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Interview: Good Books

9th October 2008

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Equipped with a youthful and priceless vigour, good-natured GoodBooks are better known for concocting tunes in an insightful, intelligent manner. Having already released three well-received singles, the band are set to become a great success in time for the release of their fourth single 'Passchendaele' and indeed, their debut album 'Control' in July. I had the chance to chat with lead singer Max Cooke.

Max CookeNaturally, i have to ask if you are reading any good books at the moment?
I'm reading Immortality by Milan Kundera at the moment, it's fucking amazing.

Your music has been described as 'dance music for boffins.' Do you think this is a justified assessment? Would you personally label your style as 'geek beat?'
I don't really like labels. We got called 'New Rave' the other day, which is absolute bonkers! I suppose 'dance music for boffins' is limited, but good in comparison. I'm not sure about 'geek beat' though, no!

If someone heard your music in a 1,000 years time, what do you think it would tell them about living in the year 2007?
It was pressurized and life moved fast. There is definitely uncertainty nowadays, I think that is reflected in our album.

Your next single release 'Passchendaele' (released July 16) concludes by questioning the fact that despite so many well-meaning slogans and resolutions, a whole century has passed and we are still engaged in bitter conflict around the world. Is there anything you would like to say to Tony Blair, or better still, George Bush? And have you ever considered running for Prime Minister?

Oh god, good question. I mean, it's not a finger-pointing song. If they thought what they were doing was right, i suppose you can only do your best. I think it was bad luck on Tony Blair's part that he wasn't backed by the public. As for running for prime minister, I dunno, it's a lot to deal with. I have far too many dark secrets! The tabloids would have a field day!

Similarly, in your debut album 'Control' (released 30th July) you ask the question who is really in control? What is the answer though?
I don't do answers. I do questions, haha. I think that each of us is in control. We're all victims, it's all about creating an impression. Most people are driven by larger forces.

You've been touring with The Sounds this month, how has that been? Any favourite gigs so far?
Well, we've only done four shows with them. For me personally, playing at the Mean Fiddler in London was enjoyable. It's always a big moment when you can play at a place where you have been the audience member in past. We had a few technical fuck-ups to begin with, which certainly pushed us out of our comfort zone. I think overall, we gave a better performance because of this - it was challenging and we were creating as we went along.

I noticed that in a recent GoodBooks MySpace blog you comment on Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and how 'fucking bollocks' it is. Are you not a fan of Johnny Depp then?
Haha, i have no problem with Johnny Depp, my girlfriend loves him. The film was far too complicated though, it didn't work. I dunno, the first was wonderful and the whole world loved it. The third was hard to follow. If you wait until after the credits, you're greeted with Keira Knightley and a... (background noise) JP just had ago at me for giving it away. But anyways, basically, if you're going to see the film, don't wait for the bit after the credits.

In the film of your life, who plays you?
(Pause) I'm not sure, I want to give a good answer (Pause again) I suppose Daniel Radcliffe, I have been likened to him because we both wear glasses. They play up in movies though don't they, I'd probably go with that guy Tony from Skins.

Ok, time for some quick questions:
Kate Moss or Beth Ditto? Oh my I'm not sure, both?! Kate Moss with Beth Ditto's voice.

MySpace or Facebook? Facebook definitely, I don't actually have my own personal account on MySpace.

Mp3 or Vinyl? Vinyl. Keep the vinyl.

Vodka & coke or Snakebite? Snakebite? Isn't that a shitty beer? I'll go with vodka & coke or JD & coke, that's my stage drink.

Touring or recording? You know what, if I couldn't do both, I wouldn't do music! I couldn't pick. Whatever I hadn't done recently.

Ha ha, Good Shoes or GoodBooks? (Slightly disgruntled) GoodBooks, obviously.

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