Get to Know a Musician: Dale Goodridge
Hello everyone! SongFreaks is proud to present our first installment of “Get to Know”, our new feature in which we interview musicians, bands, and other individuals across the music industry. Today we are talking to solo artist Dale Goodridge from Melbourne, Australia. Dale plays music inspired by the intricately-recorded, great and powerful rock albums of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Today he crafts each of his original songs in a studio he built by hand. By playing every instrument himself, he constructs rich layers that resonate with personal and universal significance. Now that you know a bit about Dale let us begin!
- SongFreaks: Dale, you built your own music studio which in and of itself is quite the achievement. How long did it take you to complete this goal and how trying was the process?
Dale Goodridge: Well, I am entirely self-funded. I arrived in Australia 6 years ago with just a Rucksack on my back. I have been slowly building it up since then along with the instruments I need to do all this.
Throughout that time I have also been working very hard on learning recording and mix engineering so I can present the songs the way I want to and not have to pay for professional studio time. I’ve been working on all my songs throughout this. Some songs have been through a few demos as I learn and build up equipment. I think they have benefited a lot from this as I’ve had time to tweak and look at the arrangements of them.
I’m currently trying to speed up the whole process as it takes a long time as I play, record and produce everything I do. I also film and edit my own videos too. It has and continues to cost a lot of money. I just add things when I can. I’m very happy with the setup and gear I have right now. I think I can produce really good sounding songs and I feel a lot more confident in my recording and mixing abilities. I usually send the mix out to be mastered. The last couple of songs I have sent to Abbey Road Studios who have done wonderful work on them.
- SongFreaks: What process do you go through when writing a song? Do you have a formula that you find works best or do you let things come naturally?
Dale Goodridge: I find it a little different each time as I experiment with ways of writing. Sometimes I just sit with an acoustic guitar and a pad of paper for lyrics and write that way. Then the song and arrangement is ready before recording. I find this much easier but some songs need more than just an acoustic as things can sound very different once recorded.
Other times I will write as I am recording. I just come up with a basic idea and run with it and just track different instruments, do mostly incoherent vocals as I work on melody first and I’ll just usually find words appearing in parts. I’ll then (if it’s working) find a structure and song appearing. It’s sort of jamming with myself in a way. I’m always trying to make it sound and feel like a real band.
Writing is strange. Any writer will tell you this. Some days I literally can’t play or sing anything. It’s just not right. Doesn’t feel right. I don’t force it when I’m in that place. It only leads to frustration usually. You can battle through it and do work, but I just leave it. Other days, it can literally pour out of me. My muse is there. I feel at ease with my voice, instruments and the sound I’m getting when recording. These are the best times. That is the best feeling apart from sitting back and listening to the final mix of my song. There are so many levels of things I’m working on at once that when it’s finished, I’m very happy with it. It’s a huge achievement to do this by myself and then people enjoying it on top of that is a wonderful feeling.
- SongFreaks: Best concert experience you have ever had either as a spectator or performer?
Dale Goodridge: There are a couple that spring to mind straight away. Seeing Rage Against The Machine at a festival in England in the mid-late 90’s was just astounding. I’ve never seen a whole crowd bounce like I saw that day. From the front to the back it was uproar. One of the most powerful feelings I’ve had at a concert ever.
Another one is seeing Beck playing Solo and Acoustic at the Manchester Apollo in the UK. Before the gig I was nervous for him. There were lots of people just talking about his rap and groovy stuff. They didn’t even know this side of him. He came on and was just mesmerizing and sounded amazing. You couldn’t hear a pin drop in this huge theatre venue. He just took everyone away. Even all these people just hooked on the rappy stuff. It was after the release of the ‘Sea Change’ Album by him which is one of my favourite albums of all time.
- SongFreaks: You are originally from Bradford, Yorkshire in England. But today you call Melbourne, Australia home. What caused you to move half way around the world, and how has this change of scenery influenced your music?
Dale Goodridge: I came here to be with a Girlfriend I met in London. I’m now an Australian Citizen and it’s changed me totally in my music and the way I am. I’m not the same person I was 6 years ago at all, I hardly recognize myself. It’s influenced the way I write and record music. I’ve been exposed to all this great ‘Aussie Rock’ that I had hardly heard back in the UK. I mostly listen to 60’s-70’s rock and there is some great music from that time on ‘classic’ radio here. I think that’s changed the way I write and do things a lot too. I have a whole different outlook on life and work very, very hard doing what I do.
- SongFreaks: You are your own promoter. How has social media helped you in this aspect of your musical career?
Dale Goodridge: Things have totally changed in the way you need to promote yourself now. It used to be just playing gigs and hopefully getting on the radio and maybe someone would notice you and you would be ‘signed up’ to a Record label then Tour e.t.c.
You can do everything on your own now. Social Media mixed with my own website is a great source of promotion. I mainly use Twitter, Google+ and Facebook to promote myself and I’ve had a great reaction over the 19 months I’ve been doing work online. You have to be in touch with the fans of your music. You constantly need to get it out there that you are around and this is your music. There are millions of people out there and those three social networks are used by many. I’m always changing my approach and methods along with the constant changes that are happening online.
I’m currently getting into doing Google+ Hangout Gigs. I’ve done quite a few and they are a great rehearsal and are exciting. Seeing all these people reacting live to what I’m playing has really helped me find out which songs are working and which aren’t. It’s also helped me meet people who really enjoy my music. I’ve done interviews and last week I played in a live chat show on there. It was strange, exciting and new. I hope they are going to be used more in this way and once the sound quality gets better, we will hear a whole lot more about this new way of playing shows.
- SongFreaks: Finally, what is on the horizon for you and your musical career?
Dale Goodridge: My main aim is to finish my album. I’m working now on a recording and I’m trying to get each song as good as they can be. If I can record, mix and master a song every couple of weeks or so, that will get me on the way to finishing it. I’m not just putting songs on there that are unfinished or rushed. I want every song to be great. Hopefully I can do that.
As well I am going to Los Angeles at the end of July. I’m doing some shows and filming a video with a friend who is such a talent. I’m really excited about it. I want the video to be a truly good and creative piece of work, not just a usual music video of me standing playing guitar. It’s going to be great going to LA. I’m really looking forward to it.
I aim to finish recording my album by the end of the year and release it on Vinyl, CD and Download. And then we’ll see what happens…. After that, who knows?
To learn more about Dale and listen to his music you can visit his official site here at http://www.dalegoodridge.com/
Or on google+ at https://plus.google.com/107858846918410970720/posts