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Goocher July 12, 2000.

     Welcome to the JRS Artist Interview Series. Today I'm interviewing the guitar wizard known as Goocher. This musician is a true connoisseur of tone. His album, entitled Germinate, showcases a wealth of delicious guitar sounds. Of course, these flavors wouldn't mean much without a framework of excellent songs, and in this department, Goocher delivers. He has the ability to craft music that is both emotionally compelling, and technically impressive. His guitar becomes his voice, allowing him to tell stories with strings. Beautiful.

     Let's not forget the shred factor. Goocher has this base covered as well. His Eric Johnson-esque leads are both fiery and funky. This musician can really groove, while utilizing his prodigious technique in service of the song. Very tasty.

     Be sure to visit Gooch's MP3.COM webpage to hear more. Goocher is someone who knows when, and how to shred.

JRS: What made you want to be a musician?

     Goocher: Actually, the group KISS inspired me to play guitar when I was about 12. I wanted to play lead guitar just like Gene Simmons. Only later I discovered that Ace Frehley was really the lead guitarist, and Gene Simmons was "just" the bass player! :-)

JRS: Who inspires you? Who has had the largest long-term impact on your art?

     Goocher: Hmmm... good question. Right now it seems to be mp3.com artists... Dave Green, JRS, (Jim) Reindel, Simulacra, and Vince Vrbancic. I've gotten to know Jim and Vince over the past couple months. We're always rooting each other on, and finding gems in each others music. I've emailed Jim with comments like "I could hear you transition from Eddie to Michael Schenker at the two minute mark! Killer solo!!!" Yesterday I emailed Vince with something like, "Hey, I just noticed that wild Steve Morse thing you were doing right after the main theme..." (Mutual influences produce mutual inspiration, I think.)

     Current "commercial" inspirations: Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland, Kansas - The Ultimate Kansas Collection, and Propellerheads - decksandrumsandrockandroll.

      As far as long-term impact, I would have to say Alan Holdsworth. (From listening to my music, you might think Eric Johnson and/or Rush. But trust me on this one! :-) I remember buying the Road Games EP in 1984 (the not-for-resale store copy). I was with my friend Augi Garred. We had heard about Holdsworth, but we hadn't heard him. So, we embarked on a mission to locate and purchase something by Alan Holdsworth. When we finally listened to the record, it absolutely knocked me off my feet! I thought, "How does he get that sound?!" It was like a sax and a violin... that was the sort of tone he was getting. Those solos were mind blowing!

JRS: What inspires you? (music, visual arts, life, beer, etc.)

     Goocher: Mostly emotional stuff. Pain, joy, love, anger. Lately it seems movies have been an unlikely source of inspiration, and odd movies at that. Fight Club, American Beauty, and Pitch Back for example. (He thinks to himself, "Uh, yeah right Gooch... whatever." ;-)

JRS: Shredders are generally despised for playing too many notes. What's your take on this?

     Goocher: I think it's all in the way those notes are played. I once heard a story about Frank Gambale. Somebody complimented him after a show, and they told him how much they enjoyed his playing, especially his choice of notes. Frank said how much that meant to him, because most folks only perceive the shred... like, "Wow, you play really fast!" But to have somebody compliment him on the musicality of his playing was like nourishment. So I think it's all about how the notes are played, whether they are played really fast or really slowly. (E.g., Alan Holdsworth, or Eric Johnson, or Phil Keaggy.)

JRS: Britney Spears and a fire breathing dragon get in a fight. Who would win, and why?

     Goocher: Britney would probably win because she's already faced a supposed "fire breathing dragon" and lives to tell. Ever heard of Eminem? ;-)

     I think dragons are just jealous of multi-platinum-selling damsels.

JRS: Know any good musician jokes?

     Goocher: Okay, there's this guy, see. And he... wait, it was a woman. Okay, she walks into a music store to buy a stomp box.. or was it a rack processor? Anyway, suddenly she slips on pack of guitar strings... or... wait, I think it was a bunch of picks that somebody had spilled onto the floor or something. No, wait, she had spilled them onto the floor. Yeah, that's how it goes. Anyway... (Gooch hears sound of door closing.) Hey wait... Where are you going?! ;-)

JRS: What's coming next from Goocher?

     Goocher: I want to crank out new material shortly. I just upgraded my home studio (24-bit sound card, new small Berhinger board, new Athlon and motherboard, etc.). I recently signed with Fossil Records, and they will be manufacturing and distributing Goocher - Germinate. My next album will be titled Hard Poet (because hard-edged music is my poetry), and it will essentially be groove-centric, beat heavy Progressive Rock with a good dose of shredelicious guitar virtuosity in it. (At least that's the plan! :-) I've been trying to get some decent practice time in lately to get my fingers/wrists/hands ready for the challenge!!!

    BTW, thanks for requesting an interview. I really appreciate it. This was a lot of fun! I think you're great player, and a really cool guy too!!! :-)

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Artist Interview: Goocher