Band of the Day: Good Friday

Some Sundays are for relaxing and feeling good about things. Here’s a band whose music will help you do just that…

Simple things first, where are you from?

We are from Portland, Oregon, USA

How did you meet?

The core members of Good Friday have known each other since birth, Eli’s (Bassist) parents and Dawson’s (Lead singer) parents became friends before either of them were born and had known each other since before they could remember. Hayden (Drummer) and Dawson are cousins and therefore also have known each other since birth. The three met Patrick (Guitarist) in high school and brought him into the band in 2015.

How long have you been playing as a band?

Hayden and Dawson began playing playing music back in 2008 through their grandpa, Paul Jones, who drummed opening for BB King with The Paul deLay Band back in the 70’s and 80’s. They began playing at bars and clubs with older blues musicians before branching out into different genres later on. Eli began playing music in 2011 at church with Hayden and Dawson. Patrick began playing guitar in 2013. As the band Good Friday, they began writing, recording, and performing in 2015.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

Back in high school, Eli was talking to a friend and said “It’d be cool to name a band after a holiday”, so in his high school planner, he flipped to a list of holidays, closed his eyes, and pointed to one. That’s how Good Friday got the name, although their brand new album is self-titled, because they use the day Good Friday as a metaphor to represent the dark before the dawn.

What are your influences?

The Beatles, U2, The Police, Simon and Garfunkel, Kendrick Lamar, Michael Jackson, Panic! at the Disco, Twenty One Pilots, Coldplay, Jack White, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a variety of other artists.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

Our music is a blend between lots of different genres. We get bored of playing any one genre for too long, so we enjoy adding elements of many genres into the alternative groundwork laid out for each song. We use lots of trumpets, violins, and cellos to create more of an experience in our studio work. These orchestral instruments coupled with our drums, bass, guitar, keys approach have made our brand new album a lot more exciting for even us to listen to than our previous work. We aim to blend modern and old, so some of our songs have very old fashioned sounding chord progressions, some pulled from classical, some from jazz, some from psychedelic music, melded with poppy melodies, singable guitar parts, and midi textures sprinkled throughout.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

We use lyrics written out of personal experiences to get bold messages across in hopes that those listening or watching may be able to relate our lyrics to some of their struggles, and in turn, begin to address those demons in their own lives. As we grew up in church, it’s important for us to write honestly about God, doubt, love, social issues, and a plethora of themes, though not as these far off subjects that we can’t address at this point in our culture, but as real and authentic struggles in everyday life that we can take action on now.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We have played somewhere in the ballpark of a few hundred shows so far. We’ve actually quit our day jobs and now tour for a living, so live music is our life as a band. Our live shows start off with lots of fun and upbeat rock/pop songs, originals and covers alike, then we get into the nitty gritty, the themes we’re digging into that night. This will include almost all originals talking on the subjects we feel need to be addressed that particular night, then we close it out with a couple more rockers,and end the night typically with a song like “Hey Jude”, something that’ll keep people humming for the next few days. Dawson typically bounces between vocals, guitar, and piano. Hayden bounces between drums, trumpet, and piano. Eli plays his bass and Patrick plays his guitar.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Playing in a variety of venues, bars, clubs, and churches, makes for lots of different crowd reactions, but some of our favorites are those drunk dudes singing abnormally loud to our music, always a nice reminder that we’re doing something right. Also, jumping off the stage to create trains in our original song “The Train” is a blast.

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Dawson uses a Fender Telecaster with a Vox AC-15 amp and a Breedlove acoustic guitar. Hayden uses all different types of kits while touring. His main is a Yamaha, but on tour, there’s so much backlining, that you have to forget about being picky. Eli uses a Fender P bass with a Fender Rumble 75 amp. Patrick uses a Fender Jaguar with a Vox AC-10 amp.

What are your plans for 2019?

In 2019, we will continue touring throughout the rest of the year, mostly doing West Coast USA touring, as we just got back from a cross country tour, but we are aiming at doing some European touring either next year or the year after, once we’ve networked the states enough.

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

My dream scenario would be opening for a big band like U2 or Coldplay – their shows are incredibly well coordinated and just so well done. But I think Jack White or Twenty One Pilots would also be great to open up for. I think as far as bands to open for us, we’ve made such great friends out on the tour, it’d probably be one of those bands, preferably one called Final Greetings, also based out of Portland, Oregon, USA.

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