Artist D. Gookin meets WVKR on gchat to discuss process, prose, and favorite flavors of pie.
WVKR: Hi, D. Gookin. That’s an unusual name, how did you come up with it?
D. Gookin: Well, the long-winded answer came from the short story “Young Goodman Brown,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It’s about inherent evil in people and weird puritan activity. Goodman Brown goes in the woods and sees his wife “Faith” (duhh) partaking in a questionable ritual, bad stuff, and Deacon Gookin is there. I liked the name and shortened it on up to D. Gookin for brevity and legal, not actually, but personally illegal reasons.
WVKR: That’s a great story!
I’d like to ask you about your process, how do your songs get formed?
D. Gookin: Usually with one golden patch! (synth patch) or a series of synchronous sounds being looped. Then I try to squeeze out lyrics over it and thus song. Mostly one software synth and as real as possible fake drums. I’ve got my rhyme book as well that helps. A messy process indeed.
WVKR: Is it a mostly solitary process, or do you ever enlist friends to help go through it?
D. Gookin: Mostly by myself. I started doing it by myself, for I recognize that I am too hard to be in a band with. I’m never happy and try to be a tyrant. I suk. But collaboration is always important. I have stolen a guitar sample from friend’s band Bluejay for “The Grower”, and a melody from Mux Mool for “Devouring Imitation”. I often work with my friend Sean, from Color Change, on dum dum music like “Nasty Mall” and “Spider Milk”.
WVKR: But you have been in bands before, what was that experience like in? (With Passion Pit, for example.)
D. Gookin: Well I just offered my drum services for what was going to be “Manners” with the guys from my old band Landau–>now Body Language. We recorded the original versions of those songs, but Mike had to take it to the big big house as it were. Definitely while it was happening, it was quite fun though. It was not an average studio session. Everything had to be at a certain intensity and very…modern so you know it was big feeling. I dug it.
Well that is just that band. The others?
I’ve been in bands since freshman year high school.
WVKR: What was your first band like?
D. Gookin: Well initially I was like with friends: “Jake you will play bass now, and Joel you play guitar” and thus Flux was forged. That or course turned into Cicada, and eventually we stuck with Petrock Union for the remainder of high school. Tool and Primus, and later on reggae, were all that mattered to us. You definitely could hear it in our music. Also, a taste for thrash funk infused jammscursions and some spoken word clearings influenced our soound. Eventually that got back burnered and college happened with Landau. It was an IDM somewhat jazzed out big band production. Branches later, here we are.
Tell me if I make too little sense.
WVKR: That makes sense, but what is IDM?
D. Gookin: Intelligent Dance Music. Most awful name for a genre ever. It covers people like Aphex Twin, Squarpusher, Boards Of Canada, Autechre. It was all I cared about at the end of high school/college.
WVKR: Intelligent dance music. Is that where you are now, musically?
D. Gookin: It will always holds a place in my music, and I still think it some of the most creative music ever madem period. But truthfully, no. That music just ain’t known for having lyrics. Or real drums. Two things I am trying to get reinvigorated on, as silly as that sounds.
But helping me are some old things, like reggae, that I used to be into. Fiending Sizzla, Buju Banton, Sugar Minott, Sly and Robbie…and the new metal taste buds I have: Wintersun, Sleep, Electric Wizard, and I guess you could say Andrew wk, distantly.
WVKR: Lyrics seem to be an important element in your songs. How do you come up with them?
D. Gookin: Well, I’d say that I do actively pursue topics or pin point an emotion and dance around them. I write related words and stumble through incoherent freestyling, if you will. I then patch together coherent phrases and am sure to use at least one complicated word per song. I really got lots of lyric writing workshops, if you will. It totally does not come natural.
WVKR: What’s your favorite complicated word?
D. Gookin: I’m hyped on sublunary right now.
1. situated beneath the moon or between the earth and the moon.
2. characteristic of or pertaining to the earth; terrestrial.
3. mundane or worldly: fleeting, sublunary pleasure.
WVKR: That’s a good one. Could you use it in a sentence?
D. Gookin: Well, I suppose I could quote my song “Devouing Imitation,” which just means remix, for it is a Mux Mool remix. “The likeness of the light to life, which is the sublunary simple state of being” or maybe just, “Your beagle is a sublunary being if I’ve ever seen one.” Meaning it is the dumb.
Not enlightened like us humans, who really, in the end, are sublunary as well.
WVKR: Thanks, but my beagle is extralunary. Like snoopy smart
D. Gookin: Yea Snoopy, now Brian. Family Guy shout outz. That’s a super lunar pup. Writes books. Drinks sophisticated drinks.
WVKR: Well, who would’ve guessed the we could get on a typing tangent?…So, what’s in store for you in the coming months?
D. Gookin: TRYING to get my website going! NEEDING to tour in the fall! ITCHING to throw down with people in New Haven on a venu-ey/practice spacy place! WANTING to blaze drums in more bands. DOING a big ol’ farm show in Pomfret, CT…mm hmm.
WVKR: Big ol’ farm show…what’s that about?
D. Gookin: Well…it is still in the makings, nothing solid yet. A friend of mine is friends with a guy who owns a place called Tyrone Farms. He does kinda jam band stuff there. I’m trying to pull as many bands and friends as I know possible, plus trying to get some Headlinaz–of which I am not sure–to get some interest and get people to drive out. It is still in the very early stages, but we’re trying for August 29.
WVKR: Thanks, D. Gookin. I’d like to wrap up by asking you a few fan questions. First, if you were a dog, what would your bark be like?
D. Gookin: It might sound like a hoot for my spirit animal is an owl, right now.
WVKR: Does it change?
D. Gookin: It was a lizard the other day. I was trying to image with a friend of mine what it would be like to get big lizards and to have at it out with the two cats at our place.
I consistently like owls though.
WVKR: Last question: What’s your favorite flavor of pie, and why?
D. Gookin: Ima say pumpkin cause my roommate Kate is allergic, and I hate her.
Truthfully, oreo cheescake is my favorite. Oreo is a special element that is extracted from ores forget the white filling.
WVKR: Any last thoughts?
D. Gookin: Yea, looking into a light when you need to sneeze does NOT WORK! Let them know.
WVKR: Well, thanks again. It was great talking to you!
It’s true, looking into a light when you need to sneeze doesn’t work.
Listen to D. Gookin on Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/dgookin