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Great Interstate Interview + Playlist

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 While on a road trip traveling from his home town of Salt Lake City, Andrew Goldring, the man behind the musical creations of Great Interstate (coincidence, no?), allowed me to pick his brain about his inspirations, the Salt Lake music scene, his writing process, and future plans. He also shared a playlist of music that he’s stoked on. 

Tell us a little about yourself

I am 22 years old. I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah - I’ve lived there my whole life. I started playing music as a 12 year old kid, and I really got into classic guitar so I started playing blues rock. In high school I started to get a lot more into song writing. After high school I joined Golden Sun and played with them for a couple of years. I also have a recording studio business called Soundcave productions.

So you said you have been playing for a long time. What got you interested in playing music initially? 

My mom played music growing up. She had a band, and so she got me into guitar and taught me my first guitar lesson. What really got me inspired was watching Stevie Ray Vaughn play guitar. From there I got really into Bob Dylan. I’ve also been listening to The Beatles since I was like 3 years old. Just having music in my house has always been a big part of my life. 

What is your song writing process + what inspires you to write the songs that you do? 

My song writing process is pretty simple. I usually just start my songs with an acoustic guitar. It all kind of comes out at once for the most part. I usually just sit down and whatever I’m feeling at the moment, I just draw from that. Sometimes it comes out other ways too, like I’ll put things together on my computer. Lately we’ve been jamming more and interacting and trying to write songs from scratch. I write the music, the core production, the melody, and the lyrics and then I bring it to the band and they kind of expand on it and everyone contributes their own parts.

So you’re from Salt Lake City. How is the music scene there?

The music scene in Salt Lake is pretty cool. It’s kind of a weird city because it’s a big city but also kind of like a small town. Everybody kind of knows each other, which is something that I really like about it, but it’s also kind of difficult because everything gets regurgitated a lot. But it’s a super cool place to play music. There are a lot of awesome venues. There’s a record shop called Diabolical Records that a friend of mine runs and that just popped up about a year ago and that kind of rejuvenated the Salt Lake City music scene. He has shows there like three times a week and it’s always packed with local bands and people coming to check out new bands, so that’s been really cool. 

Regarding your band, Great Interstate, how did you guys end up getting together? 

I had known everybody in the band from other bands and just being friends in the music scene. Our bass player actually used to play drums for me. So the lineup kind of just fell together. I started the project as just a set of songs that I had written last summer and last fall, and I didn’t really have a band or anything. I just started recording by myself and ended up pretty much writing the whole record. I had another friend visiting from Australia and he helped me do some recording and play drums. So during that time it just started to come together and I found the guys from other bands. We started jamming and I decided to just finish the album by myself because the band was so new and I didn’t want to get everyone involved right off the bat. I tried to finish it all on my own and then have us play live shows and get tighter as we go. It’s really awesome because now we are starting to get tighter as a live band and the record is a kind of cool transition piece. 

You do production + have your own recording studio business, Soundcave productions. How did you get into studio engineering? 

I’m pretty much self-taught. I learn a lot on the internet. I started getting interested about 5 years ago and started learning. I like to learn from my friends and other audio engineers in the community. I try to pick up as much as I can from other people, and try to capture sounds from my favorite records in my own way.

What are your goals as a musician and as a band? 

Right now our goal is to get out and share music and really just to inspire people. I think that’s the biggest point. I’ve been in bands before where it was about mostly money, and I don’t want to waste my time with that. I’m more interested in inspiring people and making friends in new places. That’s what music is for me. Creating a feeling through a sound or lyric that other people resonate with on a deeper level, but wouldn’t necessarily be able to express in everyday conversation. I would like to move forward and make some really good records and play live more as well. 

So what’s up next for the band? 

We’re hoping to record a new EP this fall and hopefully get on the road as well.

And now for the Great Interstate Playlist featuring Andrew’s notes from his song selections:

1. Land of Talk ∆ Quarry Hymns

Land of talk is an amazing Canadian band that literally dropped off the face of the earth about 3 years ago. This album “cloak and cipher” is probably in my top 5 records ever. This is the first song by them I remember hearing and it has stuck with me from day one. Lizzie Powell’s vocals and songwriting are incredible. The vibe of this record is so cool because it’s super energetic but it feels and sounds so chilled out at the same time. It’s an amazing contrast unlike anything else I’ve heard. I hope they come back from their hiding someday. 

2. Built To Spill ∆ Things Fall Apart 
This song means a lot to me and helped me through a big transition period in my life. Built to spill covers so much ground with their music, and this song has a great mix of somber songwriting with their classic epic arrangements. I love the horn solo. 

3. Pedro the Lion ∆ Forgone Conclusions 
David Bazan’s vocal delivery is really special. This song just kicks ass in such a unique way and always gives me the feels. 

4. The Fire Theft ∆ Summertime 
If you don’t know about the fire theft, it’s a side project album from sunny day real estate. I really connect with this record because it has such a broad spectrum of sounds and influences. Every song is totally different. I’ve always struggled to focus in on one style in my own songwriting and great albums like this make me feel a lot better about my own process. 

5. Sparklehorse ∆ Sea Of Teeth
Mark linkous is one of my favorite songwriters/producers ever. He could make the simplest chord progression or melody into something detailed and beautiful. His production was a huge influence on the Great Interstate record. I love the way he plays with noise and distortion and ambience. This song is so beautifully simple and I think it’s some of his best work. RIP mark. 

Bonus track:

 6. The Beatles ∆ I Want You (She’s So Heavy) 

I feel like this song is one of the first truly heavy songs ever. It’s just so heavy for 1969. The Beatles laid the groundwork for everything I’ve ever experienced musically, and I’ve been fascinated with abbey road recently. It’s such an incredible album, especially the medley at the end. 

More from Great Interstate:
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More from Andrew Goldring:
Official // Facebook // Bandcamp 
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