The Gooch Palms: Rock-et to LA

Newcastle’s self confessed ‘shit-pop’ cretins The Gooch Palms are about to pull up stumps and relocate themselves over to the USA for a bit. That’s on the back of the rapturous response they received from all and sundry on their maiden overseas sojourn last year, including winning over high profile fans of the calibre of Andre 3000! Prior to that though the dynamic couple (singer/guitarist Leroy Macqueen and drummer/vocalist Kat Friend) are doing the local touring rounds one last time, and Leroy took time out to chat with Anthony Gebhardt…

So tell us a bit about your upcoming US relocation? How did it come about, how long are you planning to stay and will you be basing yourselves anywhere in particular?

The opportunity arose last time we were touring in the US when Panache Bookings showed interest in us after seeing us play in New York. They pretty much said if we were interested in coming back that they would be keen to book us and we were absolutely 100% keen for that to happen! So we organised our touring visas, bought one way flights to the US, sold all our possessions and have paid a deposit for a room in Silverlake in LA!

How were the crowds in the States on your last tour over there compared to at home – more or less unhinged? 

They seemed to “get it” straight away. Obviously they are not as familiar with us as the Aussie crowds we’ve been playing to since the beginning, but they seemed to really like it and were going pretty wild at times! The crowds in Oz, especially Sydney, are great, they go nuts! But you can kind of tell they may go nuts in the future in the US once they get to know us better, maybe? Haha guess we’ll just wait and see!!!

I had a squiz at your previous USA tour diary (it’s hilarious and well worth a google!) and read with awe of your ‘Dan from The Gories/Andre 3000’ experience…I guess that was something so wildly bizarre you couldn’t even dream it!?

It should have been bizarre, but it was actually really quite normal!!! You just put “famous” people on a pedestal, everyone does, but if you get the chance to meet these people, they are just so normal in real life. Both those guys were super awesome, lovely guys and we were stoked to get to have a chat with them on a regular person type level.

Any plans to conquer Europe? Aussie underground bands seem to go down a treat in certain markets over there…

It has always been something that we have wanted to do, and while we are up in the Northern Hemisphere I hope we get a chance to pop over for a tour. That’s the dream!!!

You guys tend to sport some out-there unique outfits in some of your clips…where do you source your garments from!?

Kat makes all our outfits. Any visual aspect to the band – that’s Kat. We both collaborate on ideas and then she’ll execute them into reality! She recently made me a Liberace style cape which I have been wearing on stage for this tour. It’s by far the most over the top piece of costume to date, but I love it!!!  

I saw a theremin make an appearance in the clip for your track Houston We Have a Problem…is it part of your live musical repertoire? I’ve heard it’s a most difficult instrument to master…Rocket Science and Messer Chups are the only bands that spring to mind that incorporate it

We used to use it live. I would waggle my guitar neck at it while playing and Kat would play it with one hand while playing her floor tom and it was really fun to incorporate. We could kind of play it but it was more there for the crazy sounds, not so much to hold a tune. One day it didn’t turn on and that was that, it was no longer included in the set. Bit of a bummer as some of our songs, like Houston, include it, but we’ve managed to make the parts of those songs lacking the theremin interesting in other ways. We both fell in love with the idea of the theremin when we saw Jon Spencer go nuts with it on Recovery in the 90’s. 

Being that you are official members of the exclusive pantheon of bona fide rock and roll couples, do you have a favourite? Lux Interior and Poison Ivy are no doubt hard to beat, but I’m open to alternatives 🙂

Haha thanks!!! Lux and Ivy are hard to beat. Most musical couples don’t last the distance, but they did, and that’s awesome. The only couple that I think might beat them, only because they are STILL going and still killing it is Fred and Toody Cole from Dead Moon/Pierced Arrows/many other bands that they have been in together. They are pretty much our heroes, for many reasons. 

If you got to go to outer space and visit just one planet in our solar system, which would it be?

Titan. It’s technically not a planet, it’s a moon of Saturn but I feel if there is life outside of Earth, this is where they might find it. Neil Degrasse Tyson would of course have to be my travel companion and I guess Kat could come along too (hahaha!). It’s probably the most similar to Earth, and I do like Earth! I don’t think I would like to live on Mars, too boring.

I noticed that you have a Beavis tattoo…do you have or would you get a matching Butthead one!?

Right now I’m just one half of a “best friends” necklace that all the girls used to have when I was little. You know those ones that two best friends would put together and they would make a loveheart? I need a best friend to get Butthead. Kat aint interested!!! So if you wanna be best pals, let me know!

Be sure to catch The Gooch Palms as they shimmy, shake and tear up venues around the land one last time for quite awhile. They’ll be at Crowbar in Brisbane on Friday 13 February, as well as The Great Northern in Byron Bay on Saturday, 14th February. If (c)amped up two chord singalongs with the potential for a flash of gratuitous nudity sounds like a fun night out you’ll know where to be!!

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The Gooch Palms
Friday 13 February, Crowbar Brisbane
Saturday 14 February, Great Northern Byron Bay

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