but from the inside knowing how we write the songs and seeing how it turns out, probably all of our hardcore influences I would say. Connor [Smith, guitarist] actually likes stuff I don’t even like just because it’s too much for me. Timmy is the same way. You know, we all kind of like that style.
C: What’s your favorite song that you guys have recorded?
T: I’m really excited for our new stuff. I think our new stuff is awesome. I really love “Everything Up Close” which is off our first EP. Which might’ve been the first song I ever wrote for this band, I think. I also really like “Cooing & Conspiring” off of the new EP because I really like to switch up- it’s got this driving first half of the song, and then there’s this bridge in the middle that’s slow and spacy. I love working with the dynamics of something being loud and fast then slow and quieter.
C: What’s your favorite quality in your bandmates?
T: I think how well we get along and how we put our friendship and the fact that we care about each other over the band. We really are friends. We love hanging out. We love playing shows, we love playing music, but we love just hanging out with each other and talking.