Helena, MT based band, Goodnight Sunrise is on a roll lately. These guys have been touring relentlessly — they have a tour history listed on their Myspace and it’s enough to make a grown man cry. Somewhere amidst the tours, Goodnight Sunrise released their EP, Stop Drop and Roll. In addition to picking up the EP (which I highly recommend), you should catch them on the “Pop, Drop and Lock It” tour. Check out this interview!
Name and your position in the band?
Hey I’m Dan, and I sing and play guitar for Goodnight Sunrise.
You guys have a DIY approach to the music business. Is this your own doing or are you actively label shopping?
We’ve been label shopping, but right now we’re happy touring and making music on our own. Until the right offer comes up, it’s smarter for us to tour on our own and keep a majority of the money we make on the road and online.
Is it important to you to remain true to your music and do your own thing? Or would you rather be a little controlled by a label if it meant having that helping hand?
Of course it’s important to stay true to your music. Having a label control different parts of the band like booking, publishing, & merch can have it’s ups and downs. It can save us work and help the band grow, but at the same time our income will be divided up with a lot of different people. A lot of people don’t realize that a majority of every penny a label spends is recoupable.
You’ve played over 250 shows and shared the stage with some great bands since the release of your debut EP. What’s been the most memorable show to play or band to play with?
We played with Anberlin in Montana recently. That was a pretty cool thing for me because I was a pretty big Anberlin fan throughout high school. Playing historic venues like The Roxy and The Whisky in LA were also very memorable shows.
You’re embarking on a national tour in July. What are your hopes for that tour? How is touring as a DIY band?
This will be our first national tour. We’ve toured the West Coast repeatedly since June 2007, so we can’t wait to branch out and hit some regions we haven’t played before. Touring as a DIY band is hard work, but in the end it works out if you can fill the dates and make contacts in regions where you want to spread your music.
Crunk Energy drink is one of your sponsors. Does this mean fans can expect an energetic live show? What else can they expect?
Haha, I guess the Crunk could contribute to some of our energy on stage. All 3 bands on this tour will be wired from energy drinks. We’re playing a lot of new material this tour, so if you’ve seen us in the past expect new songs and merch! We’ll also be doing contests at our shows giving away more clothing from some of our sponsors.
Has having songs on MTV’s “Real World Road Rules Challenge,” “Bad Girls Club,” and “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” created a lot of buzz for you guys?
Yeah, I think being licensed to shows like those has helped spread the word about the band quite a bit. We’ve been getting a lot of feedback on this tour from kids who heard our music on MTV’s “Sixteen and Pregnant.”
What advice do you have for other bands who want to stay on the DIY route and achieve the success that you guys have?
Just stay persistent and continue playing shows to build a fanbase in your region. DIY touring seems impossible at first, and we were in a position where we felt it might have been at one point. Just work hard and don’t get impatient when venues and promoters don’t respond right away. Your first few tours may be depressing and stressful at times, but it really can get easier with every tour.