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Katy Goodman on new La Sera album and Vivian Girls summer tour

Katy Goodman
Katy Goodman
Marya Zoya

With the release of her self-titled debut album, La Sera, Vivian Girls bassist Katy Goodman has stepped out on her own to conjure up twelve songs full of shimmering guitars laced with Goodman’s trademark haunting vocals.

A native of New Jersey, Goodman spent the majority of her life on the east coast where she joined Vivian Girls in 2007, until relocating to Los Angeles in May of last year. With a Vivian Girls Japan and European tour looming on the horizon, Goodman has only a handful of La Sera dates this summer, including an already sold out show at The Casbah on Friday, June 10.

SanDiego.com recently had a chance to speak with Goodman from her home in L.A. and discussed her Twitter feed, stand-up comedy and the new collaborator she’s working with on the next La Sera album.

I checked your Twitter feed (@iamkatygoodman) to see what you've been up to and I noticed you were still awake at 5 a.m. last night.
Katy Goodman: Yeah, usually I don’t stay up that late but last night I was writing a song and wanted to finish it before I went to bed. So I was up forever, but usually I wake up early.

Do you usually get a solid eight hours of sleep every night when you’re not on tour?
KG: Honestly, if I don’t set my alarm clock I can sleep for twelve hours easy. I don’t know why, my body is just made that way. I could sleep for twelve hours every night probably, so I set my alarm every day.

How long have you lived in Los Angeles?
KG: For about a year. I moved here last May. I lived in Brooklyn for a little bit and prior to that I lived in New Brunswick, New Jersey for five years.

Have you been enjoying the transition?
KG: It’s been amazing; however I’ve been on tour for a lot of it. I haven’t really spent that much time here. The reason why I moved here is because I knew that when I got off tour; for example I just got off a four month tour and when you get off a four month tour it’s nice to go home to California because it’s like you’re on vacation.

What are your tour plans for this summer?
KG: Vivian Girls starts another big tour in July.

Are you already recording songs for the next La Sera album?
KG: Yeah. The thing is its not going to come out for a while and because of my limited time off of Vivian Girls tour; this is really the only real chunk of time I have to record so I decided to do it now instead of wait until winter.

Who are you working with?
KG: On this album I’m recording it with my friend Rob Barbato, he’s in Darker My Love.

Besides the song you were working on last night how many new ones do you have ready to record?
KG: I know that the finished song probably won’t sound like the demo. When I write a song, it’s more so to just get the idea out there and then I like to run through it with my collaborator. On my first album it was Brady Hall, and he did such a great job turning my demos into full-fledged songs. He would choose instrumentation for certain parts and he would have ideas that I couldn’t see because I was too in the song. And Rob has the same sort of ideas, so I’m really trying to work with him like a producer, who basically can take your song and bring it to another level.

I also saw on your Twitter feed that you want to start a “rock camp for music journalists.” Do you encounter a lot of horrible journalists or is that relating to something specific?
KG: Sometimes you can do an interview or read a review and the first thing that comes to your mind is, ‘I bet this person has never been judged like they’re judging me right now.’ And that doesn’t happen all the time, it’s very sporadic. But sometimes you’ll read something and be like, ‘Oh wow. This person is very mean, this is very, very mean and I don’t think that they’ve ever been there.’ But it’s not all the time or anything, and I think they day I wrote that was because someone had just written something very mean, and we were like, ‘Why so mean?’

Regarding collaborations, would you ever consider working with Tommy Wiseau, director of The Room?
KG: Yes I would. Because my bands refer to me as the “Yes Man”; I’m kind of down for any weird experiences. I don’t like to say no to things. You only live once, and I feel like if Tommy Wiseau wanted to direct a La Sera music video, I’d say yes.

Why do you think that a lot of stand-up comics are often failed or frustrated musicians, and a lot of musicians have an affinity and desire to do stand-up comedy?
KG: I don’t know. I really like stand-up comedians. I like stand-up comedy a lot. I think there is a special connection between musicians and comedians and I don’t really understand it either.

Who are some of your favorite comics?
KG: I met Todd Barry at All Tomorrow’s Parties last year. I like him and Hannibal. I like Neil Hamburger a lot. Nick Swardson. I also like the new genre of comedian which is just people who are funny on twitter. There are certain people on Twitter who have gotten really good at just doing one-liners. I follow a lot of them on Twitter.

Can I get your opinion on Coachella expanding into two consecutive weekends in 2012?
KG: Oh, I thought that was a joke. Is that really happening? I guess anything’s possible in 2012, am I right?

Does Katy Goodman have a message for the children?
Katy Goodman: Not yet. That will probably be my answer forever, because I feel until I am a wise old sage sitting on a mountaintop herding goats, I am not going to be in the position to give people advice. I’m a musician not particularly a motivational speaker. My songs are pretty sad.

La Sera performs at The Casbah Friday, June 10.

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