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EXCLUSIVE: Goose Guitarist Rick Mitarotonda Talks Inspiration And Building The Love

Goose is a band aiming to soar as high as their namesake and with their eclectic mix of jam, funk, and Americana. Their distinct style has caught on, and the band is seeing their schedule increasingly packed with tours and studio time. Guitarist Rick Mitarotonda is a big part of the sound the band lays down, and reaction to his fretwork is almost always met with cheers and blissful facial expressions. While Mitarotonda’s transfixing guitar work is a huge part of the band’s sound, it’s when all five members are locked in together that Goose is truly at its most vital and dangerous.

Goose has made the transition to full-time touring and recording act, and the band couldn’t be more excited about their future. Given Goose’s propensity for crafting stellar songs and performing ascendant and joyous renditions of their intricate tracks during their live shows, the fans are the real winner here. Mitarotonda took time out of his hectic schedule to talk with our own Rex Thomson about inspirations, chasing dreams, and Christmas, Goose style. Enjoy!


L4LM: One thing that strikes a listener right off the bat is how many different elements Goose seem to integrate and how wild the blending is on each song. When writing, are you trying to convey an emotional concept or do you have something you feel you just have to say?

Rick Mitarotonda: I’d say that is the best way to describe it. Ideas come from a feeling. The process is hard to describe though because it’s always different. Sometimes a song will pop out in half an hour, sometimes it takes years of Frankenstein-ing the hell out of it. Sometimes, you end up with a song you’re so tired of you don’t even want to play it, but it’s done! The lyrics seem to take longer than the rest of the process sometimes. We want our words to say something of consequence.

L4LM: You guys have a lot of summer dates coming up. Are you looking forward to this, or should we be expecting sad songs about “The Road” on your next album?

RM: It’s a lifestyle that is not for everyone. We have been looking forward to it, but that’s just us. Like everything, there are good aspects and bad, but the good aspects are really fucking cool. I don’t anticipate that being a focus on the next album. But yeah, we have a bunch of dates coming up, and we’re looking forward to it. This is the first time we’ve committed to actually touring. We’ve done smaller tours in the past, but now we are going out for what feel like real tours.

“Arcadia”

L4LM: So this is your life full time, right? Chasing this dream?

RM: I went back to Berkley after three years off about two years ago and finished that up this past summer. We still played some shows and stuff during that time period though. But after I had finished and the fall came around, it was time. We had and have had the right people around us — a solid team — plus music we all believe in. This is definitely a new era for us. It’s a huge step but it feels right.

L4LM: It sounds like you are the kind of person who looks at the big picture when you talk about eras. Do you have a long-term goal or benchmarks for judging your progress?

RM: The game plan is to just keep touring. Just keep making music. I’m sure that I may eventually write some music that doesn’t fit with Goose and I may end up doing something on the side, but this is what I want — I want to make music with Goose full bore.

L4LM: The touring gives you an outlet for your material and a fun chance to watch it evolve. Any new tunes getting snuck into this tour or percolating on the back burner?

RM: We have basic tracks recorded for a whole new album already. We have had these for a while, actually. There has been a lot of focus on getting the touring and ourselves set up as a full time band. It has cut into time left for finishing that up. I hope we can get the new stuff finished and ready by the end of the year.

“Indian River”

L4LM: Well, hopefully the extra time will give the songs time to evolve.

RM: The hope is to finish them so we can get to playing them live. Some of the new stuff has been hard to wrap my head around, but we’re getting there. There are a few songs from the third album that are already written and that we’re playing, but there are a few that still need some lyrical work before they’re ready.

L4LM: I saw something that caught my eye that I wanted to be sure to touch on. I understand you and the band are really into the holidays?

RM: You’re talking about “Goosemas!” This past year was our third year doing it. Last year, we basically doubled the size of it, so that was pretty cool. We’re looking at ways to make it even bigger, but for right now it is just a cool holiday party we throw. It’s always a lot of fun.

L4LM: Your crowds are growing in size. How is that to watch?

RM: It’s great. At first, the shows were sparse, then all your friends start turning up, and then you start to recognize faces that are coming out over and over again. This past year, it seemed like the more we went out and played, the more people showed up every night. It’s pretty cool to see from the stage.

L4LM: When it gets to the point they are naming themselves and making themselves logos and stuff, you might wanna suggest they call themselves “The Geese.”

RM: There are people calling it “The Flock.” I like ’em all. Whatever. There is one cool thing about our name. Sometimes when people give us a lil shout out, there is this low frequency thing that gets going — the “OOOOOO” thing — and that gets the room vibrating.

“Creatures”

L4LM: Well, you have a long tour, a new album, and even Christmas plans already on your schedule. I’m guessing there won’t be much playing at the beach this summer?

RM: Probably not as much as we wish, but playing on the stage is way more fun for us.

L4LM: Well, thanks for sneaking in this chat in the middle of a busy year. Looking forward to seeing where your music takes you.

RM: So are we, actually! Thanks right back to you.

[Cover photo: Greg Horowitz]