Hey festers! For this week’s Folk Fest artist profile we interviewed The Mighty Goodboys, a providence based Appalachian folk band made up of Corey Millard, Travis Conway, Benny Tilchin, Jeff Kidd, Nick Carr, and Mike Walker! Don’t miss them performing at the 2015 Folk Fest on April 24th!
Tell us about yourselves!
Travis: Cory, Nick and I went to college together…I went to Cornell and they went to Ithaca and other than that we were all spread out. Some of the music started there up in the upstate New York hills- a lot of the first record, a lot of what we’re going to be playing at the festival. A lot of that material was written up there and we brought it back to providence together and it fit into the americana movement that was going on here at the time.
Nick: Yeah, me, Travis, and Corey started playing in college. We wanted to be a rock band when we moved back to Providence but the cops kept coming to the rehearsal space we had because it was too loud… and so we decided to play acoustic instruments and it was super fun. And then Jeff started playing the Harmonica and Mike came with his enormous bass, and that was that. The band just kind of accumulated members.
What brought you guys back to Providence?
Travis: The city’s magnetism. The bands and the musicians are great…. we’ve had a lot of fun hanging out in the scene.
Where did your band’s name come from?
Corey: We were listening to Prairie Home Companion and I don’t remember who was playing, but he said at the end ‘Well that’s mighty good boys,’ and then I was in the car with my friend Andy in Ithaca and he said ‘woah that’s a great name’… and I thought ‘well, we’ve got dibs on that.’
How would you describe your sound to a new listener?
Travis: Appalachian Folk.
Jeff: Roots music… back to the roots.
Has this sound evolved?
Nick: It started out playing rock versions of our acoustic songs and it sort of took on a life of its own.
Travis: We’ve gotten very bipolar, we hardly ever play any of our acoustic stuff anymore.. now it’s all new material that we’re recording for the second album. We’re basically two different bands but we go under the same moniker.
Nick: Yeah the rock stuff is more alternative.
What does the process look like when you’re creating a song?
Nick: Usually one of us will have the melody and the lyrics and the chords and then they’ll bring it to the band…and everyone sort of figures out their parts… they usually end up sounding nothing like they sound in my head, but they sound much cooler.
Travis: Usually its bare bones that you come to the session with and then the band just takes it from there and you flush it out. Almost everything we’ve done has been really collaborative to get to the end.
Corey: Playing in a band is a cool diplomatic process because you have to do that…you have this idea and usually you’ll have a reference to compare it to, like an album that you love, but then when you bring it to the band it all changes.
Travis: We’ve never really had that domineering kind of personality who would come in with a song and that’s how it’s gonna be… it’s always been very democratic and somehow we haven’t gotten at each other’s throats yet.
Corey: Everybody’s really good at their thing, you know.
Who are some of your favorite musicians?
Travis: Oh it’s all over the place. I think you could go around the room and we’re pooling from all different styles of music.
Corey: Early The Mighty Good Boys, before they started sucking. No, in all seriousness, I think we all like The Band, the idea of The Band. That group dynamic has been an inspiration for what we’re trying to accomplish.
Nick: Also a lot of local bands. When you go to your friend’s band show it’s never like a chore because it’s actually awesome.
Is there a lot of Folk in Providence?
Corey: There’s a ton of straight- ahead folk.
Travis: There’s just a ton of music in general in Providence. That’s definitely one of the big parts of the scene though, has been for the last five years at least…
Corey: I think there’s a big songwriter presence in Providence, and a lot of that kind of starts with folk music. As you fill out a band and your sound develops then you become what you become.
Any advice for new musicians?
Travis: Watch your back.
Nick: Except for in very rare instances, it’s just play your music, play a lot of shows… get along with everyone you’re playing with and play as much as you can. And eventually people start coming to your shows.
Corey: And do your own thing. Don’t morph to what has become popular around here. There’s some bands we’ve seen… that basically sound like Deer Tick cover bands. The biggest thing is to just know your sound before you start and continue to work on that sound instead of just adapting to what is popular.
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Thanks to the Boys for taking the time to sit down with us! We’re so stoked to hear y’all at the Fest — come see them play on Friday, April 24th at the Pembroke Field House!!