Interview: Rachel Goodrich

words by Vanessa Bennett | photo by Adam Davis
| Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Rachel Goodrich is a musical smorgasbord. The Miami native plays pretty much everything, from the guitar to the piano, the ukulele to the glockenspiel. You name the instrument, and it is highly likely she play you a tune. She’s an eccentric and energetic individual who makes her passion and love for music abundantly clear. Her new self-titled album has just recently been released, and while it packs a wallop of energy it also shows a personal, reflective side to the artist.

Goodrich took some time to sit down with Verbicide and tell us a bit about the album, Miami, and Johnny Cash.

Why did you get involved in music?
I grew up around music — my father played guitar, and my grandfather played piano. I started taking lessons at an early age. There was always music around and I just thought it was the stuff that was part of growing up.

Was there ever a point when you thought you might do something different?
Well, I’m really into animation, like old cartoons and stuff. I have always enjoyed them. I think I always sort of thought about being a cartoonist — a professional doodler, if you will.

Your sound is different than most others coming out of Miami. Has the city and its culture had an influence on your music?
Yeah, definitely. It’s super — it’s a bright little town. Yeah, it holds some of the craziest characters I’ve ever met. As far as the music in Miami, there is so much rhythm going on down there, so maybe I just feel the rhythm in my bones.

How would you describe your sound and style?
I call it shake-a-billy. It started at a rehearsal, playing music, hanging out before a show, and I just came up with the name “shake-a-billy.” We were performing and there were some tambourines and we had to stop playing because people were hitting others in the crowd and going home with bruises. I don’t want to be held responsible for that, you know.

You play endless array of instruments. Do you have a favorite?
It’s funny — I started on piano, and then I went to guitar and played guitar for a while, and picked up all these other instruments along the way. I would have to say piano is my favorite, in all honesty — although, I don’t know, it’s hard. I love guitar and I love ukulele, its just a hard question…I just love the fact that you can put all those instruments together into one piece of music — that’s why its hard to pick just one, you know?

Monstermix is a great mash-up. Where did the inspiration for the project come from?
It’s a collection of random audios I started building at night. I kind of pieced them together. There is no specific inspiration for that. I didn’t really professionally do those, they were just done in my bedroom. I mean, there is definitely inspiration behind the songs, but every time I open a track I never know what’s going to come out.

Your new album recently came out. How is this one different from your previous work?
The last record was kind of playful and maybe a little indirect. I think this new record is…I just poured my heart out on it. I told some secrets, you know. I didn’t really share any secrets on the last record.

Do you think that going that route and sharing some of your secrets on this album makes it more personal?
Definitely. It is definitely a more personal record. I definitely hold the other one very close to my heart though, that’s for sure. I mean, they are like my phases in life. But I guess you have to share your secrets sometime.

What led you to record the cover of “Folsom Prison Blues?” Are you a Johnny Cash fan?
I am a Johnny Cash fan. I love Johnny Cash.That track I started when I was recording another track called “Shadows.” I don’t know why, but while I was recording that track, [“Folsom Prison Blues”] was on my brain. I was just thinking about that song while playing this other song, and it was just one of those moments when a track became something else. Kind of like Monstermix you know? You never know what’s going to happen.

Are you planning on touring anytime soon? If so, where is the one place you would most like to perform?
We’re planning either a late summer tour or a fall tour. We’re recording something new towards the end of July. As far as my favorite place…New Orleans is my favorite city ever, of all time — I don’t want to make Miami jealous, but it’s a lot of fun!

Summer is quickly approaching. What’s next on your agenda?
Definitely more recording. Hanging out at the record shops and just seeing what happens; that’s what it’s all about.

Verbicide Free Download: Click here to download “Folsom Prison Blues” performed by Rachel Goodrich