Dr. Goddard are an Aussie reincarnation of The Doors that you have to hear to believe.
Dr. Goddard send sonic sounds down from the Blue Mountains in New South Wales through out Sydney and the world. Don't let the uncanny reference to The Doors fool you from hearing the originality and zest in their tunes. They've been featured in countless surf edits for us at Tracks so I thought you'd like to see what they are all about.
Tracks: Ay fellas, so I know you grew up in The Blue Mountains, how was that and when did you slowly make your descent into the smog of Sydney?
Dr Goddard: We were very lucky to be born Mountain men. As raging adolescents Nick and I probably took it for granted. The misty mountains made us musicians; we were looking for an escape, a way to pass the time. We could make a lot of noise at our family house and our mum had a glorious vinyl collection that seeped into our subconscious. We used to drive to Sydney in Nick's sky blue Combi van to go surfing. It was forever breaking down and we almost passed at out at the wheel from the fumes. It was a blissful time and we thought we were the shit - listening to mix-tapes we’d smash through the cassette player! I still can't surf. Nicholas is a fine surfer though. He was the Mountains resident beach babe; his mates called him "Sandman" at school. We moved closer to the beach once we started Uni a while back. Now that we live in Sydney, we love going up to the Mountains to write music, walk through the valley and just breath in that lofty air...
And you (Maclonian Bighorn) are the brother of Nicholas "smooth hands" Sandström, descendants of Nordic Vikings, how does that play out in a band?
Haha! All true. I’d like to think our forefathers were the local lute-players rather than blood thirsty Vikings. In all honesty, our Swedish heritage is really important to us and some of our favourite artists like Dungen, Amason, Miike Snow and Junip come from Stockholm. A vast amount of brilliant 90’s cheese-pop was penned by ghost-writers in Sweden. I also really love ABBA and Bo Hansson. We go there sometimes and write in a summer shack in the forest. It's a really great place to get away from the inter-webs and the distractions of the city. A nordic mirror to the Blue Mountains; we feel at home there. There's no water in the house and we go into caveman mode; chopping wood, not talking much and grilling fish on the fire. Va Bra!
But there's also a ring in from America?
Ya darn tootin'! Christopher Seaman of Shaker Heights, Cleveland, Ohio fame. We have this pipe dream to play Chris' old high school one day... "revenge of the nerds" style! I inherited a penchant for American pop culture from my Uncle. I did a fantastic Route 66 road trip with my buddy Josef Heks, who incidentally directed our "Without Love" clip. It was the booze, BBQ and blues tour of L'America. I had a quiet moment in Clarksdale at the crossroads. I’m a huge delta blues fan. We met an actual reverend at The Apple Barrel in New Orleans who nailed an Al Green song and then gave me his business card. He looked more like an 80s pimp than a holy man. Then there's Bourbon Street.. sweet lord, what a time we had!
Tell us about your latest track "Without Love" (featured on our latest film project "Wanderlust") - I think it's a blood doozy if that helps..
Ahh yes... I whittled down the lyrics on this one, it originally had about 5 verses. Nick had this awesome groove we based the song on. It was written very organically in rehearsals and at sound checks in the dive bars around Sydney. I wanted to acknowledge how much I love playing in a band in our fine city. There are so many killer bands like ADKOB, Borneo & Noire kicking around. I feel really lucky to be part of such a thriving scene. When you’re still smiling dragging an amp up King Street, cooked at 3am and you've got two dollars to your name, you know you're in it for the love. That’s what “Without Love” is about.
I think throughout your career you're always going to be referenced to "The Doors", do you rejoice in that or does it piss you off?
We rejoice. Being compared to one of the most seminal, iconic rock bands of all time? They are an undisputed corner stone of modern art. It's very strange and humbling. However, we are no "Doors". There's a different side to our sound that will reveal itself when we release more music in the not too distant future. I could talk about The Doors for days though. They got better with age, each member was vital and their first album had songs like "The End" and "Light My Fire On It"? WTF.
I used to want to be like Jeff Buckley or Robert plant. I'm not a tenor. I discovered I was a baritone after briefly studying opera. I became obsessed with singers like Chris Issak, Roy Orbison, The Boss, Elvis, good old Jim and even opera singers like Jose Carreras. Nick was instrumental in pushing me down the baritone path. He’s a brilliant writing partner and reigns in my cheese factor.
Song: Do you ever by Dr. Goddard in this clip from Loco Loco (2014)
And where did the name Dr. Goddard come from?
Dr. John Goddard was a school Drama/English teacher of ours. He came to one of our shows once and we talked about kebab shops in Newtown. Dr. Goddard also invented the modern rocket and Jean Luc Godard is the father of French Noire… It's an ambitious name. Also, Kevin Parker approved of our name, when Nick met him at the airport once upon a time. Sold.
Whats in store for the next 6 months?
We are writing an album. Next show is with Harts at Oxford Art Factory on the 16th of Jan. Don't expect much touring from us next year though as we are going into our hobbit holes to make some music.
Follow Dr. Goddard right here - https://www.facebook.com/drgoddardmusic/?fref=ts