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  • Writer's pictureMathieu Parent

A Chat With: Goodbye Honolulu

We had a chat with Toronto's garage rock band Goodbye Honolulu, made up of Jacob Switzer, Max Bornstein, Fox Martindale and Emmett S Webb before their gig in Montreal. We talk bangers, families, hanging out with famous people and see how they take part in the community with Fried Records!

How did you guys start making music?

J: I guess we all started making music separately and we’re influenced by different things and our families and whatever. Together we started making music at the end of high school and we each kinda had different bands. Max and Emmett were in a band together, then I joined that band. Fox and I were in a band together, then we kinda merged them altogether and right after high school and we made Goodbye Honolulu.

As kids, you guys just picked up playing?

E: Yeah well, me and Max have been playing together since grade 5. We were always in a band and we fell in love with pop punk when we were little guys. We had a bunch of bands, a bunch of incarnations

J: Basically we all started at different times when we were young, but we actually took it seriously, like as a career after high school

In an interview you guys said you’d be making a full album but now an EP is going to come out, why the EP and not an album?

E: I don’t know we fucked up, we made a mistake and said an album

J: We figured having 2 EP’s would give us more time to promote for the first EP and for the second as well and spread it out for a longer period of time

M: I think it’s easier for people to listen to 5 songs at a time than it is to 10. Especially since singles are coming out, then its like 'oh I've already heard these songs' leading up to when the EP comes out

F: Especially if its a new band, I don't think people want to listen to a whole record unless they're super fans

J: Yeah, and in the Spotify age which were in right now, you hear one single and you’re like 'this is great i’ll save it' but you don’t even check out the rest of the album most of the time. I’m guilty of that and I feel like a lot of people are the same way so having a couple, 4 or 5 of your catchiest songs on each EP I think is easier for people to wrap their head around

I wanna do a track by track of the EP, so let’s start with Back 2 Me

J: Okay, Back 2 Me stemmed from when I first started getting panic attacks and I was just feeling super whack and then I wrote a song about it. That’s it basically

E: There’s a really big bridge

J: Oh yeah that we got together! The verse and the chorus are the same thing it just gets louder and quieter so then we were like ‘okay we need to have a bridge that does something different’ and then me and Emmett got together and was like ‘what about this right here’.

The next one is Mother to a Brother, how about that one?

E: That was written like, I don’t know I was looking at my phone and I had a demon dating like 2014

F: First song we wrote together I think

E: It was just parts forever and we used to play it in our old band and it was kind of different and we had a recorded version for a little bit. But yeah that was our first song trying to write for Goodbye Honolulu as this sound we’re going for. So that was just a fun party, big track and on the verse Jacob is kinda rapping so its fun

Then its Bloody Hands

Goodbye Honolulu: ???

F: next… what else is on that list?

Photo by: André Varty

E: I think we forget whats on the EP

J: I think that came from basically wanting to write a song that was good and I tried my best to do that

E: That's a big one too, it's a big song. There's a powerful chorus

J: Yeah, basically when I wrote the chorus I was like this needs to be a banger, this needs to go hard

E: Like that Miley Cyrus album, what was it?


M: With a ‘Z’

E: Oh just Bangerz? That's what we were trying to go for like a one song banger with a ‘z’ sort of thing

J: Also, it has a little bit of a country vibe in it, a country banger

Then its Where You Wanna Go

E: That song is about telling the person you love that you’re willing to go wherever they're willing to go. I remember I was on the subway when I wrote it, I was all tired and I started writing it in my head. But yeah, its about being in love and being willing to do whatever you wanna do for that person

F: As long as there’s no scraps or anything

E: Yeah, like not weird shit but like normal life stuff. You’re willing to go wherever they wanna go

F: Travel,

E: Jamaica? You wanna go to Jamaica, I’m going

J: wherever YOU wanna go

F: I’ll meet you there, I’ll get there before you

E: It’s a lovey dovey song

It's the sensitive side of Goodbye Honolulu

E: Yeah, its there, you gotta show it, gotta dig a little deeper

Yeah, and then its Typical Me

F: Yeah I wrote it. At first I sort of wrote it, I thought it might be too chill of a song for Goodbye cause it's usually hype party songs but the boys liked it so made it a banger. We threw it on bangers.

E: Big chorus, we got the dynamics on that. Its good, it’s moody. Another side of us

J: All of our songs are pretty moody if you actually think about it

Going back to Heavy Gold, Lorry Can’t Love was your song (Fox), why did you guys decide to twist it and make it for Goodbye?

F: I guess we thought since we were throwing it on something new and something we found polished and revised, you know, we’d switch it up a bit just for people’s interest almost so we thought editing it would appeal

J: Basically Fox had his own version and we all liked that song and when we made Goodbye we took a lot of songs from each other’s solo things. And then on the new album, Mike Turner who produced it, he was choosing a lot of our songs thinking what would be good for the album and he really liked Lorry Can’t Love but we were like ‘ we already did that again’ and so we thought of new parts for it, some new dynamic shifts and stuff

E: But there’s another version of Lorry Can’t Love out there that’s not out yet

So it's making a come back

E: Yeah, there's another version lurking in the shadows that’s gonna drop

M: There’s like 9 remixes coming

E: We might do a remix album! But yeah, we just started playing it cause we were pulling from each other’s solo songs cause we were just fans of that song

What other solo songs did you guys take?

J: Hardly Speaking was originally one of my solo songs. Slip Inside Your Mind is from the band joined in high school Ghost Daze and we played Mother to a Brother as that band as well

E: A couple ones. Heavy Gold is our early stuff we pulled and revised

So its just a bunch of remakes

E: hey we’re just a bunch of fakes, we haven't written a new song in 5 years

F: We’re going to put out an album with all the originals