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Gooey’s IPO Interview for Pop Geek Heaven


Shortly after Gooey’s show at IPO in Chicago last spring, Pop Geek Heaven published an interview with the band. Juan caught up with them about the band’s latest release, the recording process, and future plans.

Full interview below:


PGH is all about helping artists highlight their most recent projects, so let us all know what your latest project is – and tell us about how it come into the world. What has the initial feedback on it been like?

Juan Avila – Lead Singer (JA): “Hold on Tight”, our latest release, is a compilation of 16 songs including 14 originals and 2 covers. The 14 songs were written over a couple of years. It just took us a while to get into the studio so when we did we had a lot of material to work on. It’s a great album and we’ve had great feedback from our fans. There is a little bit of everything on the album.
The Recording Process: There are so many interesting ways that music projects come into the world these days compared with what artists had to struggle through years ago. Take us on the creative arc of how this project came into being and any wisdom that you learned along the way. Also, what were some of the obstacles or struggles that you encountered when you were working on the project?

JA: Generally speaking I will come up with a melody and progression at home and record it on my iPhone. We have a good friend, John Peeler, who has been involved with Gooey from the beginning. I’ll text him and attached the files that I’ve recorded and he’ll get to work adding structure, guitars, drums, strings through his laptop. Then he’ll send me back a recording of his interpretation of the song, sans vocals. More often than not he and I are on the same page and he’s captured the feel of the song. Once in a while we don’t meet eye to yet, which is OK, and we work on that songs as a band in rehearsal. But for the majority of songs that he has produced, we share it with the rest of the band and then begin working on the songs at rehearsal.
Are there any particular songs on this project that are special to you or communicate a message that you’d like to share here?

JA: There is a beautiful song called “Mujer” on the album which is Spanish for “Woman”. We only have two tracks in Spanish on the album. The rest are in English. But the song is a beautiful love song the strongest woman most of us know which is our mother. My friend Elsa Camargo wrote a poem called “Mujer” and we had a little bet to see if I could write a song around it. “A Mile From Tuesday” is also a special song to me as it is a tribute to 911.
As we all know, the music industry has been devastated for many reasons over the past 10 years, what are your thoughts on these changes and are you finding some of the changes helpful to you with getting more people to hear your music?

JA: At our level the “industry” doesn’t impact us much. Where we benefit is the ease of recording, the access to distribution and getting your music heard. There is more accessibility and opportunity to record and get your music out there.
Along the lines of this discussion, it would be really interesting to get your thoughts on what you think the future of ‘music enjoyment’ will look like in the coming years? How do you personally enjoy and ‘consume’ music? Any trends you’ve noticed with your own habits compared to, say, 10 years ago?

JA: I listen to podcast, to Spotify, will explore playlists on Songza and Spotify, still go out to see live music. There are more ways to get access to music. The danger is that consumers can get stuck on terrestrial radio or playlists that are cookie cutter or set up by corporations. As long as people are willing to explore they will continue to have access to new music and artists.
We would love to hear what your plans on with your next project – Are you going to a full CD, an EP or just release songs as you finish them? Release them digital only or combine physical with the digital or what?

JA: We will be going into the recording studio this spring/summer to record a new album. We have 9 songs ready to record. We have been playing the songs out live already and the reaction from our fans has been great. That’s why we are so excited to get them recorded.
What are you finding that is working well for your music right now that others may find interesting to hear about?

JA: Be open to collaborating with others and with technology you can work with artist around the world.
Is there a particular musician(s) you’d love to collaborate with – and why?

JA: Local musicians in Chicago include the Record Low or the O’ My’s because they are young and they rock.
Advance apologies: the so-called ‘classic’ questions. What other artists and bands have influenced your music and any particular reason why? Also, push come to shove: “Your Top 5 Albums Of All Time”? (Pop Geeks really are interested in this, trust us!)

JA: Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars – David Bowie hands down for me. I would have to include everything from the Beatles to the Cure to Morrissey and New Order as well. More recent would be Wilco and Radiohead. But the Thin White Duke is my boy!

Yes, it would be great if most indie musicians could work on music full-time but the reality rarely the case for most of them. I am always asked by music fans, what are the careers or full-time jobs that the musicians of the music they are listening to do…so ‘what’s your main gig?!’

JA: I am a Managing Partner at a registered investment advisory firm. In our band we everything from bankers and business owners.
Okay, last question: Where can we hear more of your music and any other releases you have?

JA: Check out and check us out on FaceBook!