Tag Archive: “Those Mockingbirds”

After years spent fronting his former band Those Mockingbirds, New Jersey-based artist Adam Bird decided to call it a day in February of 2016 to focus on a different musical path. The time away from the group that had taken up so much of Bird’s creative energy allowed him to indulge in new sounds and influences that wouldn’t have fit within that aesthetic. The electronic leanings of David Bowie, Massive Attack, Radiohead and Air all started to permeate throughout Bird’s new processes and with that, he would return to the studio with a new vision.

Adopting the moniker A Bird, the project was unveiled with a debut single, “Polluto,” on June 2, 2017. Bird plays all of the instruments on the track as he views the project as a loose, open ended, continuous endeavor with no permanent members other than himself.

“Polluto” serves as an appropriate launch point for A Bird as the artist explains: “The lyrics to ‘Polluto’ are about the feeling that everyone around you is judging you, the insecurity that it turns out many people have. I always felt like I needed to live up to some standard, or that other people’s opinions of me could be improved or shaped if i just did “X”…. Living life that way is a fucking nightmare, and I wanted to write this song as my own personal anthem of reminding myself to stop worrying about everyone else opinions to the detriment of my own.”

Today, he also debuted a video for the song, which you can enjoy below:

A Bird tour dates:
6/21/17 – Groove on Grove – Jersey City, NJ
7/8/17 – Hansils – Oakland NJ

 

Those Mockingbirds just released a cover of “Jet” by Paul McCartney & Wings. It’s for a compilation by Treehouse studios in NJ and all proceeds go to the Keep A Breast foundation.

They are joined by The Scandals and one of the Gaslight Anthem side projects, Something About Death or Dying… and each band was given only 24 hours to record and mix the tracks in full. It’s currently up on Spotify and iTunes. Here is a Spotify link to the track:

My Goodness
My Goodness

The Sound Check Chat podcasts with My Goodness and Those Mockingbirds went live on Saturday, August 2 via iTunes and Stitcher. The podcast is sponsored by Earthquaker Devices (http://earthquakerdevices.com/) and Latest Flame (http://www.latestflame.com/).

Access the podcasts here:

Those Mockingbirds: http://goo.gl/rvqQAw

My Goodness: http://goo.gl/cCJc0P

Those Mockingbirds’ debut full-length album, Penny The Dreadful, was released earlier this Summer. Engineered by Howard Willing (Smashing Pumpkins, MUTEMATH) and Dean Baltulonis (The Hold Steady), the band planted themselves at the Wild Arctic Studios in Portsmouth, NH for the effort, committing themselves to the music, each other and the creative process.

The release of their video for “How To Rob A Bank” found the band beating the bush hard, and they ended up on our doorstep late last year. The band’s killer video ended up in rotation at MTVu.

Consisting of singer/guitarist Joel Schneider and drummer Andy Lum, My Goodness formed in Seattle in 2008 and quickly took the Northwest by storm with their feverish concoction of blues-infused rock. The duo spent years honing their songwriting and playing to growing crowds with bands like Bosnian Rainbows, The Thermals, The Cave Singers and Augustines; all of which has led to this pivotal, career defining moment, the release of their new album, Shiver + Shake.

My Goodness’ connection to the Seattle music they grew up on is strikingly audible. Bands from Nirvana and Soundgarden, to bands from the early ’00s Seattle scene such as Botch, Blood Brothers, Murder City Devils and Harkonen were on heavy rotation for Schneider and Lum throughout their formative years. Dig deeper still and you find them tapping into a rich seam of blues, old and new – from Muddy Waters through Junior Kimbrough and RL Burnside to the musical sass of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. Though a very different prospect, the energy, intensity and attitude of hardcore and the groove of the blues feeds into everything My Goodness does. Ultimately it’s all rock music though. Big throbbing rock music.

In the spring of 2014, My Goodness enlisted the help of friend and local Seattle musician Cody Votalato (The Blood Brothers, Jaguar Love) who joined them as a part time member on bass guitar for their first full U.S. tour. We recently caught up Schneider to discuss the record, working the Votalato and more.

On March 15, 2014, the podcast launched via iTunes and Stitcher, as well as at the Sound Check Chat website (http://www.soundcheckchat.com).  Previous podcasts included interviews with Grieves, Buffalo Killers, Circle Takes The Square, The Jazz June, Hawthorne Heights, Beebs and Her Moneymakers and more.

In addition to the podcast, Sound Check Chat provides a show notes page providing background behind the podcast and artists covered, as well as links to topics discussed on the show.

Additional details about future podcasts, including those already in progress with Dads, Afghan Whigs, Frameworks and more are forthcoming.

Those Mockingbirds
Those Mockingbirds

In creating music, what matters most is the engrained desire and effort to make something that resonates; music that can be felt in the pit of the stomach. And, above all, creating music that matters. A delicate and fragile balance of influences and sounds is what defines Those Mockingbirds. It could be a distorted guitar, ambient vibes, or the combination comprised of male and female vocals. It may seem like the pieces of the puzzle are spread all over the table while in reality they’re creating a single picture that all makes sense.

Those Mockingbirds’ debut full-length album is slated for release in early 2014, with the title still to be determined. Engineered by Howard Willing (Smashing Pumpkins, MUTEMATH) and Dean Baltulonis (The Hold Steady), the band planted themselves at the Wild Arctic Studios in Portsmouth, NH for the effort, committing themselves to the music, each other and the creative process.

The release of their video for “How To Rob A Bank” found the band beating the bush hard, and they ended up on Ghettoblaster’s doorstep late last year.  Truth be told, we were impressed, and delighted when the band’s killer video ended up in rotation at MTVu.

So we’ve circled back to get to know the band better, via TM’s Adam Bird, and get a glimpse at their future plans.  This is what he told us.

The “How To Rob A Bank” video just hit rotation on MTVu.  How did that opportunity come about?

We got the video into their hands and they ended up liking it enough that they offered us a spot in The Freshmen. From there we just beat the pavement to get fans and friends to help us with promoting the contest.

Was having a narrative video rather than a performance one the first choice of this project?

Yes actually. We knew we wanted a narrative video before we knew anything else about it. We all collectively agreed that a better story can be sold without worrying about how and where you’re going to set the band up, so instead, I just grabbed a megaphone and ran around screaming the words.

When does your debut record hit the streets?

As far as the whole thing goes, we haven’t set a date yet, but we will be releasing more music from it very soon.

When did you begin working on that and who was involved in bringing that to life?

We demoed and wrote the record throughout 2012, and started recording it towards the end of that year in a few sessions. We didn’t finish it until about March or so of 2013. So it took a bit because we were making sure we got everything right. The record was produced by Dean Baltulonis and it was mixed by Howard Willing. Also, we were fortunate enough to get Daniel DeJesus, from Rasputina, a band that we admire greatly, to play cello on one of the songs.

How difficult was it for you to put your lives on hold and travel to NH to make that record?

Not any more so than touring, honestly. We planned appropriately, and did the record in a  few sessions, so it wasn’t as if we all moved to NH for three months or anything.

For a relatively new band, you’ve been covered by a lot of press outlets.  How important is personally beating the bush for a new band?

I think it’s a really major thing that bands don’t do enough of. Yes, it’s very hard to get people to pay attention to you when you’re a small band, but that shouldn’t stop anyone, because press is a fantastic way to get a bands name out there.

Do you find that living in LA provides you more opportunities or competition?  How do your surroundings catalyze you as an artist?

I have no idea, because we are from New Jersey. Haha. But the question still applies, just on the opposite coast. We live 11 miles from downtown Manhattan, and I have thought about this kind of thing my entire life. I think the answer is that it provides us with more competition, which is a good thing mostly because, living here, you are constantly seeing bands around you doing well, and seeing where the bar is set, helps teach you what you need to do to get noticed. 

When can we expect to see a tour in support of the forthcoming record?

We’re going to start hitting the road in February with a few scattered dates, but in March we are going out a bit more frequently. So, starting in March, expect us to be on the road quite a bit.

(Those Mockingbirds recently premiered their video for their single, How To Rob A Bank here: http://youtu.be/qODaCcMTiKc.  Purchase the single on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/how-to-rob-a-bank-single/id722990166 before visiting them here www.thosemockingbirds.com.)