Perkins says Goodbye, Eddy’s Crusher says hello
By Tim Anderl
The spirit of innovation here in Dayton runs deep. It’s apparent in the technologies and inventions that our hometown heroes share with the world. The spirit is also alive and well in our music scene.
That said, it’s no surprise that the musicians behind Goodbye/Crusher willingly challenge the boundaries of the conventional band structure, combining two songwriting approaches, and in essence bands, in one. Goodbye/Crusher delivers a potent cocktail consisting of thrilling ‘60s-inspired songwriter-centric ear pleasers AND searing ‘90s brit pop.
Dayton City Paper discussed this out-of-the-box approach with the band’s drummer Ian Kaplan with the hopes of better understanding this musical beast with two faces. Here is what he told us about the band’s approach…
How did you guys begin playing together?
I was approached by Mike Perkins in May, and he asked me if I’d like to play some of the material he was doing with Esther Caulfield Orchestra. We began playing together and it became apparent that we needed some help. I happened to also be playing with Nick Eddy from Mink and a guy named Chris Green who is in Dementia Precox. I asked them if they’d like to merge the two bands, and that when we did Mike’s songs it would be one thing, and when we did Nick’s it would be the other thing.
Everyone thought that it was a really stupid idea. So we went with it. The sounds don’t mix together at all, so when we play shows we usually do one or the other. When we are playing Nick’s songs the band is called Crusher and when we are doing Mike’s songs, the band is Goodbye. We sometimes appear as both bands, in which case we’ll play a set, take a break, and come back to play the other set.
We weren’t really trying to do something new and novel. We just thought it was a stupid idea and have a penchant for the absurd so that’s why we are doing it more than anything else.
That’s a really interesting concept…
We practice at the same time. So we’ll be one band for two hours, getting into that space. Sometimes we’ll even write songs for one band in the style of the other band (laughter). It makes for a really interesting experience.
Do Nick and Mike ever butt heads during the songwriting process?
They both do their respective songs and then bring those to the table for their respective “bands.” It works out very well because no one steps on anyone else’s toes that way. We all have input in the songwriting process, but Nick brings the songs for Crusher, and vice versa. Nick has absolutely no ego, and Mike is really easy going so everyone tends to get along famously. No issues. Both guys get to tell the other what they’d like to hear for their “band” and the other completely respects that.
What are your favorite songs by each of the “bands?”
Mike has a song called “Mr. Marble Eyes” that reminds me of Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles. Nick’s songs just have working titles so I don’t really know … There is one called “Miracle at Killcare.” I really like that one. It sounds like brit pop – something along the lines of Blur.
Does the dexterity that you are on the hook to have with your other band, Motel Beds, lend itself to playing two different styles of music in this situation?
There is definitely less pressure. When Motel Beds got back together I was listening to The Who all of the time, so I just wanted to play all of those songs like Keith Moon would play them. This is more in the pocket, 4/4 kind of stuff. They do encourage me to do some crazy stuff every once in a while, but this is more about contributing to holding up the song instead of trying to be in the spotlight. It serves that purpose really well.
Being that you were already in a band, what sweet spot did Nick and Mike hit with you that encouraged you to put your time and energy into doing this?
I love both of their songwriting styles. They are disparate to say the least. And I have a pretty broad musical taste, so it appeals to me in that regard. It also helps me to explore some avenues that I’ve never explored before. For instance, I like The Smiths, but Nick really loves The Smiths. So I’ll check them out to get a better picture of what he has in mind. It’s allowed me to fit in with his vision of how a particular song should come together.
Definitely the songwriting ability is tops. Mike is an amazing guitar player and songwriter. Most importantly though, we are all really good friends and really easy going. The no-pressure environment makes this really fun, and the side benefit is that we end up making music also.
Do you ever anticipate the day that Mike and Nick sit down and put their heads together to produce something that is a crossroads for both of their styles?
It may already be happening. I’m not going to say it will never happen, but it hasn’t really happened yet.
Goodbye/Crusher will perform on Friday, November 23 at Canal Street Tavern, 308 E. First St. Also on the bill is King Elk. Doors at 8 p.m. Admission is $5 for 18 & up. For more information, visit canalstreettavern.com.
Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at TimAnderl@daytoncitypaper.com