On Stage with Mike Jones
Good Spread has developed a reputation amongst party bands in Fort McMurray. Many cover bands know how to make the audience have fun, but with Good Spread it’s always clear they are having just as much fun.
Corey, Nathan, Jacob and newly added Troy (who made his on-stage debut with the band at this summer’s Rock 4 Layla charity concert) are sure to get you dancing by the end of their set. I sat down with the band for a light-hearted chat over a few cold ones.
How long have you been together as a band?
Corey McKeag, lead guitarist & vocals: It’s been a bit of a journey. About eight to 10 years ago I started playing Open Mic nights at the Tavern On Main. I had a few of my own shows, and then Jake came in with the Djembe (hand drum) for a little while.
Jacob Welsh, drummer: For too long. I hated it. The whole time, I owned a drum set.
Corey: There’s only so much you can do with a Djembe. Eventually, by luck, I ended up at a party with Nathan, and we started singing Tenacious D together and everybody went quiet. So he joined the band and we were two acoustics and a Djembe and after a while, we were like, screw it...let’s do a full band. And we’ve been doing that for four or five years now.
Nathan Robbins, bassist & vocals: That’s when I picked up a bass for the first time in my life. (Laughs) I was forced to be the bassist.
What was the first song that you guys played together as a band?
Nathan: Probably one of the Kings of Leon songs.
Corey: Yeah...I wanna say it was “Notion” which is still in the setlist to this day.
Troy, you had been a fan of this band before you joined right?
Troy McConnell, rhythm guitarist: No. (All laugh) I mean, I’d jammed with Corey a few times, but it was their show at the Wood Buffalo Brewing Co last year (the Beast Whiskey Auction, which the band plays for free at every year) where I saw them and said, I want to do this!
Corey: I actually met him on a pretty big group trip to Mexico. We were talking music and then there were a lot of inebriated conversations about jamming together.
Jacob: Things that are usually all talk…
Corey: I followed him on Instagram and he has so many guitar videos and it was of a lot of songs that we already know how to play! It was a fit.
Jacob: Troy still shows up to every practice, like, starry-eyed.
Corey: Yeah after every show he’s like, “So do I come to the next practice?” (Laughs) Like, man, you’re in the band!
What has having a fourth member adding to the overall dynamic of the group?
Corey: I can focus more on singing now, and kind of take a step back instead of constantly thinking about the next part.
Troy: And it fills it out more, too. Like, when there are solos, it’s nice to have some rhythm behind it.
Jacob: Having a fourth member really seems to have elevated us.
Corey: Before it was kind of a loudness war.
Jacob: I win! (all laugh)
Corey: But now it’s making sure he can be heard when he needs to be, and I can be heard when I need to.
Jacob: At our last show I got so many comments about how much better we sound with a fourth member. And the whole time I was like, “Did we sound like crap before?” (laughs) Everyone was like, “You guys are good now!”
Corey: All of our compliments before were like, “You guys are so fun.”
Nathan: But it was a real easy transition. We have really similar taste in music.
What goes into deciding when you are going to add a new song to the setlist?
Nathan: We have a group Spotify playlist so everybody just adds songs we want to hear. And if the rest of the group comes to a consensus then we start trying to learn it.
What is your favourite song to play with Good Spread?
Corey: I really like playing “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” by The Darkness. It’s fun to play and I think it’s our signature tune. It really shows off Nathan’s vocals which blow everyone away every time. This most recent set I really liked adding “Black Me Out” by Against Me!
Nathan: I think right now it’s “No Good” by Kaleo- that or “Lydia” by Highly Suspect.
Corey: You really give’r on that one!
Troy: I think I have to go with “Notion”. It was already one of my favourite songs to play and then getting the chance to play it with a band was awesome.
Jacob: 99 Red Balloons! (The Goldfinger version)
Corey, you had to learn the German part for that?
Corey: (Laughs) Um, no….I’m singing it phonetically like I do in my car.
Nathan: Yeah if there was a German in the crowd, they’d be like “What is he singing?!”
Corey: I’m speaking three languages in our set. Because in Talking Heads “Psycho Killer” they’re talking in French...and there’s way more chance of someone who speaks French being at one of our shows. (laughs)
You guys have a pretty busy finish to 2018 coming up
Corey: Well we have the Top 50 under 50 party, and the Holiday Party on December 15th at Keyano. And we’re working on something for New Years – so stay tuned.
Jacob: And we just did the Firefighters Whiskey Auction which we’ll probably do again next year!
Nathan: They let us taste the whiskey! I kept bugging them all night and they finally relented.
Corey: Troy was walking out of the tasting like, “Is this what being a rockstar feels like?”
What’s next for Good Spread in 2019?
Nathan: We’ve had maybe a bite about doing some out-of-town shows in the future.
Corey: More importantly, I think we’re just scratching the surface with having another member. There’s more instruments we can incorporate, I have a keyboard that I would love to haul out once in a while.
Troy: I was thinking of throwing a banjo in there somewhere.
Corey: Maybe a harmonica. No country though. (all laugh)
Nathan: Well, besides Wagon Wheel. You have to play that.