If you love anime, gaming, pop punk, and even Olivia Rodrigo, you’re in the right place because Good Kid has a brand new EP that you need on your playlist!
THP had the chance to chat with two members of the Toronto band: guitarist Jacob Tsafatinos and bassist Michael Kozakov. They dished on all things Good Kid 3, their latest record-breaking EP, and ‘Mimi’s Delivery Service,‘ plus their favorite anime, and the coolest memories they have with fans. We loved finding out more about where they came from and what they hope to achieve with Good Kid in the future!
You all have a lot going on –– in the best way. How would you introduce the band to our readers?
Michael: We’re an indie rock band from Toronto, and our music draws influences from indie rock, pop, punk, and J-rock. We are preparing to release our third EP called Good Kid 3 and are touring with a band called Lovejoy right now in Europe and are gonna go on a headlining tour this summer!
Jacob: We do a lot of things that are different, so it’s hard to describe ourselves. Our Twitter bio is “Five computer boys that make music,” and that’s a very quick one-liner. We make indie rock like Michael said, and our influences are, like, early 2000s indie, pop punk J-rock. Also, we take a lot of influence from the internet, culture, gaming, art, animation, all things a part of nerd culture, geek culture, that type of thing. Things like that have become more mainstream these days, but when we grew up were a little bit more niche. That’s how I would describe us.
How did the band begin? What connects you all?
Jacob: Honestly, the music. We all met in university, but some of us only met because of the band. Me and Michael met in a German class, and then we were like, “Hey, we should start a band.” And Michael was like, “Well, I know a guy who can sing.” And that’s Nick [Frosst]. I was like, “I know a guy who plays guitar.” And that’s David [Wood]. And then, Jon [Kereliuk], I think, Michael kind of knew him too. So we all met through creating Good Kid.
Who or what would you say are your most current influences?
Jacob: I personally have a lot! I’ve been working on a lot of songs lately, and I draw direct influence from our peers. In my mind, I’m like, we’re writing for those bands. So like Phoneboy, Lovejoy, Last Dinosaurs, KANA-BOON.
Michael: In writing vocal melodies, we’ll often have random inspiration, like Nick one time waltzed into the rehearsal space just singing Olivia Rodrigo, and was just really inspired by the melody she wrote, and now one of the melodies in one of our songs is of that style.
Can you tell us about the band’s connections to the gaming world and Fortnite, etc.? How has that affected your career? Has it influenced you musically?
Jacob: The connection comes from us just honestly being in that space ourselves. We play games, we sometimes Twitch stream. Through just kind of being dialed in, we noticed that there is a trend happening in the Fortnite world, specifically, where kids make highlight reels of their best in-game moments. You can almost think of them like old skateboard videos people would make with their best tricks and then upload it to YouTube with their favorite song in the background. Kind of like Tony Hawk Pro Skater vibe. That same energy was happening in the Fortnite world and gaming in general, and they were using Good Kid’s songs; it just kind of naturally fit. We saw that this was happening around the same time that we started noticing that copyright was getting a lot firmer on things like Twitch and YouTube, so we made it our mission to make our music as accessible as possible to these people, because, honestly, they’re kids, they’re like 15 years old, they don’t know about copyright, they don’t really care about copyright, and they just use songs that they like. [Making the music DMCA-free] helped because we’re encouraging something that we had already seen happen organically. Some of these kids are some of the best players in the world, like in the competitive scene, so they had huge audiences, and if they’re using our music on stream or in their videos, their audiences then find Good Kid. That propagated to other games like Valorant and Minecraft as well.
Michael: The other thing is that all of us are really excited about animation and illustration, so all of our album art features the same character, Nomu. It’s all illustrated. When we were just starting to release music, one thing that drew that community to our music is that a lot of the time, they would just find a cool-looking thumbnail on YouTube of an illustration.
You’ve written songs inspired by anime before, and now you’re adding ‘Mimi’s Delivery Service’ to the roster. What are some of your guys’ fav anime?
Jacob: That’s so tough for me! There’s this one called One Piece, it’s the longest-running anime of all time, it’s incredible. That’s my favorite. Fullmetal Alchemist has directly inspired a song that we have called ‘Alchemist.’ Any Miyazaki movies, we love those too. We just released a song called ‘Mimi’s Delivery Service,’ and that one is heavily influenced by Kiki’s Delivery Service. There’s a lot of different anime that we love that we draw influence from, either directly from the plots or stylistically.
What is your favorite thing about your fanbase?
Michael: My favorite thing is how excited they are about music and our shows. In Berlin at our show a couple of nights ago, the person who organized the show came up to us like, “hey, you have to come back to Berlin. I’ve never seen people get this hype in Berlin.” In Berlin, the music scene is like, you go to a show, and you just look cool, you’re hanging out. At our show, everyone was going nuts, and I think it’s because the audiences we play to are just so shamelessly excited about music.
Jacob: The pandemic created this weird world where a lot of kids who would have gone to concerts couldn’t for like two whole years. There’s a pent-up demand for people who want to go see live music but never have, and it’s funny because some of them don’t know how to behave at a show. You can tell that they’re feeling a little awkward by the way they stand, but by the end of the show, they’re jumping and singing and so excited.
Michael: When we ask them to do something at a show, they’re down, they want to participate with us.
Jacob: The other thing I’ll say is I think we’ve somehow spoken to people who share a lot of commonalities to us as individuals, like fandoms and anime and stuff. People have given us gifts that have blown us away, like there’s someone who made a whole poster of us drawn as characters that look like Power Rangers.
Michael: Someone made a sculpture of the king from “Down With The King.”
Jacob: Someone made laser-imprinted dog tags that were really cool.
Michael: I have mine!
Jacob: I have mine too! Like that level of nerding out about a topic and then presenting that to a band is so fun. We all kind of have done that individually in our own micro-obsessions, and so to see that in our fans is cool.
How does it feel to have ‘Mimi’s Delivery Service’ hit 100k streams in under 24 hours and to have 100M streams overall? What’s it been like to see fans’ reactions to the song?
Michael: Jacob and I individually had separate freakouts. Jacob was watching the numbers hit 100,000 live on a Twitch stream and freaking out. I was using the Spotify for Artists app, and the app vibrates every time someone listens to your song, so I was just walking around, and my phone was going crazy. I was literally feeling with my hand us reaching 100,000, which has never happened to us that fast. As soon as that happened, we all got on a phone call, and we were like, freaking out celebrating.
Jacob: Honestly, it means a lot to us, not just because it represents a growing fanbase and stuff, but for me personally, that’s my favorite song. It’s very special. It also hit a million streams pretty quickly too, way faster than anything else we’ve put out. Sometimes we can get in our own heads, and we can think like, “oh, no, I don’t know if this song is good or if it’s going to do well.” We’re always surprised by the reception from our fans. The 100 million total streams is like an even more insane milestone because 100 million streams is just crazy to think about; I don’t know how to put it into words. I remember when we were freaking out because we had a YouTube video hit 10,000 views, and we were losing our minds being like, oh my god, 10,000 people. Now it’s 100 million. It’s such a large number. It’s honestly hard to conceptualize what that actually means.
Michael: We had big numbers during the pandemic when we released our second EP, and people liked the songs. I remember having a hard time connecting those numbers to reality because you would just look at a screen and see some big numbers and be like, wow cool, big numbers, but you don’t really feel it. But now, when those numbers are happening, and we’re playing shows, we’re meeting those people in real life. Those numbers feel much more alive this time around so it feels a lot more exciting.
What’s something you’d love to see happen for the band someday?
Jacob: Honestly, for me personally, I want to write an anime opening. I want an anime that I really like to approach us, or for us to approach them and be like, “I want to write a theme song for your show.” That’s my big one.
Michael: The visual aesthetic of our band is centered around a single character, Nomu, and I think there’s so much cool stuff we can do with our character. We’re exploring the idea of writing a comic book, or maybe one day, we could do an animated film with Nomu; that would be unreal.
What song from your new EP are you the most excited to perform live?
Michael: For me, it’s ‘Madeleine.’
Jacob: We’ve been performing a few of them live for a while. ‘Madeleine’ is really fun, because nobody’s heard it other than in the live setting, and we have the whole crowd singing with us by the end of the song, which is cool. ‘No Time to Explain’ I really love playing live. We haven’t played the other ones too much, so it’s hard to tell, honestly. ‘Mimi’s Delivery Service’ I’m really excited to play live. Most of them I’m really excited to play live. I guess we’ll see when we play them, and we see what the reception is like!
Stream the Good Kid 3 EP here!
Don’t forget to catch Good Kid on tour!
What’s your favorite song from Good Kid’s latest EP? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @thehoneypop!
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