Bandits - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the opportunity to interview Chris Goodman of Bandits. We discussed how the band met in Fanshawe College, their new single “Summer Dress”, how the pandemic has impacted the band, and what’s next for the band including three new songs. Check it out below.

First, thanks for the interview.

Thank you for having us for the interview! We're really excited to share what we've been working so tirelessly over.

You met in the Fanshawe’s Music Industry Arts Program. Can you tell us about your time there and how you met and formed the band? 

Chris Ma, Sam Downey and Josh Moore all went to Fanshawe College for the Music Industry Arts program, an internationally acclaimed music program taught by teachers like Moe Berg and Dan Brodbeck. But that's not exactly where Bandits started. Josh and myself (Chris Goodman Bandits frontman) met in the first year of college through campus residence. I was taking Journalism Broadcast but I had a dream to play in a real band having sat in my room for years with an acoustic guitar, or jamming with my friend Sawyer and his brother Tate. Coming to college was finally my shot to meet some new musicians that wanted to take things a little more seriously. Me and Josh had talked about starting Bandits for a couple years before actually pulling anything off. 

Though in April of 2019 we held a DIY music festival in our backyard called Days End Festival featuring some of the other local bands and artists like Sweater Puppies, Sneaker Club and Trevor Dubois. This was me and Josh's chance to shine under the name Bandits. From there we were in search of a band. We looked to the other musicians in the program. Sam Downey being a close friend of ours plays Bass and sings for his other band The Matching Sox and I just knew we had to have him on bass. He's an awesome guy, comes up with some groovy bass lines and he and Josh really feed off of each other's energy well. Personally, I'm not that great at guitar, I definitely have a ways to go before I can be great, so we needed someone who could rip a tasty solo. That's where Chris Ma comes in. 

The first time I met Chris we were at a music party and I remember talking to him about how weirdly uncommon the name Chris is. Anyways, after bouncing the idea around with him between classes in 2020, Chris brought forward what would become our first ever song "Wish That Too". The song is fast and catchy and angry and the rest of us were instantly hooked on the idea of Bandits playing together. Now we practice consistently and write songs and smoke weed together in our buddies backyard shed.

Your new single “Summer Dress” is out on Spotify today. What can you tell us about recording this song? 

Summer Dress was born when Chris Ma approached the rest of us with a picture of a piece of paper. The paper said "Summer Dress" at the top and followed "You came to me like a flash of lightning goes across the sky" and I was interested instantly. We tried to work out a song that day and I remember just nothing felt like it was coming off real to me. So we called the end of practice and I (Chris G) took the song and came back next practice with it completely reconfigured into what is close to its current form. 

Ironically as this was all happening, Josh had found out a local radio station was hosting a contest through Chorus Radio for "Best Summer Song". We were starstruck about the possible winnings with a 20 grand pot. The contest required a video submission of a live performance of an original song... Bonus points if it's summer themed. So we thought to ourselves "We have this song Summer Dress" and the rest was a grind. 

We pulled in my longtime friend Sawyer Edworrthy and his crew of friends to help us record what you see and hear now as our Summer Dress live session video on youtube! A lot of heart went into that, we organized everything ourselves within a month. From writing the entire song, to renting a space and equipment, getting a camera crew and a good mix of the song. People pull that off all of the time professionally it was just very rewarding to see that we could pull it off ourselves. Totally punk rock.

The band recently competed in a summer song contest. Tell us a bit about this experience. 

We competed in that Chorus radio summer song contest I talked about before. We didn't make it into the top ten or anything but we worked our fucking asses off and I feel like that is almost enough reward to us. We learned a million lessons and generated a ton of views. Most importantly though I got to work with Sawyer in a way where we were both doing something we love. It was really cool to kind of look back on what we were like in grade 6 when we became buddies compared to now making art. 

Beyond all of the heartfelt stuff the video turns out beautiful. Josh's drumming is pretty crazy, Chris Ma is a swordsman on guitar, Sam rocks out, I yell really sad lyrics and Sawyer just made us look great. I'd say though we didn't win any money, we did win a team that is a force to be reckoned with! I have to give a huge shout out to the winners of the fan favorite contest GROWERS! Really cool to watch Canadian artists get a real shot at generating some momentum.

You’re going to be recording three new songs later this month. What can you tell us about that and what fans can expect? 

I can't say too much about the songs yet, though you can expect that same basement we filmed the first video in. 3 songs are coming, some more sad stuff, some more angry stuff. But we feel like these 3 songs really show our diversity from some of the rest of the "Pop Punk" gang while still holding onto a lot of that core inspiration. My favorite song you should watch out for of the 3 is "Get a Life". It kind of tells the story of feeling burnt out and kind of lost in life. I really hope you all enjoy these tracks!

You’ve discussed how the pandemic has impacted bands. How has it impacted your band and how are you finding other ways to promote and reach fans? 

The pandemic has essentially deleted our ability to go and play shows. Like being a punk band, playing shows is so important. Our music is more of a feeling and a vibe. Best listened to in its full emotion, so our biggest challenge has been getting the space to really practice and get content out for our fans and to start building that following. So we've been talking about things like playthrough videos, acoustic covers, more basement sessions. 

Our focus right now is just to give people some more stuff that they'll hopefully enjoy. I feel like a lot of people really liked watching me strut it in that dress and I just hope we can captivate people beyond my nice legs! The real problem these days for bands is money. Without live shows a lot of the money we could be making to support our art is nowhere to be seen. So just remember to support your local venues and artists because they all kind of need a helping hand these days! Even if that's just a facebook share!

Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else you would like to add? 

Nothing else to add, thank you for the interview! We are all Bandits! Hell yeah.

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