There’s something about The Gooch Palms. Maybe it’s the sparks that fly on record and on stage between its charismatic couple Kat Friend and Leroy Macqueen. Or maybe it’s the songs: killer pop hooks with a heart of punk. Either way, it leaves you wanting more: and luckily for us, Newcastle’s finest – having moved to LA in 2015 – is on secondment back home to play a string of tour dates and work on a new album.
Broadsheet: What’s life like for you in LA these days?
Kat Friend: We’ve been away from LA for over a month and it feels like a lot longer. A lot has happened in the US while we’ve been back in Australia and it’s pretty crazy over there right now, with Trump’s inauguration and all the things he's done since then. Our housemates have been marching in all the protests and everyone is riled up, as are we. But it’s weird to be here in Aus on tour and be kinda disconnected. But before we left, everything was going great! We really love it over there but we’re not too sure what we’ll do this year with everything that’s happening. We might bunker down here a while longer?
BS: How do you two write songs together?
KF: Leroy will be mucking around on the guitar and come up with multiple guitar riffs a day. If he thinks one is a keeper he’ll sit there and sing a melody of gibberish over the top and then brings the song to me to have a listen. We then sit down and write lyrics together and mould the melody around the new lyrics. We then record it on Leroy’s phone and remove or add parts and make sure it flows and is as catchy as possible! We have vowed to only write pop songs on the new album. All killer, no filler!
BS: Songwriting heroes?
Leroy Macqueen: Star Child and The Demon. KF: Leroy.
BS: What do you do outside of music that inspires your creativity?
LM: Surfing, swimming at the beach, driving through beautiful landscapes on tour is mega inspirational. I thought of a song idea while running on the treadmill at the gym the other day so I ran out into the carpark and recorded the guitar part with my mouth into my phone so I wouldn’t forget! Oh and showering. I always get inspired while getting clean! Most of my ideas come to me in the shower.
BS: Fantasy support slot – any artist, any era, anywhere?
LM: Presidents of the United States of America / 1996 / Mount Rushmore for MTV KF: Talking Heads / Stop Making Sense Tour / Anywhere!
BS: What has 2017 got in store for The Gooch Palms?
KF: We just signed to Macro Music and 123 Agency here in Australia, so for the first time in a long time we have some muscle behind us, so who knows! We are open to almost any opportunity that presents itself to us anywhere in the world this year, so we could end up doing anything, really. We are also working with a very awesome friend who will be producing our next album here in Australia; we can’t wait to get in the studio and pump out the next album!
The Gooch Palms plays Mountain Sounds Festival on the Central Coast, NSW, on Saturday February 18.
Friday February 17– Moonshine, Manly Wednesday March 8 – Beach Road Hotel, Bondi
Friday February 24 – CATS at Rocket Bar
Saturday February 25 – Yah Yahs