OCEANSIDE — The new Oceanside band, Goodnight Ravenswood, has been gracing local music venues over the past few months, offering a new flavor to the North County music scene. The band’s unique blend of Americana and folk, with lyrics that hint at political idealism, can be heard live around the county and on their newly released EP, “Freedom.”Band members Coby Brooks, (vocals/ guitar), Nathan Colwell, (bass), Cheyne Dolly, (drums), Dayton Hicks, (electric guitar), and Nerel Winter, (violin/ keyboard), talk about how they started and came across their sound.
Where did the name “Goodnight Ravenswood” come from and what does it mean?
Hicks: Ravenswood is a town in West Virginia that kind of was symbolic of the downfall of American industry from the outsourcing of labor. You know, we’re working class guys. We’re business owners, we’re guys out there in the field. We’re the current generation in industry in America. And that subject is really pertinent to us as a band. And the “Goodnight” is kind of the dark end of the street.
Dolly: The whole process of trying to get to a name was, we’d sit there and open up books and look up racing horse names and we all started coming up with different ideas… And then he (Hicks) said, “Goodnight Ravenswood,” and we all kind of like stopped there for a second and were like, “Yea, that’ll work.”
Brooks: We feel like it’s a strong name and we’re proud of it.
How do you write your songs?
Hicks: Coby generally handles the lyrical content and the chord charts. And we kind of come behind him and ice the cake.
Brooks: I’m kind of the one that gets the pleasure really to sit down and craft the songs from their beginning… But I think we all influence the writing of the songs now just based on our attitudes, and our ideals, and like our expressed interests.
How did you develop Goodnight Ravenswood’s sound?
Brooks: With folk and Americana, which is what we kind of boil our genre down to, kind of comes out of me naturally… So, I kind of brought that (sound) to these guys and then everybody has been kind of matching that in their own way.
Winter: The cool thing is that, as Coby was saying, is that he kind of puts a mold down for us but it’s not set. So it’s continually improving, I think, and continually changing. So as a band as we come together and learn more about each other, our sound changes and continues to grow so it’s a cool thing. I’ve been in many bands where it’s been set and it’s really boring.
How were you able to release Goodnight Ravenswood’s first EP, “Freedom,” on March 22, when the band formed just last October?
Dolly: It was one of those things where it just kind of like…
Dolly: Yeah, snowballed really fast.
Brooks: Yeah we originally recorded the songs because people wanted them, you know. We felt like the duty to put our songs in the hands of our listeners. If we wanted to kind of hold on to the people who were listening to us we had to put something in their hands. So it put the pressure on to get it done quick.
What is the title song, “Freedom,” about?
Brooks: I write out of like emotional necessity, where like something will boil up inside of me emotionally, I don’t know what it is, and then it just like comes out in song. And so “Freedom” was literally written in 20 minutes… It was more or less a response to my frustration with our struggling economy and with our struggling country… I think that freedom is one of the last things that we have left but even now it’s becoming less and less.