Sean DeTore explores the world of music
the mixtape
Goodbye_Heart_8_copy_2.jpg
Photo: bfeddern.com

Goodbye Heart - "Restless Nights" EP Release, Interview

The last time I wrote about local duo Goodbye Heart they had just played Noise for the Needy 2013 and the only songs they had available for public consumption were "Seconal" and "1st Street". Two songs, by the way, that still make me happysad and have me confused as to whether I should dance to them or cry to them or, maybe, do both. Yeah, the latter sounds about right.

It's now one year later and Goodbye Heart aka Sam Ford and Nila K. Leigh have done exactly what they forcasted last July when I spoke with them: A Proper Album! And, in turn, A Proper Album Release Show! The name of the record is Restless Nights and it's a gorgeous, well written piece of work.

I got a hold of Sam and Nila to ask them about their new album Restless Nights, crazy times at past shows, favorite adult beverages and mixtapes.

***Make sure to see Goodbye Heart this Thursday at The Sunset in Ballard along with Killer Ghost and No Grave.***

the mixtape: Where did you get the name Goodbye Heart?

Goodbye Heart: Nila: Sam came up with it. He walked into the rehearsal room and wrote it on our whiteboard. It's a nod to the Ricky Nelson song, "Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart)". It can be interpreted a bunch of different ways. It's always felt right to me with the sounds we're making.

tm: You have officially released your debut EP, Restless Nights. Your first proper record since moving to Seattle. Tell me about the name of the record. I can only imagine that you two had many, many restless nights putting this EP together.

GH: Sam: Restless Nights just seemed to fit with some of the images and ideas I was working with when I was writing.

Back in NY I used to tend bar way out on the east end of Long Island and then drive home to Brooklyn when my shift was done (long story). I logged about a lifetime's worth of thoughts and feelings on the Long Island Expressway. I'm sure some of them ended up on the EP.

Downtown Seattle's pretty great in the middle of the night. Some parts feel pretty untamed.

tm: The only two songs you had available for some time, "Seconal" and "1st Street", are etheral and dark and beautifully crafted. How did you approach creating the songs for the new EP?

GH: Nila: We approached the EP in a similar way, although I think by the time we got to recording these songs, we had figured out our process a little better. Sam was making more complex beats on the drum machine. We had played some shows - which wasn't the case when we recorded those first two songs. There is a lot of information you can get from playing songs live. You can feel it through the audience. We learned what was working, what needed to speed up, what parts weren't landing.

tm: You've played a lot of shows since existing as a band. Tell me about a crazy time at one of them. Either an experience you had firsthand or witnessed.

GH: Nila: We were playing the Comet once (R.I.P.) when a man came up to me, horrified, and told me that I looked exactly like one of his girlfriends. He begged me not to tell her that he had already started drinking. The opening band started and the man went over into a corner and made a really loud, high-pitched "Hoooooooooo" noise until they finally told him to stop. He went outside and laid down, stretched out across the sidewalk outside the bar. People stepped over him all night. I think that was the same night Sam's credit card was stolen from behind the bar and used at the Taco del Mar...

At our last show, a guy dumped an enormous bucket of water all over our merch. That was maybe more annoying than crazy.

tm: Tell me about a mixtape, past or present, you've either received or made for someone.

GH: Nila: When I was a teenager, a boy made me an awesome Beastie Boys mixtape. He drew on the front with colored pencils. I listened to it all the time. I brought it out with me to Seattle and it lived in my car forever until somebody smashed my window and stole it.

Sam: It's been a while since I've made or received a mixtape but I do remember buying an early DJ Clue tape down on Canal St back in the day. My best friend Stevie E and I would steal my dad's car and drive all over the city playing it that summer. Two absolute white boys.

tm: Favorite bar in Seattle to sit and write great songs? Favorite adult beverage?

GH: Nila: We don't really write in public, but our favorite bar is probably Hattie's Hat in Ballard. My favorite adult beverage is something strong and bitter, served up.

Sam: It's gotta be Hattie's. Bourbon, any way.

tm: What do you like to do when you're not in the studio?

GH: Nila: I spend time with my boyfriend and with my friends. I watch movies. I cook. I go thrifting. I play with my dog.

Sam: Hang with my girl. If you've seen a Goodbye Heart poster around town, she's likely responsible. I also follow baseball obsessively.

tm: What's next for Goodbye Heart? More EP's? An LP?

GH: Nila: We're going to record an LP next. We've got some songs ready for it. We're planning to tour later this year. We want to make a music video. We'd like to get some kind of light-show going. We have lots of plans.

Sean DeTore,
Sean DeTore is the Associate Producer of KIRO Radio's The Ron and Don Show (weekdays 3-7). He's been with the guys for over 7 years.
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