We had the pleasure of grabbing drinks with five of the six members of the band Goodroad, and the whole conversation could be summed up with Kyle’s quip “Having a good time is contagious.” That’s what Kyle attributes to the band’s popularity. If the band is having fun, the crowd will have fun. And it’s evident that these guys always have fun together – and we had fun with them!
The band is made up of six musicians: Allen Goodroad, Micah Wetzel, Jordan Ochocki, Kyle Maurer, Brian Hanegan, and Erik Mahon (who unfortunately couldn’t be there). This current group has been playing together for seven years now.
But Goodroad goes back even further. The band’s namesake and lead singer, Allen Goodroad explained how they started. “Micah and I, we’ve been together the longest. We started playing at McNally’s and Tres Lounge. Just acoustically, and then Micah brought Kyle in and we started at Copper.”
“The Old Copper Lounge!” Turns out that was a favorite place for the band to play.
Kyle: That was the start of this whole thing. When we started out, we played there a bunch…I mean we played there how many times a year?
Allen: Twice a month
Brian: There’d be so many people in there, that the walls would just sweat.
Kyle: We’d cram 6 guys in that corner. He (Jordan) would be standing right in front of the door.
Brian: Like a bouncer, but he was playing bass.
Allen: I remember we showed up to Copper one night, and I was late – I don’t know what I was doing, and I walked up, and there was a bachelorette party outside ‘cause they couldn’t get in, there was no room. So I was like “Well, come with me” and they’re like “Who the hell are you?” (Laughter from the group) “Well, I’m going up on that little stage and I can get at least 6 of you up there with us.” So these gals all came in and we’re just literally shoulder to shoulder and we started playing, and you can just see the room just bouncing. We’re like “Oh my God.”
Jordan: Yeah those were fun times. Then it got to the point we were playing there maybe once every 4 or 5 months, or something like that…
Allen: It used to be there and McNally’s.
Brian: McNally’s too, yeah.
Allen: McNally’s we played a lot.
Jordan: Seemed like as soon as we put it out on social media, everybody was just buzzing—it was always packed.
The energy these guys emanated while reminiscing about Copper Lounge was electric. And that energy kept up as they continued telling stories.
Brian: (showing a picture on his phone) This was from our CD release show at The District. It was literally packed.
Allen: It was August of ’14. Jordan was shocked I did the whole set list on the airplane coming back from a work trip. And I showed up and I sent it to him, and he’s like “What the – what is this?” I’m like, well I thought maybe we should organize a little bit, and he’s like “I’m … I love it.”
Kyle: That tells you where we came from ‘cause it was very… well, when you’re used to just playing in a corner at Copper…
Allen: I remember The District show too, the production guys were like “oh god here we go.” And then an hour before the show it started to fill up.
Jordan: Not even the production guys, the entire staff. So, we did our CD release show at The District the 2nd weekend they were open.
Allen: It was like day number 8.
Jordan: Yeah, they did like a Friday, Saturday their opening weekend, and then we played the Saturday the next weekend. So, you know, they’d been through this Friday, Saturday, and Friday national act, and then we’re just some punk local band. It sounds like such a humble brag, ‘cause we weren’t expecting this. We were expecting the same thing, like this is just somewhere to play…
Brian: Like 2, 3 hundred people
Jordan: Yeah, like it’ll be great, but there were 1400 people that showed up.
Allen: And just to watch everybody scramble…
Jordan: …it was a surprise for everybody…
Allen: Calling in bartenders…
Jordan: That’s number 2, the high part for me.
Brian: Do you remember that gig at the Icon that we – we sold all like –
Allen: They ran out of beer at 10.
Brian: And they were like, “what do we do?”
Allen: That was a big one on my birthday – there were like 700 people in there.
Kyle: When we play shows, we bring a lot of people that like to have a good time, and drink a lot. That’s pretty much… and because we do too, we like to have a good time, why not? And that one show, they literally ran out of – they didn’t have a beer.
Allen: Coors Light, Bud Light, and Miller Light were gone at 10 o’clock.
Kyle: Even shows now, I mean, we play Shenanigan shows, it’s just… I think it’s just contagious. People can see that we’re having a legitimately good time, you know.
Allen: We found the line at Shenanigan’s though…
Kyle: Oh god, the last one
Allen: We know where the line is now… there were 8 trays of shots that came up.
Kyle: The last time we played there it was bad… we had to deny, towards the end of the night –
Allen: We started passing them out to the dance floor, we’re like “thank you” (gestures passing tray). Well actually Jordan is our band dad, he always keeps everyone organized, herds cats. So, the tray of shots would come up to him, and he’d take it, say thank you, and pass it right to the dance floor. Like “These are not touching the stage!”
Like Jordan’s designation as the “band dad,” every member seemed to have an unofficial place in the band. They also have official roles, like booking gigs. So, who books gigs?
Brian: He’s not here. (laughter from the group)
Allen: Eric. The trumpet player. So, I used to do everything and then we kind of…I bet we get 10 emails a day – sometimes it will be that much. So we just kind of diversified our responsibilities, so he took all that stuff over. What, probably like 2 years ago?
Jordan: Yeah I think so.
Allen: Which is good too, because I was really, really bad at the whole friend discount thing.
Allen: Yeah, and Eric does a really good job.
Brian: I’m set list guy.
Allen: Kyle does all the money stuff, like paying everybody. Jordan is in charge of production.
Jordan: And sound.
Allen: Make sure the stuff works.
How about marketing?
Jordan: We don’t work that hard on that side of things. We don’t seek out business.
Kyle: Our PR is primarily word of mouth.
Allen: We tried. We tried, we spent probably a thousand bucks three different times to try to advertise, and never got a single phone call. So, we just kind of quit doing that. Brian will take some pictures when we’re playing, and we’ll post them, “fun to be here”…
Brian: I do some of the social media. Eric does the twitter handle, and then Jordan’s wife does some stuff for us too, facebook, the band page, the website stuff.
Jordan: Yeah, she’s done some videos in the past.
Allen: Micah’s wife did our album cover, all that design and everything.
Brian: So, kind of internally we try to do the most that we can. But there’s not like one person only…
Allen: And we don’t do that much.
Kyle: Best marketing is pretty much from weddings that we’ve played, someone’s been there and said “oh I love those guys,” you know. We’ve done three different kids’ weddings from one family.
Allen: And two cousins. We gave the dad a plaque, the last wedding we played. We all signed it.
Kyle: You do three kids’ weddings with us you get a plaque. (laughter)
Allen: Their cousin does the big community foundation event in Marshall. So, we’ve done that the last 2 years, just from that wedding. Which is in a hockey arena – that’s fun! So, we do a little ice skating to warm up.
Kyle: Oh yeah, we get out there. Without ice skates.
Allen: Did you guys race this year?
Micah: We live dangerously.
Jordan: You guys all lost — bad. (laughter)
Allen: We go to Marshall every year now. We go to the Brau Brothers. We’ve been to Gettysburg. We went out to LaCrosse.
Jordan: Alexandria, MN, we went up there.
Allen: We were just in Omaha a couple of weeks ago.
Jordan: We’re going to Rapid City next spring.
Brian: We did the Northern Night for Aberdeen. Northern has a big fundraiser, big gala – we did that once.
Micah: We did the Jacks…
Kyle: Oh yeah, we played at the Club 71. Dana Dykhouse, that was his number when he played – he was a football player. It’s really nice. That’s kind of the joke of the whole band too, we’re split 50/50, USD/SDSU. Us three are SDSU (gesturing to Micah and Jordan), those three are all USD (pointing to Allen, Brian, and the empty chair, indicating Erik).
SDSU is where Jordan got his start in production and sound, which is a huge benefit for Goodroad.
Jordan: I started working at State, they’ve got like an on-campus production team, called State Tech, that does all the – cause the Union will hire little bands or little speaking events, they do all that stuff, so State Tech would provide production for all that. So, I used to do that when I was up there in 2004. I worked at the Performing Arts Center up there for probably 2 years. I worked for 2 of the production companies in Sioux Falls. I think I was even working before that, so probably since 2003 till 2012.
Kyle: We couldn’t be doing sound for a lot of these big productions – we’re pretty spoiled, ‘cause most of us know… about nothing regarding our board. (laughter)
Brian: Didn’t you do sound for Blake Shelton?
Jordan: Yeah, I toured with Blake Shelton for a spring. I’ve done a lot. A lot of festivals around this area.
Kyle: So, we’re super spoiled when it comes to levels, ears, just everything. It’s pretty nice.
Allen: (to Jordan) Remember that bad-ass band you guys had to go up against in the talent competition.
Micah: Oh yeah. (laughter)
Kyle: Where was that at?
Jordan: That was in the old –
Jordan: No, the Larson Commons.
Micah: (reminiscing) Larson Commons.
Kyle: Larson commons? What!?
Jordan: The Larson Commons had like this talent show.
Jordan: Yeah, so Micah and I go way back as enemies – frenemies – I don’t know. So, I don’t remember if it was my freshman or sophomore year. It was pretty brutal. Yeah, State had this little talent show.
Micah: That had to’ve been my sophomore year.
Jordan: Yeah, so I think I was a freshman. So, me and one of my buddies get into this talent show, and we got 2nd place to Micah… still hold it against him. (laughter)
Kyle: Well, me and Jordan played drumline together. We were in the Pride. I marched bass drum for 3… no…2 or 3 years. Marched in the Rose Bowl Parade…did you…?
Jordan: I did Rose Bowl, yeah.
Kyle: You were Tenor?
Jordan: I played Tenor as well. That was fun. That was tough.
Kyle: Yeah. We had 72 in drumline. That was just a lot. We’d do events for the drumline just separate from the band. We did like…Mount Rushmore.
Jordan: We’d do like 1 or 2… at least once a year some small-town parade, we’d go and do. And then do like a drumline show in their marching competition.
All of the band members had extensive musical experiences leading up to the formation of Goodroad, and even outside of the band’s gig’s, they keep very busy with music. 3 of the band members have full-time music careers. Micah teaches guitar lessons, through his own company, Amari Studios.
Micah: It’s Monday through Friday, doing well enough where I can live off it. It’s consistent, I’m not trying to grow it. I’m pretty much at max capacity right now. I’d have to take a huge step to expand.
Both Brian and Erik teach music as well, but they are in the higher education setting. Brian is Professor of Jazz Studies at Augustana, while Erik is a professor at Morningside in Sioux City. Along with his full-time work at Augustana and his involvement with Goodroad, Brian keeps busy playing other evening gigs as well.
Brian: I do a lot of playing. I’m doing 14 gigs in the month of December. I did Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday this week. Basically for me, I like Goodroad the most. You know, Goodroad is like…my thing.
Kyle works full-time for Daktronics as a mechanical engineer, which allows him to do quite a bit of traveling.
Kyle: Yeah, I did the halo board at the Falcons, it’s currently the worlds’ largest. It’s like 64 or 65,000 square feet. 60’ tall by 1110’ circumference. Yeah, I’ve been to a lot of stadiums lately. I’ve been to stadiums in London, LA… I was part of the sail on the Vikings and then the prow, which is the V-shaped entry display. I’m the mechanical side, so there’s obviously lots of engineers that are part of that, but I design the sheet metal cabinets that the LED square modules sit into. It’s an interesting job. Mercedes Benz in Atlanta is by far… it tops any stadium in the world right now.
Allen: We were playing the District one night, and Daktronics brought in like a big video board, so Kyle’s like “you guys gotta see this!” So he walks up and starts popping panels off. Well, they’ve got like a secret service security team, they’re like “woah, sir, what the hell are you doing???” Kyle’s like “I built this, man.” (laughter)
Allen and Jordan actually work full time together. They do sales for a healthcare communications company.
Jordan: We sell a product by a company called Rawlins, they’re from Chicago, so they have a couple different nurse call products that we sell as a local distributor. So, our territory – east river South Dakota, little bit of southwest Minnesota, and northwest Iowa.
Allen: Yeah Jordan was doing production and I called him up, I’m like “Dude you gotta come check this out, you’d be perfect.” He came probably the 3rd or 4th time I asked. He called me on a Friday at 5 o’clock, he’s like “I’m grilling a steak and drinking a shandy…this was the right move.”
Jordan: In like July…never had a Friday off in July in my life. It’s great.
Although Allen and Jordan see each other on a very regular basis, the rest of the band really only sees each other at gigs.
Allen: It’s so weird. We’re all so incredibly close, I would be a thousand percent confident saying we talk every day in a group of us. We all play fantasy football, which is a lot of our conversation, but I mean, every day we talk. And if we’re not playing together – other than obviously Jordan and I work together – but we don’t see each other. Like Hanegan just moved into a new house and nobody was there – to help. (laughter)
Kyle: We’ll go there for a house-warming to drink beer. (more laughter)
Allen: Kyle just moved into a new house – a few of us were over to check that out, but it’s like, if we’re gonna get together, let’s do work.
Kyle: Well, I mean when you’ve got kids, you just — the best man from my wedding lives 2 minutes from me and I don’t see him once or twice every two months, you know what I mean? You got kids and a wife, things change.
Allen: ‘Cause Micah’s got 3, you’ve got 2, Jordan’s got 1.
Kyle: As far as the rehearsal thing…
Jordan: Yeah, there’s maybe 1 or 2 a year. Maybe.
Allen: Depends. Any sort of big organized event, we’ll get together beforehand. To time it out and then, if we want to clean anything up.
Kyle: I think the reason why we can sort of pull it off, is that all of our musical backgrounds are pretty extensive. I mean, I’ve been playing in band since I was 12, 13, drumline… and the music we play, is not super technical.
Allen: We’re not doing Rush covers.
Kyle: Yeah, exactly, it’s stuff that…you know it’s first chorus, it’s got a pattern, so obviously musicians understand that and what not. Most of the time if we’re gonna throw a new song in the set, we’ll just say –
Jordan: Everyone listen to this song, and we just play it.
Kyle: And we’ll listen to it.
Allen: Yeah, say there’s a big lead guitar part, we’ll be like “that would be cool for the horn section,” so we’ll just tell those guys, and maybe run it at sound check, maybe in a closet.
Kyle: (laughing) We’ve done that.
Allen: That’s another thing with weddings. We like to play the first dances live. It’s different. We have to learn up to 3 songs 14 times a year for a weekend, so if we learn something new, I mean everybody kind of knows what to look for; either Jordan or I will break it down with who should do what, or how we think we want to start it.
Kyle: And we have a lot of onstage cues too,
Allen: Tons of them
Kyle: Just visual cues.
Jordan: Well and that’s just being in a group as long as we have, we can throw somebody a look and they know what it means. We really lean on that too. I mean, it wasn’t until really recently. we’ll do a set list, which isn’t so much “we will play these songs in this order,” but it gives you that starting point.
Kyle: Like a catalog.
Jordan: Yeah, we really try to be in the moment, feel what song would work next.
Allen: Yeah, you run into…when you get bigger and spaced out, and then wearing these in-ears you can’t hear to talk. So you get a set list going, and it’s like you’ll roll through 5 or 6 songs, and you kind of realize what works, or what’s not going to work tonight, so then as you go through the rest of it you’re like “Hey skip this one” or “let’s do this one instead.”
Kyle: I honestly think some of the coolest moments I’ve been a part of this band, have been first dance songs, or some songs it’s literally the first time we’ve ever done it, and there’s just like – people do certain things and you’re just like “How did that work?”
Allen: The One Republic song at Icon.
Kyle: Oh yeah.
Allen: The dad of the bride picked the song, so we listened to it and I think sound check ran it, and created a horn part in that sound check. So then we go to play the song and there’s the bridge thing they did this “di di di di“ big build, and the bride had no idea what the song was, and it was – it couldn’t have gone better, and she’s just bawling. We’re all up there looking at each other like “Yeah!”
Kyle: It’s just cool, yeah, that’s what makes it cool.
Allen: But. Keep in mind, too, for every moment like that, we have to play “Butterfly Kisses.”
Kyle: Yeah, we’ve had some train wrecks, but really not too many considering… You know, you have a few drinks, you’re having a good time, and usually low pressure shows like bar situations, Allen’d be like “Well guys, never done this one before, but here we’re doing it.” And then we’d just do it.
Allen: We started taking more requests recently. I can’t remember the words to anything, whether I’ve written it or anybody else has, (laughter) but the melodies, pretty much once or twice I can remember the melody. Jordan remembers every word to every song that he’s ever heard. So, we were talking about looks, and his look to me was always “Really??” (laughter) So, now we brought the iPad, so short of Whitney Houston, there’s not much we’ll say no to.
Jordan: We’ll start getting people just wanting to hear a song over and over, and we’re like “alright fine.” So, everyone’s like (mimics typing on iPad) looking it up, “uh, 1, 2, 3, go.”
Kyle: You’ll get most shows, toward the end of the night, people will be drunk and very very, very persistent, to the point where if you don’t play it, you’ll just be yelled at for the entire song, through the song, so it’s like “OK.”
Allen: “This is for the bride’s father!!” I heard you…I don’t know it!
Kyle: Remember that one kid? What song was that?
Allen: uh, Piano Man.
Kyle: “PIANO MAN!” He’s literally screaming like right into his ear, “PIANO MAAAAAAN!” We’re like “dude, yeah, we got it, we got it.”
Allen: And you don’t want to be a dick, ‘cause you know, you’re in front of everybody.
Kyle: And you don’t know who it is, it’s probably the father of the bride’s, you know, son.
Allen: This group used to do once-a-week rehearsals; we’d drill everything, same way, every time, and it was REALLY tight. I mean, the mechanics and stuff were really good. But you just get burnt out, it’s hard to get excited to play a song for the 53 thousandth time. So that was one of the big things when we started at Cooper, we could create and move and change and fly, and we’re moving more towards that structured part now and tightening things up –
Kyle: Middle ground.
Jordan: Yeah, it’s a middle ground. It’s not 100% that way either, it’s like, let’s all just take a minute and really think a little more about what we’re doing.
Allen: That was always my goal, like with the horn section, you get an actual doctor, these guys that live and breath and study music, you know the way that we study accounting or something else, and it’s fun to get all those brilliant minds in a room, and go ok what can we do to pretty up a 4 4 pop song? Oh lets use the horn section instead of an electric guitar or let’s do this… we played a wedding in Watertown and they wanted Kingdom Come…what’s that band?
Allen: Coldplay song. And the guitar is tuned in this absolutely crazy, crazy way. It’s really hard to play and sing, but all these guys played horns growing up so we had 4 horns and I played guitar and sang the song, and it’s just unbelievable how many different areas you could pull from.
Kyle: I think we were a little hesitant to do weddings at first, just like a lot of bands, cause there’s just more pressure.
Allen: It’s a full day. I mean the Omaha thing, we met at 10 in the morning on Saturday and got home at 3:30 in the morning. And the one before that was the same deal. Alexandria was. They’re long days.
Kyle: Well we’ve all gotten married, or most of us – 2 of our players aren’t married – but we all know how much it means. It’s long days, you want the best, especially a lot of Brides, you know they’re definitely anxious, so that just makes it… (gestures being stressed)
Allen: That’s where it started, was we all got married kind of in a row. Micah let us know the night before his wedding that he was going up to get married tomorrow. (laughter)
Micah: I didn’t know them that well yet. This was pretty fresh and new, our playing.
Allen: That was probably – was that 10 years ago?
Micah: 2009. Wow, it will be 10.
Allen: 10 years this summer.
Kyle: Yeah, you better be looking to do something special.
Brian: You better buy some more rocks. Some fancy rock.
Allen: Kyle’s wedding, we wanted to get him to play in front of his family. And we almost got kicked out. Cause I kept moving the centerpiece, it was right in the middle we couldn’t see each other, so I set it down, and the lady’s like “Touch it again, you’re out of here.” (Gestures moving the centerpiece off the table.) Kyle comes over, he’s like “Guys, stop pissing off the coordinator please.”
Kyle: And then they were supposed to bring a cajon [pronounced ka – hone] with them, but they forgot it. So, then they went to the local music shop and talked to the guy…
Allen: 170 bucks or something…
Brian: Well, tell them the story, like we walked into the music store, and we’re like “Yeah, do you have a cajon for sale.” The guy looks at Allen.
Allen: “Well, it’s a Cajun”
Brian: “It’s pronounced Cajun and yes I do.” We’re thinking like “oh we gotta go, we gotta get out of here, we have to leave right now.” (laughter)
Weddings and bars aren’t the only stages Goodroad plays. They’ve opened for quite a few national acts as well.
Allen: Our biggest goal in life was to play at The District, and then we played there the week they opened, for our release show, we had a packed house – that was awesome. And now we’ve been there like probably almost 50 times.
Jordan: The progression was pretty much like Copper regular shows, then Icon regular shows. And then after Icon, pretty much The District regular shows.
Micah: That’s by far my favorite place to play.
Allen: Me too.
Micah: By far.
Kyle: The set up there is really awesome. Just load in, and they’ve got a nice green room set up, and it’s a really cool place to play.
Do you guys still get nervous for shows?
Kyle: No, I think for me personally, after we played that Heart show. It doesn’t get much bigger than that.
Allen: Well, Heart, Jon Pardi, Sister Hazel.
Micah: I get nervous for those.
Allen: We played the Premier Center with Heart. That was pretty fun. We had the whole Storm locker room for our dressing room.
Kyle: Weren’t we the first local band to play at the Premier?
Jordan: Officially. I don’t count the open house.
Kyle: That was awesome.
Allen: Yeah, I got a random phone call from some number, and I answered, and he’s like “Hi this is RJ Romeo from Romeo Productions, is this Goodroad, like the band.” …yeah…what’s up? (Laughter)
Kyle: That’s about as big as it gets. Opening for Heart was just surreal. Looking back on it, if we got to do it again, I’m sure it’d be a lot more enjoyable.
Allen: Yeah, we didn’t know what to expect.
Kyle: We were just like “Oh my god, we’re opening for Heart, this is ridiculous.”
Allen: Well and it’s funny too, ‘cause you watch the video and you’re like “god we were pretty damn boring.” But – you know – you’re not used – I mean there’s so much space.
Jordan: You’re so focused on not messing up, and like, just taking it in, yeah it’s hard to perform.
Allen: To think to go from Copper, where the stage is the size of this table, and then, now you’re literally standing in front of twelve thousand people – and the closest person is 50 feet away.
Brian: Allen told everyone – you remember doing it? He told everyone – we were doing this ballad from our album – and he told everyone to get their smartphone light out, and I took a picture of him while he was doing that, so he’s in the forefront and you just see a thousand lights.
Allen: We got a lot of cool pictures.
Kyle: This is a cool picture, this is like during sound check, pretty crazy seeing all those seats, and you’re just like “Alright, really doing this!”
Allen: [That was] August ’15.
Kyle: It was for United Way, “Start with Heart.”
Brian: Cheap Trick. Remember we opened for Cheap Trick at Ribfest.
Allen: Yea, It was like 20 degrees I made everybody take their coats off. [We opened for Sister Hazel] at The District. Mike Miller Event. Which is like – Jordan and I were fan-boying the whole time.
Jordan: We were in the front row just (throws hands up in the air, rocking out).
Brian: Yeah, I think some of the corporate events we’ve done have been pretty cool. Through that Mike Miller thing we met Dante Culpepper, took pictures with him.
Kyle: We met Rob Dyrdek…from Rob and Big off MTV.
Brian: You remember Udonis Haslem…from Miami Heat?
(A chorus of “yeah” from the group)
Brian: We met that guy.
Allen: Well, then Legends. We’ve done Legends. We met Thurman Thomas at Legends one time. Sat down next to him and he goes “This where all the celebrities are supposed to be sitting?”
Kyle: That one at the Hilton, where Bart Starr…
Jordan: Yeah we played that Bart Starr, that was Augie, man, wasn’t it?
Allen: Yeah, where our bar tab was more than our pay check. Whoops. (laughter) We got asked to go on tour, like a little 3 day tour, with O.A.R. and that fell apart at the last minute, but other than that, we’ve had a lot of opportunity with some of the smaller country acts that come to town. We’ve had a really good relationship with Pepper Entertainment. That’s where most of that stuff comes from. Jered’s been really, really good to us. And Luke, Joe, all those guys.
Kyle: It’s cool, too, we get to be part of a lot of those really cool events that are fundraisers.
Allen: We do a lot of those.
Kyle: We did the breast cancer thing.
Allen: Oh yeah, at the Falls Park? The Susan G. Koman Race for a Cure.
Kyle: We’ve been doing the Horse Power thing.
Allen: Horse Power Banquet – in March.
Kyle: That’s a cool deal. We do some CMN stuff.
Allen: Cystic Fibrosis every year.
Kyle: What’s the Icon one?
Allen: Oh, the fashion show.
Jordan: El Couture Fashion Show.
Kyle: It’s kind of a sad deal, this last year they had a lot of the mom’s that had lost children –
Allen: Yeah, that were the models.
Kyle: Yeah, so some of those are pretty tough. Especially when you have kids.
It’s not all live events that keep this band busy, though. They have recorded 3 albums of original music as well.
Allen: Jordan and I did the first one in 2006. And then we did another one in ’08 that sounds like 80’s hair metal. Literally, like full synthesizers, 16 vocal tracks. And then our [current] group…’13’?
Allen: We went down to Beresford, so we would get off work at 5, and drive half hour down there – probably about an hour.
Kyle: What’s the studio called?
Jordan: Pulse River.
Kyle: Pulse River, yeah.
Allen: So, we’d drive down there, pick up pizzas and a case of beer –
Jordan: Til 1, 2 in the morning.
Allen: …and sit there and –
Kyle: It’s a really cool atmosphere down there, it’s just – it’s out on a farm, it’s just a building on a farm, you’ve got corn stalks 5 feet from the studio, I mean, it’s just a cool “get away from the city” —
Allen: And it was, it was 1 or 2 in the morning, every night. Go to work in the morning at 8. Come back down there… but it’s weird cause you’re exhausted, you know, but then you’d roll back into the studio and it’s like ‘vrupt’ (He does a full-body robot-like straightening up).
Well, it’s funny too, then we got to be friends with the engineer down there, so he’s played with us a few times. We opened for Lo Cash at The District, and Jordan had a wedding or something he was gone, which is like never, so Scott Jibben, the guy that owns that place came and played bass with us. Actually had a rehearsal.
Are there any CD’s planned for the future?
Allen: Yes. I don’t know when.
(Editor’s note: just before publishing, we found out Goodroad plans to record a CD this year!)
Jordan: It’s been talked about.
Allen: It’s on the list. What we did last time, was we kind of ran everything together at Jordan’s house, so I think if we recorded again, instead of spending $4000 to spend nights creating, which is 50 bucks an hour, I think we would create somewhere in town at somebody’s house, and then either take those tracks and try to polish them up, or just go in and slam it all out.
Kyle: Yeah, we went into the full service studios, pretty…
Jordan: We were like half prepared…
Allen: We thought we were prepared.
Kyle: But we were about half.
Allen: I remember thinking we were ready to go, but you get in there and you hear everything perfectly, you’re like “god…”
Kyle: We need to add this, yeah.
Allen: “You know what would be cool, is if we…” You know, and then one night we got into the Coors Light a little bit, so we’re like “We should do, a whole end of the song reprise, bring it all back, do like this bad choir” and everyone’s like “yep. That’s a really good idea.” That was probably $700…and it’s annoying.
Jordan: (laughing) It’s not good.
Kyle: Yeah…you live you learn.
You guys have been voted local best, how many years?
Allen: 3 total, the last 2 in a row. Jordan’s wife devised these – we had such a blast – these videos. So, each day of the week before voting ending, this video’d come out, it’d be like “Kyle, what’s your favorite thing about being in the band?” And he’d share something. God, we were just relentless with everybody. The trumpet player’s like “Oh we’re just a band of brothers.” Jordan goes to the bar, and the video starts, he turns around and he goes “Oh, hey, I didn’t see you there.” (laughter)
Kyle: These were all recorded at The District.
Allen: Yeah, some Saturday morning. Yeah, it was again, dream, goal, in 2014, the guy called me, he’s like “You have the most votes of any thing in any category in the history of the Local Best – who the hell are you? Cause you were like 14 last year, what happened?” And then, I think it was ’16, we didn’t really do anything.
Jordan: We won it once, so we were good.
Allen: (Laughs) yeah. So, ’16 we were voted, and then ’17 same thing, I think I shared a video once, and then it was voted again. So it’s like — I don’t know if you guys get the same thing, but pretty much any group of friends that you go hang out with they’re like “Hey it’s the Local Best!” People say that…it’s really cool. For some businesses, it generates revenue for them, so they pay to be a part of it, but we don’t spend any money on it. We’re proud of it – I’m incredibly proud of it.
Kyle: Yeah, it’s awesome. I think it just goes along with the whole, you know, having a good time is contagious, and I think we bring that to a lot of shows. I just think a bar show, or any public show we do, we’re just – we’re all having a blast, and it’s not ‘cause we’re faking it. I think, one of our bigger draws too, is that we don’t charge a cover charge, like ever.
I think there’s a lot of good stuff going on with local music in Sioux Falls.
Allen: Well that’s what’s fun too, is we all have friends in all the other bands that work around here, and other groups, like Elisabeth Hunstad played half our show with us at a wedding last week.
The Hegg Brothers too, they’re all good buddies, like we got done early one night, they were playing Copper, so we got our horns out of the trunk, went marching in playing the Saints Go Marching In, They were like “What the hell?” So they hopped on and started playing along. Everyone in the bar is like “What the hell just happened?” And we’re of course laughing uncontrollably.
Rich [Rislov] had a Christmas party one year when he lived above Copper, so it was like Elisabeth, Rich, Toby Kane, everybody that played downtown. Yeah, all those guys are fun. We do the Avera Grape every year, so Rich came and did one of the side rooms one year – we kick stuff back and forth all the time.
It’s great to have those good relationships with everybody.
Kyle: Lot of good venues too, I mean, as we’ve said a ton of times – The District. Seeing a show there – in my opinion that’s better than First Avenue in Minneapolis. First Ave. has the history with Prince, so you’re not going to compete with that, but The District is really well set up, really well set up.
Allen: Well, Hanegan met his girlfriend there too.
Kyle: Yeah, that’s true!
Allen: She was in one of the suites and I went up the back stair well and went in the suite to keep singing to these people and they’re like laughing, and she’s like “Who’s your horn player?” …“Can we get the horn section to the first suite please?” He came up and they hit it off right away.
Kyle: We’re very humble and lucky to have the experiences that we’ve had.
Allen: It’s fun to find new dreams, you know like “Hey wouldn’t it be crazy if we ever got to play the District?” And then it works out we get to play there right away, and we’re like…
Jordan: What do you do?
Allen: I’ll never forget when the lights came up on that stage at the District and you see that place just full, and… we just stared at each other like “what the hell?”
Kyle: It was pretty crazy, especially being the District just opened, you know…yeah, that was crazy. That was really cool.
Allen: That was fun.
Kyle: And, I mean, if you’d ever told me that I’d ever open for Heart…
Jordan: It’s something we never sought. We’re just happy it’s happened.
Kyle: Yeah. It’s been a pretty awesome ride.
And lucky for all of us, their ride isn’t over yet! Goodroad played over 25 gigs in 2018 – and it doesn’t look like they’ll slow down in 2019.
Their next big public show is scheduled for St. Patty’s Day at the Holiday Inn in the heart of downtown. So, if you want a fun night, plan to be there! And if you just can’t wait until then, it’s very likely they’ll play at Shenanigan’s in the meantime.
Find out more about the band, purchase a CD, or book them for your next event at their website: www.goodroadband.com