Interview: DoublePlusGood

DoublePlusGood is known for playing some of the best dance music in the city of Portland, and for good reason. While many dance acts heavily rely on only electronic beats and effects, the power of DoublePlusGood comes from vocalist Erik Carlson and drummer Andy Nelson. The band has been performing for years, but Carlson was a fearless performer before starting DoublePlusGood as well in places like Eugene. We're supremely excited to host DoublePlusGood at The Banana Stand, and in preperation for the secrete recording event, Carlson was kind enough to answer some questions via email.

How long as the band been together in its current form? How did it come together?

DoublePlusGood the band has been together in its current form for almost three years. I was playing solo for about three years before. Before our release show I had another drummer who had to quit suddenly due to jobs and other bands. Andy stepped in, and has been playing ever since.

How would you describe your sound? What are your key influences?

I think I would describe our sound as pop. I like pop because pop is ultimate genre to expirement in. Ultimately, “pop music” x “any other genre” = “pop,” so generally I just tell people we're a pop band becaue it gives us more stylistic freedom. Biggest influences are probably The Beach Boys, Björk, New Order, Prince, Kate Bush, anything that Phil Spector recorded in the 60s, all those girl groups and like The Righteous Brothers. Also, a big love of pop Divas, ladies with big voices. We're also influenced by heavy reverb.

Tell us your thoughts about recording live. What makes you interested in recording a live show at The Banana Stand?

I think what's fun about our live show is to hear how we sound a little more raw. The recordings have so many overdubs of vocals and drums that they feel almost symphonic on tape, but live they have a more kenetic quality to them. 

What's your favorite memory of a live show? Least favorite?

Two years ago I saw this man named Bob Corn play at Valentine's. He was opening for this dude called Larry Yes. He was an older Italian man, maybe in his 50s, and I guess this was his first tour of America. He sand these really simple and charming songs. Before he played, the girl who had along with him told the audience about how he had this gigantic jar that he had kept on his counter, and it was marked “America Tour,” and he put all his extra change everyday into it to save for his tour. He was very sweet and charsimatic, but the most beautiful moment was when he announce he was going to cover a Hüsker Dü song. And everyone laughed at first, since it seemed so out of place. Then he started to sing this gorgeous version of “She Floated Away,” and at the very last chorus he stopped playing guitar and conducted the entire audience at Valentine's in a sing-a-long. It was really moving and beautiful, and it was one of the most connected moments I believe I've ever felt at a show, not only to the singer, but the rest of the audience as well. [Ed. Note: Watch a video of Bob Corn performing live.]

What are you favorite live albums?

I don't listen to many to be honest, but I like when performers take some extra libertie or go on tangents between songs. I guess I really likeed this one Jill Scott live albums [Ed. Note: Experience: Jill Scott 826+], her stories between songs were great. And Jeff Buckely had a great one.

What other projects are you involved with these day?

I run a small label in town called SoHiTek Records, which works with a few bands. Currently, we're getting a Pegasus Dream EP ready to be released. Super excited about that. And hopefully some more music to come summer time. The label has also moved into a gallery in the Everret Station lofts, so a lot of my time has now been split with booking art openings as well. Andy also plays drums in this really great band called Hutson, which is set to have a release in March.

What else have you been working on lately?

We released our album (HERETHEYCOME,THEBIRDSOFMYYOUTH), which took like two years of effort. So now that they dust has sort of settled from that release, I think we're just exploring some options – writing a few new tracks here and there, trying to get something cohesive together.

Big thanks to Erik for answering questions. DoublePlusGood will perform at The Banana Stand in February as part of our ongoing, sceret live recording events.

Find out more about DoublePlusGood on SoundCloud and Facebook.