Connecticut-based funk-folk quintet have been rapidly amassing an enthusiastic fan base following the release of their debut album, Moon Cabin, in 2016. In the time since then, the band–comprised of Rick Mitarotonda (guitar/vocals/songwriter), Peter Anspach (guitar/keys), and a deep-pocket rhythm section of Trevor Weeks (Bass), Ben Atkind (drums), and Aaron Hagele (percussion)–have been filling rooms like Garcia’s at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY throughout the Northeast and beyond. They are currently in the midst of a 7-show run supporting Arizona-based jam band Spafford, and will continue on from there with a winter tour extending through the end of February. Live For Live Music spoke to Goose following their show with Spafford at The Grog Shop in Cleveland, OH to learn a little more about the up-and-coming act:
Live For Live Music: How were the first two nights of this run with Spafford?
Goose: Amazing. Detroit was off the chain and last night [Cleveland] was awesome. The guys seem super stoked to have us out and we have been playing in front of some really cool crowds. There has been a really great crowd response.
L4LM: Why “Goose”?
Goose: Rick [Mitarotonda] was living out in Colorado working at a very fine taco establishment. It’s a hole-in-the-wall place, and there was all this kitchen lingo. So when an order was ready it was always “Good to Goose!” instead of “Good to go!” so everything kind of became “Goose.” He would come back east and we would play some bar gigs together as Goose…We thought it was a funny name and it stuck.
L4LM: Your debut album, Moon Cabin, came out in 2016. Have you guys put out any music since then?
Goose: No, we haven’t had an official release since then. We have been working on the follow-up for a minute now. We have done a bunch of different tracking sessions for it now but we have had our hands full this past year. We have had to get used to being on the road. So it had been on the back burner a little bit but we keep moving towards the next one…We did around 120 [tour] dates last year after it was all said and done.
Below, watch footage of one of the earliest of Goose’s 100+ shows in 2017 at Hamden, CT’s The Outer Space on 1/13/17 via mk devo:
L4LM: Have there been any gigs that stand out to you?
Goose: Yeah, The Capitol Theater. The Capitol Theater was 2016 and that was a wild moment, it changed the trajectory of a lot of things. We had the opportunity to play the main stage at The Cap and that was the catalyst for everything…Everything else was pretty much a result of that. Also, we throw a private event every year before Christmas called “Goosemas,” and it’s always amazing. This year was pretty cool because we got to tour our music to a lot of new markets and we really started to introduce the band in a way we hadn’t before. 2017 was a huge building year for us. It opened up a lot of opportunities for us; including this run now with Spafford.
L4LM: What is it like being on the road with another band? Have you done that before?
Goose: This is the first time touring with a band with full-scale production like this. We have definitely backlined some larger acts before for short runs before. We did a run with RAQ a few months ago that was a good time. This is different, though. This is our first time playing a gig and then watching a massive show go on after. It is definitely a different experience than what we are accustomed to at this point, but it’s been great.
L4LM: Where do you guys draw influence from when it comes to your sound?
Goose: All over, typical response. Ben [Atkind, drums] brings a lot of funk fusion into the mix. We obviously have a lot of roots in the pillars of the jam band community. We all have our big “Phish”…pun not intended…We were all very exposed to that stuff at a young age. In recent years, a bunch of doors to modern stuff that we didn’t know about kind of started to open–more indie-folk stuff, songwriter stuff that we never knew about when we were listening to Phish back in the day. We do put a big emphasis on vocals. We do a lot of three-part harmonies and like to think there is a Latin flavor in certain sounds.
With the harmonies, the first band that opened a lot of the doors was Fleet Foxes. After listening to their stuff a lot and finding ways to incorporate that sound and building it around harmonies and songwriting, using that sonic space and varying that with a lot of the improvisational jam band stuff that was really appealing.
L4LM: What is up next for you guys after this run with Spafford?
Goose: We go right back at it pretty much. We have a couple weekends in the Northeast and then we take off for a few Midwest dates. Then it’s out to Colorado and back. So including the show we did right before this run with Spafford, and then our own run after that, we will have done 28 shows in 5 weeks…we think!
We are super excited to go out to Colorado for the first time as Goose. In a lot of ways the roots of this band are in Colorado, in a weird way…cause of the tacos…we have taco roots in Colorado. We have friends who have moved out there and we have been building this thing so to finally get out there is exciting.
You can see a full list of Goose’s upcoming winter tour dates below. For more information, or to purchase tickets to any of these shows, head to the band’s website.