SONG PREMIERE: ‘Drive Away’ into the dreamy sci-fi space of Scranton duo Goodnight, Captain
Young musicians may grow older and bands can part ways, but that doesn’t mean that passion for making music goes away – it just changes form.
After a two-year hiatus, Scranton singer/songwriter Patrick McGlynn and guitarist Stefan Ogonosky got together with their bandmates Steve Werner and Kevin Stone to play one final Blinded Passenger show at the 2018 Electric City Music Conference and put that longtime indie/Americana project to rest. Their friendship remained, though, and they both kicked around the idea of “creating new music in a bit of a different capacity, at our own pace,” Ogonosky said.
“I think it finally became a reality this past summer when both of our families went on vacation together. We talked about bringing recording equipment with us but weren’t sure if we’d have the time or right opportunity while we were away. We finally said, ‘Screw it,’ and brought a bunch of recording equipment with us and started to come up with ideas one night while our kids were asleep.”
They ended up writing what would become “Drive Away,” the first transmission from Goodnight, Captain premiering today exclusively on NEPA Scene.
“We talked about doing something different from what all the bands we’ve been in in the past have done. We wanted to create music for ourselves and try and not worry about what was trending. We didn’t want to be pressured to necessarily play live shows anywhere or have to worry about whether or not people would come out – we just wanted to record and share what we made,” Ogonosky continued.
“We wanted to do everything at our own pace and work on the song/songs and not release anything until we perfected it. Pat and I love music, and I think it will always be a big part of our lives and of our growing families’ lives in some way shape or form.”
Fueled by a “DIY, no pressure” dynamic, this new pop/indie/alt rock project came together whenever these married fathers had time, e-mailing parts back and forth through Logic Pro until this debut single came together after about two months of recording in their home studios.
“The process for this project was different than any other that I have been a part of. The songs basically came out of Stefan and I having sort of mini jam sessions where we would come up with the core idea of a song. After that, we would e-mail tracks back and forth to each other slowly molding it into a finished song,” McGlynn described.
“During that time, we only got together to mix or record in the same room maybe twice since first coming up with the song on vacation,” Ogonosky said.
“We actually created ‘Drive Away’ based around the drum line, which was sort of something we haven’t really done much. Again, we are writing based on kind of what we feel is a good riff or part the other has come up with, so our sound really changes based on that.”
Ogonosky feels that “Drive Away” has a “Vacationer/Coconut Records type of vibe to it,” mixed with influences like Phantom Planet, Brandon Flowers, Talking Heads, Weatherbox, Islands, David Bowie, and “anything science fiction-related.”
“Pat and I talked about picking a name that had a space/time travel type concept to it. We had a list of names that we came up with that had a science fiction feel to them. We both just really liked the idea of an astronaut alone in space and mission control giving up and stopping any further communication. We saw the phrase written out and thought it fit perfectly.”
Goodnight, Captain isn’t just breaking away from the music they’ve been known to make for over a decade, but from traditional band and songwriting formats.
“We actually don’t have clearly defined roles; we kind of just approach each song like tag team wrestlers. We just go back and forth trading ideas. On this first song, we both play guitars and synths. I sing on it, but we plan on doing some tracks in the future with Stefan on vocals,” McGlynn explained.
“I think, for me, the most fun part doing this has been exploring new creative territory. Aside from using things like synths and drum machines, which I hadn’t incorporated into my music a whole lot before this, we have also been exploring using different song structures instead of the standard ‘verse, chorus, verse, chorus’ structure you hear in most popular songs.”
“I think/hope it will be a refreshing change,” Ogonosky added. “It’s definitely farther removed from the folk/Americana sound of Blinded Passenger’s earlier stuff. If anything, it’s closer to the last Blinded Passenger album, but I think, even compared to ‘The Electric,’ Pat and I want to still move further off yet and kind of explore some more interesting sounds and styles.”
While the concept is set out in the deep darkness of space, the lyrics remain personal and reflective, as “Drive Away” is about “facing yourself,” McGlynn noted.
“I think everyone feels it in some aspect of their life at one point or another; it’s like being lost and trying to find your way back. The chords have a very ‘50s doo-wop feel, which sort of inspired me to want to make the lyrics sort of melancholy, like a Dion or Roy Orbison song,”
This song will be part of a planned EP of four or five tracks that will be released in the coming months.
“Hopefully people will like it, but it really is more of a labor of love for us. We are not doing this expecting to get signed or ‘big.’ We are really just doing it because it’s fun and we love to make music, not because we are trying to create a product. I hope that comes out in the music,” McGlynn emphasized.
And while he still performs with Steve Werner in his own solo indie/folk project and sporadically releases new songs, McGlynn is leaving the possibility of a live version of Goodnight, Captain open as well.
“Right now, we haven’t really explored playing this stuff live. It would definitely be cool. With all of the overdubs and electronic sounds we are using, we would have to put some thought into how to effectively execute these songs live, but it is something I hope we can do in the future.”