Last month Australian duo Good Morning – who Stereogum characterized as, “Chill and organic indie rock” — announced the re-release of their entire back catalogue (“six records of varying sound and length”) courtesy of Polyvinyl Record Co., slated for May 27th (with pre-order available now). Coinciding with this announcement, the duo (consisting of Liam Parsons and Stefan Blair) also released two-track single “Out To Pasture” / “Misery,” the product of Parsons and Blair deciding to hunker down in their studio to write and record five days a week. Additionally, Good Morning also kicked off their latest US tour March 31st in San Diego, which will be stopping at Johnny Brenda’s this coming Thursday, April 21st. Just before hitting the road, I got a chance to chat with Liam Parsons to talk about the band’s decade-long career.
Izzy Cihak: I realize you’ve probably told this story a million times, but how did you come up with your name? I suspect this is kind of the point, but it makes it super hard to look you up, haha. You’re not named for the song by The Dandy Warhols, are you? (If you are, that’s quite cool, though.)
Liam Parsons: Was definitely the point! We’d finished our first record and needed a name to put it out under. We wanted to have something that was hard to Google. I’m not super sure why anymore but I think we were just being reactionary to the era – that kinda must-be-always-noticeable-and-online type of thinking. I think we thought could just hide a bit more with a stupid name like Good Morning. Not for the Dandy Warhols, song I’m sorry!
Izzy: You just put out “Out To Pasture” / “Misery,” which I really dig, and you’ve talked a fair amount about “Out To Pasture” (working with violinist Chloe Sanger and getting to hang with Stefan’s family), but I don’t know as much about “Misery.” How did that particular track come about? I think it’s my favorite of the two.
Liam: Thanks! It just came from a day of playing around in the studio. Had been trying to write something every day in there and was a bit stuck so just got that drum loop going and tried to put some chords on top of it. I think the best songs usually come out of forcing yourself to write something. The demo is pretty similar to the final version we just tightened the screws and made it a bit more hifi and put some real horns on it as well as the sampled ones that are buried in there too. I think I just wanted to have some opposites going on in there. Like the yelling section with thrashy guitars on the laidback kinda porch song. Or having the banjos and horns mingling with the synths and drum loop.
Izzy: You also just announced that your back catalog is going to be re-released via Polyvinyl. I’m curious if you have any particular favorite records from your back catalog? Are there any releases that resonate with you just as strongly as when you released them, or even more so?
Liam: I think Basketball Breakups will forever be our favourite record (at least at this point). I just think it’s so uniquely made by the people that were in that room during those 4 days or whatever and all the silly sonic choices on it are just influenced by weather and holiday feelings and beer and food and random in-jokes and shit like that. It was so low key and effortless and fun to make that I just can’t see anything coming together like that ever again.
Izzy: This is a big question but, considering that you’ve been making music together for close to a decade now, what have been some of the personal highlights of Good Morning so far, whether reactions you’ve gotten or experiences it’s afforded you?
Liam: I think being able to tour around the world different places has been a pretty amazing opportunity. We can have pretty mixed feelings about touring sometimes but at the end of the day we are undeniably lucky to be able to do it. The other thing I feel really grateful for is to be able to not have to do another real “job” a lot of the time. It’s helpful to remember that for us when things get a bit wiggy and stressful.
Izzy: Instead of asking artists about their influences, recently I’ve just been asking them about their favorite albums. What are some of your favorite albums, whether stuff you grew up loving or stuff that you’ve just been listening to a lot of recently?
Liam: That’s good cause I’m awful at answering about my influences! Of all time some of my favourites are Tender Buttons by Broadcast, On The Beach by Neil Young, Morning/Evening by Fourtet, Time (The Revelator) by Gillian Welch, Person Pitch by Panda Bear, The Life Of Pablo by Kanye West. At the moment I’m really loving the new Rosalia and Aldous Harding records and the first two X albums.
Izzy: You’re about to kick off a really big US tour. Are there any cities you’re especially excited to visit, or venue’s that you’re especially excited to play?
Liam: Definitely quite excited to go to some new cities that we didn’t quite make it to last time. Denver and Minneapolis and Boston and Detroit amongst others. There weren’t really any major stinkers last time so for the most part we’re excited to go back to everywhere we went too. I feel like we were a little tired at the Philly show last time so I’m excited to give it a bit more energy this time round.
Izzy: You’re going to be on the road with PACKS, who I also totally dig. What are your thoughts on the Toronto band? Are you excited to get to be on the road with them and see them play every night?
Liam: Yes. Yeah, we’re stoked to have them around! We hand-picked them because we really liked their record and had never been on a whole tour with one band before so the idea of not liking the music seemed so awful to us. They’re all very nice people too so it’s gonna be good to get to know them better over the coming weeks.
Izzy: Finally, what can be expected of the live show when you’re here at Johnny Brenda’s? Is it going to be like Barnyard Live At The Victorian Roller Derby League, but with an audience? (The stage at Johnny Brenda’s isn’t quite “in the round,” but it’s sort of close.)
Liam: I think by the time we get to Johnny Brenda’s we’re gonna be nice and tour tight which is exciting. The set lists have definitely been reaching around the whole catalogue so far so although there will definitely be a fair chunk of Barnyard ones, it’ll be a bit less focused than the live session! Maybe we’ll play on the floor to make it more in the round.
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