GREAT GOOD FINE OK have been a name often seen on top of the list of buzzing bands. Only about a year in, the synth pop duo have developed quite a following with their great melodies and well-crafted infectious tunes. We caught up with them on tour during their show at the Bowery Ballroom as they gave us insight into their creatively entertaining music videos as well as some news on what we can expect from them in the coming months!
GREAT GOOD FINE OK INTERVIEW
SONIC HIGHLARK: I heard one of your first shows was at SXSW. That’s kind of a big deal, how did that come together?
LUKE MOELLMAN (GREAT GOOD FINE OK): I don’t think I’ve ever been more nervous in my life.
JON SANDLER (GREAT GOOD FINE OK): So basically this whole band started because we wrote one song that people really liked, and there was a team of people helping us before we even released that song. And so we were kind of building this band before we had done anything, and it just happened that SXSW came when we were getting ready to play shows and it was like “Ok, well here’s your first 7 shows!”
LUKE: I’ve never played in a band where at the first show everyone already knows about you.
JON: Basically by the time we played there we had rehearsed maybe 40 times.
LUKE:Still so much stuff went wrong though.
SONIC: I can imagine, but that’s really cool. So, I actually found out about you guys for the first time via the A-Trak remix of “Let You Go”, the track you guys did with The Chainsmokers, it was my summer jam, how did that happen?
JON: Over a year ago they reached out to us as fans, they were looking for people to top line songs and write with them. We were big fans of theirs so we gave it a shot. You do these all the time and you give it your all, but you never know if they’re going to like it. They really liked it, but then “Selfie” came out which made them huge and so that song got put on hold for over a year and we just assumed nothing would ever happen with it. Then they decided to put that out as the next single when that all settled down. I don’t know, it was just really cool and organic.
SONIC: This takes me to my next question. It’s kind of interesting with synth-pop type stuff because it’s very close to EDM but also completely different. Do you guys listen to Electronic Music?
JON: I get asked to top line EDM songs kind of frequently so I’ve been listening to more and more of it just to immerse myself in that world a little bit.
LUKE: If you listen to the radio there are a lot of those songs too.
JON: Yeah, EDM based like Avicii so yeah, I listen to some of it or more than I ever have that’s for sure.
SONIC: Your music videos are pretty funny, including the sandwich video for “You’re The One For Me” but also the official version. Was that one of your ideas or did the director say “I’m going to dress you up as girls!” ?
JON: All of our videos start off with us brainstorming, and we’re really involved in it. Two of the “You’re The One For Me” ones we were very involved with coming up with the idea. “Too Much To Handle” with the virtual reality helmet, that was the idea of a different director and then we shaped it together, but…
LUKE: Yeah, well that was more of your baby (looking at Jon) and you said “You have to shave your beard and dress up like a girl.” I was like “I hate you.”
JON: (laughing) I was trying to be nice by including you.
SONIC: Also the dance one for “Take It Or Leave It”, the one by the Santa Monica Pier, the choreography is great.
JON: Basically he choreographed a dance for one of our songs “By My Side.”
LUKE: I think he was teaching a class.
JON: Yeah, and it was totally awesome so we reached out to him and said “Hey, would you want to do something for this?” and he did a great job.
SONIC: Is that how a lot of the ideas come together? You guys looking for stuff online, for example the “Not Going Home” video was footage of a couple traveling the world or something?
LUKE: They had already made a longer version of it and did this weird edit to the song where they extended it to 7 minutes or so just to fit all their footage in. It was awesome so we asked them if it was cool if we used it and cut it down to the length of the song.
JON: I think the theme here is that we don’t like to force anything. The best things are the things that come out of nowhere. They kind of just fall into place. A lot of bands just need to make a video and they over think it sometimes. The “Not Going Home” video has the most plays out of all our songs but when it came out we weren’t planning on doing a video since we weren’t inspired by anything.
LUKE: To be fair, “You’re The One For Me” video was more like “You HAVE TO make a video!” and basically worked our asses off to do it.
JON:That’s true, BUT, we thought about it for a long time before we settled on something.
SONIC: I like to ask this question a lot, but what are some of your tour essentials?
JON: That was the most recent addition. You’d be surprised.. well, I won’t go into it, but also lots of water, nuts, assorted nuts.
LUKE: Almonds, walnuts, and two of us drink coffee and two of us don’t so for those of us that drink it, it’s essential.
SONIC: Does someone take charge of the music in the tour van or is everyone on their headphones?
JON:It’s usually whoever is driving gets to pick. If everyone likes what he’s playing it’s cool but if not then we all put our headphones on.
LUKE: Usually on those late night drives after the show when the place we’re staying is 2 hours away from the venue, everyone is too tired to do their own thing so we all just listen. When I’m driving though my playlists are the best so nobody complains.
SONIC: You just released a track recently, is an album nearing?
JON: Something…. Something is near.
LUKE: No plans right now. We’ll probably put 2 more songs out.
JON: Yeah, we want nothing more than to just be releasing more songs, but we’re particular about what we put out, we are writing all the time but we want to love everything that we’re putting out.
LUKE: It’s also that albums now-a-days are less essential.