“What we wanted to do at first was just make music and see the world”
“We met a friend the other day and he was like ‘You’re going to have TikToked, it’s inevitable,'” said Stefan Blair, half of Good Morning. “I was like, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Spoiler: it’s done. A few months ago, a slow-motion snippet of their 2014 song “Warned You” became the soundtrack to videos of anxious teens wallowing in breakup angst and waves of lockdown boredom.
“Our previous music is more akin to the teenage TikTok vibe, it’s especially fun that it’s the slowed down version,” says fellow Good Morning member Liam Parsons, his eyes looking a mixture of fun and bewilderment. .
It’s not even the first time “Warned You” has received an unexpected boost. In 2015, Tyler the creator shared it with his Instagram followers, and three years later A $ AP Rocky sampled the Good Morning song ‘Don’t Come Home Today’ from the same project, their debut EP ‘Shawcross. ‘. Unsurprisingly, these are Good Morning’s greatest songs to date, with “Warned You” reaching 80 million plays on Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music.
TikTok teens might love “Warned You,” but these songs are firmly in the rearview mirror of Good Morning. NME are catching up with the band to talk about their sixth album, ‘Barnyard’, which comes out at the end of the week. They zoom in, Blair with a scruffy beard and Oneohtrix Point Never t-shirt and Parsons wearing a puppy smile that belies a roaring intellect.
“I just remember we wanted something that was difficult for Google”
As we speak, Melbourne recently claimed a record that no one wanted – the most locked down city in the world, with 246 days under its belt. So it’s no surprise that the talks nostalgically turn to touring (also when Good Morning transforms into a quartet, adding drummer Joe Alexander and bassist James Macleod).
“We are really lucky to be shooting anywhere. All these crazy opportunities from this stupid little band, playing in Mexico, Taiwan, Thailand, China, Japan, ”Blair recalls.
“I thought about it so much during the pandemic; being disappointed, i’m stuck at home in melbourne, then i try to take stock and think of all the places we’ve been, ”he said, rolling a smoke.
“It’s true to what we wanted to do at the beginning, to make music and find a way to see the world. “
Almost ten years ago, friends Blair and Parsons shared the cost of a Foxtex four-track tape recorder and began recording music together. Once an EP was finished, they needed a band name. “I just remember we wanted something that was difficult to use on Google,” Parsons said with a shrug.
‘Shawcross’ led to another EP ‘Glory’, a fusion of the two titled ‘Glorcross’, then a streak of three short but adorable albums: ‘Prize // Reward’, ‘The Option’ and ‘Basketball Breakups’, the the latter two were both released in 2019.
Perhaps the most confusing part of Good Morning’s success is that they made it a fist without any radio tracks from the creators of Triple J Kings, who seem to have ignored their lo-fi indie rock meets Mac’s stoner blues. DeMarco.
“I’ve never mourned the lack of support we get from triple js,” Parsons says candidly. “They don’t play our music, that’s good. They’ve been given too much power and too much credit. I think there is a way around them.
In 2019, the group signed a deal with Our Golden Friend, the management company run by Lorrae McKenna (whom Blair calls “Good Morning’s saving grace in recent years,” which helped alert the group to a streaming situation. sticky that they ‘you are still figuring out).
And in April, they unveiled their own Good Morning Music Company Worldwide label, which will co-publish “Barnyard” locally with Virgin Music Australia while Polyvinyl will handle it overseas.
This whole upgrade meant that “Barnyard” had to be a more serious business. “We really wanted to break 30 minutes for the first time, that’s the legitimate length of an LP,” jokes Parsons.
And they did, recording the 32-minute album in a rushed week in 2019 at Wilco’s The Loft studio in Chicago, which was available during their tour of the United States (they are now renting a modest studio in Preston). Good Morning worked by “drinking Miller High Lifes and that nearly pure Chicago alcohol, Malört,” and tried other new things, like an analog synthesizer called the Swarmatron that Trent Reznor used to create the score for Social network (“a lot of chaos”, says Blair).
The Swarmatron is one of dozens of parts that make up “Country’s” first rainbow layered cake. A chintzy-sounding rippling banger you can actually dance to, ‘Country’ is a new vibe for Good Morning.
“It really is New Order worship,” Parsons says.
‘Country’ is also quite talkative four minutes – “a fucking progressive song” to Good Morning, as their sound engineer Thomas Schick put it – and gives the band the chance to show off their talent for quotes such as “I think it’s a little different now / I have a boyfriend and I have a psychiatrist. “
“People who are supposed to have our best interests at heart are doing everything in their power to make the situation worse”
“Barnyard” is closed with closer “Country” and his “opposite song” “Too Young To Quit,” a finger-pinched torch song that draws the listener as Parsons voice rises like a distant cobra.
Thematically, he throws his cards on the table early, wanting to do something about environmental issues but at the same time feeling powerless. And their single “Burning” addresses Australia’s climate change crisis – and the federal government’s icy response. It was written in November 2019, just before the worst bushfires in Australia in a century.
“It was that anxiety of that particular time. It was an overwhelming sense of doom and it was totally justified, ”Parsons said.
“The people who are supposed to have our best interests at heart are doing everything in their power to make the situation worse. “
Elsewhere, Good Morning gives us a well-deserved laugh, stringing together three rock’n’lol songs with pop culture titles: ‘Wahlberg’, ‘Yng_Shldn’ (which makes fun of the TV show Young Sheldon) and ‘Matthew Newton’, a very Australian satire about the disgraced actor who sounds textured like an Anzac cookie thanks (you guessed it) to the Swarmatron.
“I think he was the first person I can remember in pop culture having been ‘canceled’,” Parsons said of the song’s inspiration, who pleaded guilty to assaulting his girlfriend in 2007 (the conviction was subsequently quashed). “It’s about nepotism in Australia and being put on a platform. Are you famous for merit or are you famous for who your father is? “
Good Morning may have knocked the chips down in its favor, but they’re about to level up through hard work and talent. Realizing that few Australian bands – and Australians, period – earn stable income during a pandemic, the duo launched a Patreon page where they offer exclusive songs, tutorials and live broadcasts, donating 100% of their income to charity.
“There is always a need – someone always needs financial help. I took the advice of people who signed up to find out where they would like the money to go, ”Parsons says.
“It comes down to this thing at the beginning to be lucky enough and to be able to pay our rent and record in a studio that we have filled with our instruments,” Blair adds.
“What else do you really need?”
Good Morning’s “Barnyard” will be released on October 22 via Good Morning Music Company Worldwide / Virgin Music and Polyvinyl