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Mick Dagger, Nate Gone, Vic Oden - The Goners

Interview with Mick Dagger, Nate Gone, Vic Oden from The Goners
by Dani Bandolier at 28 February 2020, 6:16 AM

THE GONERS (2019) are a Riding Easy Records Swedish punk proto-metal garage rock band which rose from the cauldron of now-roached rock bands SALEM’S POT and YVONNE.  The band jelled with members Mick Dagger and Grave Dave on guitar, the percussion section of Timo Tinto on bass and Vic Odin on drums. Nate Gone is the main songwriter, lead vocalist and also pitches in on guitar. Metal Temple writer Dani Bandolier had an email interview with the band to gaze into THE GONERS crystal ball of all things rock - past, present and rock future … and to get a current weather report from Goner-landia.

Where are you located and How is the weather today in Eskilstuna, Sweden?

Mick -Well, we’re located in Eskilstuna, about ten miles southwest of Stockholm. The weather today is cold but at least the sun is shining. There hasn’t been much of a winter this year in Sweden.

THE GONERS formed from SALEM’S POT and YVONNE. Please tell me a bit more of the history of how everyone arrived at forming THE GONERS.

Mick - As we’ve stated before, it’s only Nate who played in Salem’s Pot and David used to play guitar in Yvonne Viktor and Timmy have been playing together in various constellations sinch their teens. As for me, I have been playing in two bands since I picked up the guitar, my first band actually featured Nate on drums. Since we all know each other since before, arriving at this setting was only natural. Eskilstuna ain’t that big of a town, you know.

Nate - Exactly. The band I was playing in had a lot of differences in between members and we simply didn’t get along or shared the same visions. As for me, I take full responsibilty for being a self-destructive fuck-up and had to get well in order to proceed with anything. I had all these songs for an album I wanted to record and called up David from Yvonne (who was my teacher at the time) and asked if he wanted to play guitar, which he agreed to. While facing a decade of demons we tried some various members before landing in what Mick just explained and from there it is..

Nate Gone had the songs already written for ‘GOOD MOURNING’. Was that originally intended for a Nate Gone solo release? What will the songwriting team be for the next release … who will be involved?

Mick - Nate wrote all the songs for this album but i don’t think it was planned to be a solo record. As for now we all share songwriting duties. Someone brings an idea to the table and then we try to roughen out the edges. I always think of my ideas like skeletons. I present a verse, a chorus and maybe some other part and then we, as a band, flesh it out.

Nate - Yeah, as I mentioned above I needed a band to record the album, even though The Goners started out in singular. Now we are a complete band and we have some very competent songwriters among us.

I like the guitar tones on ‘GOOD MOURNING’ Please give me a rundown of your band equipment.

Drums: Vic played on an old slingerland set from the studio that was similar to his own, as well as paiste big beat cymbals and a Tama dynamic bronze snare drum.

Guitars, EFX and amps: Mick- On the recordings, since my telecaster stopped working, i ran a BaCh flying v through some various dirtboxes and a wah into a Fender Twin Reverb Blackface reissue with the treble way up and the mids and bass pretty much scooped to complement Nate’s sound. Nate uses a Bigsby equipped Gretsch through a Deluxe reverb pedal into an Orange amp. Dave plugs into a cranked Sunn amp.

Bass, EFX and amps: A borrowed epiphone embassy pro into a fender guitar amp and a broken 15” speaker.. No efx.

vocal microphone – stage and studio: There is a Coles ribbon microphone in the studio which makes the drums sound fantastic. Sm57’s still work for both guitar and vocals and we tried various old microphones for the vocals as well as overdubs.

anything else - We used an old Juno synthesizer on some parts and two local musicians, Stefan Wistrand and Mattias Green (who also recorded and helped us mix the album) played some bass clarinet and trumpet on ”Down & Out”.

How was the experience of recording ‘GOOD MOURNING’, were the sessions easy since the songs were written or was there difficulty with some studio aspects? Was Jämtlands Bryggeri Hell involved in the studio?

Mick-  As you stated, the songs were already written and we had rehearsed them for quite some time. we recorded everything in about three days I think. It was all live except for some solos and vocal overdubs and Dave’s stuff. He’s the father of two and barely has any time over for anything else so all of his parts were recorded afterwards. I’ve never had any beer from Jämtland no. Two of us are sober and trying to walk the straight and narrow so not much drinkin’ and druggin’ for this group. We’re not a “taking drugs to make music to take drugs to”-kinda group. But if that’s your thing we’re not the ones to judge. To each his own I suppose, but the rock-cliché gets kinda’ boring in the long run, don’t you think?

Nate - Yes, we like to keep it simple and just record the songs live from start to finish. What takes time is overdubs, mixing and getting everything on tape. As for the other question, I have been sober for over a year and a half now so luckily no. It had to be done to even make this happen and I think the rest of the band (and the little I got left) are relieved. I had plenty of cream sodas and Arnold Palmers though.

Does Mick Dagger or Grave Dave play the guitar solos or do they split them up depending on the song?

Mick - I play rhythm guitar, some harmonies and do some atmospheric stuff on top so all the solos were recorded by Nate and Dave.

Nate - Yes, me and David split the leads.

In my Metal Temple review of ‘GOOD MOURNING’ I mentioned that there was a “modulated vocal effect (for Nate) on top of what sounds like gang-shouted vocals” for the vocal arrangements. Can you expand on this… what is going on there?

Mick - The vocals are mostly Nate doing harmonies with some help from Dave. Timmy does some stuff. We all pitched in for the end “are you gone yet?” and I sang the choruses with Nate on the Dead Moon cover.

Nate - Slap-back, overdubs and some harmonies. That’s it.

When is your tour to support ‘GOOD MOURNING’ and where will it be, what areas of the world? Will the touring band be the same as the studio band?

Mick - We don’t know actually but we’re trying to get some dates in Sweden for this spring/summer. As for a full-on european tour only time will tell since we all got other business to attend to, as partners, families, children, cats, et.c.

I have always found the constant travel especially in the USA to be exhausting because of the long distances between shows. How do you all hold up touring, do you get proper food and sleep? Exercise? Is touring Europe easier since the venues are closer together?

Mick - I can’t answer that since i haven’t had the chance to tour but i know the others have in various bands. They do hold up but how i don’t know.

Nate - Touring has ruined everything for me but I am practicing every day to get better. To answer your question I haven’t got anything properly except enough poison to have constant mental breakdowns unfortunately. Next time.

Vic - I've always told myself to never go on a tour again, so it's tough. But of course it is often self-inflicted. with this band, on the other hand, I look forward to getting away to play. they are my best friends and we have all grown older and grown up.

Where is your favorite place and venue to play in Sweden? In Europe? The UK? Will Brexit change the way bands from the EU tour in the UK?

Mick - I think the others are going to have to answer that question, as for Brexit i suppose that gives us a good chance to do some Boris-bashing in the between-songs banter.

Nate - In Sweden it has to be Truckstop Alaska but unfortunately they are closed now. We opened up for Bang there and got to know Frank and Frankie which is a mile-stone reached. Vera in Groeningen, Netherlands is probably the coolest venue ever. Dead Moon has played there 20-something times and I had so many questions when we played there. The funniest thing I (barely) remember from the UK was sitting on a train from London to Leeds and asking the conductor if Peterborough was vegetarian.

Vic - I have super-bad local mind, so I rarely remember which place was where … But if I answer something I think Verket in Umeå was nice, and then Café na půl cesty in Prague!

Do women throw themselves at you after shows and try to lure you using their feminine wiles?

Mick - As I’ve stated before we’re not much for the rock-clichés. I really don’t know what feminine wiles are, is it something different from how a man approaches someone their interested in? Also we’re no pretty boys.

Nate - I live out in the forest with my pregnant girlfriend and her daughter when I don’t work as a teacher. Interesting enough?

Thank you and I wish you righteous gig!

Mick - thanks, have good one.
Nate - Thank you.
Vic - Thank you.


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