Good Deal

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What's up everyone you're listening to WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1 Raleigh, we're a student run nonprofit radio station based out of North Carolina State University. I'm DJ lucid, and this is off the record. Here with me today are the extremely talented members of the four piece band. Good deal. Welcome you guys.

Hey, yeah, thanks. I can start. I'm Cliff Johnson. I'm the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist and the song primarily, the songwriter for the group grew up in Smithfield, based in Raleigh.

I'm Andrew Barsotti. I play lead guitar. And I do most of our social media stuff.

I'm William Ashley, and I'm the drummer.

I'm Brian Miller. People just call me Miller. And I play bass and backup vocals. And I don't do any admin stuff for the band. I stick away I stay away from it, actually.

So you all are coming from Raleigh today? How long have you guys lived here in Raleigh.

I've kind of bounced around the triangle a little bit. I live in Cary a few years, but I've been in Raleigh recently for like the last two to three years or so. And then before that, I actually went to NC State. So I was here for for four years. Oh, wow. Welcome back. Yeah. Good to be back. Last time I was here. I think it was for like an intro class downstairs. Oh, no, really? Yeah, for sure. I've been in Raleigh for the last like, seven years. So here for a little bit. I've been in the triangle about three years, but born and raised up 45 minutes down the road. in Smithville. I'm actually the only one not from North Carolina. I'm from Maryland. Originally, I moved here, Jesus back in 2018. And I moved to South Carolina in 2019 to help open up a coffee shop and then move back in 2022. So it's good to be back.

Oh, we had WKNC. Appreciate you guys being with us here today. Um, my favorite question to ask when meeting bands is what does good deal actually mean? Like, can you guys give us the backstory behind your name?

I think we can. Yeah. And it was I think most bands go through this where they kind of struggle coming up with like, what do we want to be called? And so there were some a lot of a lot of like storyboarding. And yeah.

What was the first one that we decided to come up with? The way away?

Yeah, based off of my middle name. Super original. But actually, what good deal means is, it was kind of something inspired by one of my uncle's that he always says, Good deal. And I kind of thought it is like something to say when you don't really know what else to say. But it's something positive. And that's kind of like the meaning behind it. Like a good little catchphrase

just like yeah, the amount of people who end up saying that, like at the end of a sentence or like you're like, reaffirming statement. I

love that. Yeah. That's like a fun story behind it. And it is like connected to you guys is Yeah,

for sure. That's kind of what we wanted to a lot of the ideas we had were kind of like, disconnected. So it was good to find something that felt simple and comfortable.

Okay, so you guys have been working together for over a year now. Is that right? Yep. And how did you guys meet and decide to come together as a band? I

can kind of speak on that. So I've, we've, some of us have kind of played in the Raleigh like, played around the Raleigh music scene for several years before that. A couple of us were in different projects before, and myself included. And I had started wanting to write music and kind of get back out there. This was like, towards the end of the pandemic. And so I was kind of on my own, just like, you know, playing guitar and writing the lyrics here and there and taking a stab at it. And just through another friend of mine, introduced me to Andrew, the lead guitarist and was like, I have a buddy who, you know, would like to start playing music again, maybe get a band together. I was like, Alright, great. So, Andrew and I got together and kind of just started bouncing ideas off each other. We're like, Yeah, this is this is work, and we could probably do this. And you know, we're having fun with it. So we're like, well, we guess we need to find a couple other people. And so that's kind of where William and Miller come into the picture. Miller's friend of Andrews that that he knew before he got together and then William I grew up with in Smithfield. And we had played together before you know, kind of different like cover sets and just kind of it was parents house and Smithfield kind of kind of grew up learning to play guitar with him a little bit. And so we all you know, we brought them on board and started playing the songs together. So that's kind of and that was around I think Andrew and I got together in about

March or April 2020 22. Yeah.

So a little almost two years ago.

I remember. Yeah, no, I remember when I moved into town and Andrew was like, We got to play music together. We got we got to do this. And just always wanting to, you know, he's always want to play music with me. And I've always been, I've always been the flaky one. And I was just like, You know what? This time? We'll we'll give it a go. Why not? Right? I've got nothing else better to do. So. Yeah, that's how I met cliff and William back in. Probably like September, I met cliff in September, and then I didn't meet you until, until we started playing together in like, October is when we when we got to the shed. Yeah. Yep.

Yeah, all four of us kind of didn't really have any space where we live to practice at the time. So we kind of had to either outsource a little bit. So we found a friend of a friend that a friend of mine, yeah. Oh, yeah. That had some space for us. So we've been practicing there. And yeah, that was all four of us together started in October of 22. And then we had our first show at Kings, this past April in 2023. And I've been playing playing shows out and about since then,

can't believe she feels like two weeks ago. Yeah, that's crazy. Yeah, time isn't real.

Yeah, so you guys have been collaborating for almost like a couple years, like you said, but a few of you have been friends for even longer, how does that kind of affect your writing process, the relationship that you guys have? I

would say it, it probably doesn't affect it too, too much, actually, just because I've kind of been the one to do most of the lyrical writing. And then I have some ideas for how the song would sound mostly starting from just me with a, an acoustic guitar, and then kind of translating into ideas on electric guitar. And so it's kind of just been, you know, they've really been just like, open, I think that's the biggest how it's affected is like all being friends and respecting each other, it kind of leaves a sense of openness, there for us to take advantage of, to where we get together and kind of get these ideas out, out in the air. You know, they kind of approach it with like an openness, and allows for a level of own vulnerability, that that allows to have fun with it. So it's that first stretch of us kind of getting together and, like collaborating on the songs was super, like a super special time for me just to kind of have an idea have somebody to share it with and then kind of create something out of it together. So that was, it's been pretty cool.

I think like one of the other big things too, is like, not being afraid to like, have like pitch an idea. And I think when you get a band together that aren't really like, primarily wouldn't hang out together outside of a band, then that kind of falls up, like falls apart. In my experience, it falls apart with like, if I don't, if I don't like you, like I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna like pitch an idea for like, Oh, this is a sick baseline, or this is a cool guitar riff or like, oh, you would sound better if you did this. Like, I think it's just a better way to be in a band is to be homies first and then build off of that.

And also make traveling easier to it does pitch.

For sure. I think too, once you get beyond the writing as well, just practicing and like Mila brought up given ideas like when you know someone a lot longer, and then especially Clif and I. And then even as we played over the past year, I felt like Miller, Andrew and all of us had kind of grown and we kind of in the practice setting or idea setting, we can kind of fill each other out easier, or kind of read each other's minds sometimes. Yeah,

we also need to give each other like feedback, too. That's constructive. And like I mean, it I think it helps that we are all generally pretty nice guys. So we try to we try to be cognizant of like what we're saying to the other to make sure we're not hurting anybody's feelings. We want to make sure that we're doing what we're servicing the song and the best way to so like we aren't holding back necessarily in terms of like giving the feedback but it is always in a very constructive manner that like we are all able to process effectively.

The reason I was laughing at you because like yeah, we're all really nice guys. And I'm just like sometimes we're not nice to each other and, and it's really funny, because like afterwards, like I saw Yeah, you want to be like grab a beer like

but it's really special to be a lot of bands are super divided between lyricism and instrumental and then it comes together and it just doesn't sound like a collaborative process. But it sounds like from you guys. You all pitch in and that's really special.

Chris really knows how to write a good tune. Yeah, I think we all we all agree that we just want to make sure we're servicing that to them.

I think we're all really good at trial and error. That is Well, I think a lot of the times the either a lot of songwriters will Have an idea for a song and they'll they'll hold on to that so tightly. And they'll be like, this is my song like I want it this way. But then that does like it kind of kale is like suffocates it in a way and cliff is incredibly gracious with the lyrics that he writes. And he's like, he's very open to, well, what if we did it in halftime here? And then we speed it up here? Or like, what if we did it? In, you know, five, six? Or like, what if we did in three, four, instead of just like a standard four, four, and then it just kind of it opens up a realm of possibilities that wouldn't be there if he wasn't nice to us?

Yeah, well, that's something that I have a lot of fun with, like playing around with ideas. Like when I, like I said, when I, when we get together and kind of throw an idea out there. I'm super excited about trying that one out, and then kind of every Yank coming at it from every angle and, and seeing how it sounds, you know, tweaking it, and, and just be like, Okay, well, we'll see what happens. So yeah, it's definitely is a good sense of collaboration between all of us. How

will you guys also have a really unique sound? It's a little bit of like, indie rock, but I can also hear kind of like a southern twist to it, would you say maybe it's your voice? But how would you guys describe your sound feel complicated?

Yeah, it definitely. Another thing about kind of, like, the collaboration and our sound, kind of tying those two in, is that we all kind of have different, like, tastes and music, like our tastes kind of expand a pretty wide range. But yeah, it definitely is, like, kind of lands are kind of where my like, songwriting and the inspiration has come from has definitely landed in a, like an indie rock, alternative country sort of realm. Like a

southern indie rock, kinda,

yeah, exactly. And my accent, kind of, like, I've never like intentionally, like bringing it out, or, you know, it just kind of like slips out. Sometimes it's almost like when you go back to your family, or like, extended family, and then all of a sudden an accent comes out, you know, depending on where you're from. Yeah.

So are there any notable influences that you feel kind of affect your music style?

Definitely. I could probably, yeah, that's kind of one of the influences for me as a band Pinegrove that, you know, they're from Montclair, New Jersey, and they have a, like, a similar sound, or a sound that I really appreciated. And I haven't just how they sound but like, like, the technicality of their music, I really appreciate, um, it kind of it was, like, they, they take a lot of different, like influence influences and kind of fuse them together, like prog rock, and like, all country, and then indie rock. And so it's a wide variety of sounds like in their discography. And it's something that I appreciated because, you know, I kind of grew up playing, started playing piano at an early age and then play trumpet. And so I was influenced by like, orchestral music and jazz music. And then, you know, like pop country on the radio, and then more like indie rock as I got older, and then even like, Psych rock, like Thai seagull. And so like, kind of finding a path, like blend all these different types of musics. music that I like, is pretty, pretty cool. And they were kind of an inspiration to do that to be like, it's, you know, it's okay to, it's okay to kind of fuse these things and see what comes out.

So even though you guys have only started performing and releasing music to platforms, you said about a year ago, you said that you grew up playing music? How long have you all been playing music in general?

I've been playing guitar since I was about 10. So for a fair bit of time, I don't want to age myself. But

do it. Do it.

But yeah, guitar for a very long time. And it's I've never really played it a bunch of pop punk bands, I played an indie rock band. And so like each style of guitar has always been a little bit different. But this is kind of the first one that I've done. It's my first time being like, a lead guitar player in the true sense. And it's just, it's a lot of fun. And playing with people who take influences from different things to it makes me have to think about approaching the target a different kind of way. So I feel like I'm learning a lot still too, which is always appreciated.

Yeah, I don't, I was just trying to think about it. And it's like, Man, I gotta do some math. I think it's been I mean, me and my older brother played just as little kids, it's probably been close to 20 years. Which is insane. Yeah, the 2004 I think that's kind of when we started messing around. Ya know, I

started playing guitar when I was 14. I'm not I'm not a bass player. I mean, I don't consider myself a decent bass player. I I have a lot of friends that are much more talent To deny that at the base, but I started playing guitar when I was like 1314 to impress a girl you know, obviously didn't work out. Oh, yeah, bomber. huge bummer.

But yeah, gotcha. Jeez, well, you guys have made so much progress. I mean, you just came out with a new song about a month ago, right? Or you released it called worth a try. Congratulations. Thank you. So what inspired this specific song,

if I can remember correctly, it was really kind of like the riff of the song. I was, I was, it was kind of, well, it was an early one for sure. When it was mainly just me and Andrew getting together. He had like a, like a middle, like four track recording device. And so we were kind of throwing stuff into Logic, just to kind of act as like a sketchpad almost for the music. And so I had like a riff, and we kind of like built the song out instrumentally first. And then honestly, like, the lyrical side of it was very much just like spur of the moment, just kind of just like random ideas floating, which is kind of nice, because some of the other songs are really specific lyrically. So it's nice to kind of have a song with like a lyrical, like, almost, it almost being like generic, in a sense, and more, I guess it can be approachable in more ways than just one. It kind of allows the user to the user. It allows the listener to be

interpreted as long as they want to do

exactly yeah all

right, well with that I think we're going to take a short break to play y'all two birds by none other than good deal and we'll be right back

in no time mind works when it's think in

the future then infectious disease and save others no way it's happened to me I think I'm gonna find a way down I knew

and then we just managed

to stay tuned

don't Brits engine know exactly

too scared look down

for everyone no

no promise me when you paint the map when no when did it go? I think I'm gonna find your way down.

Job pretend

to be scared to look down too scared

You just listened to two birds by good deal. I love that song. I actually requested it from our guys today. So I'm super happy that you guys got to listen to it too. What would you guys say is the inspiration or who is the inspiration behind this song?

I think if I can remember correctly, the, the inspiration, mainly, like, as a whole was probably around this like idea I kind of really had a setting in mind of it was a memory William and I used to live together in Cary for a little bit. This was after the pandemic, actually, during the pandemic, technically, if you want to, and, you know, we would, we were just hanging out around the house sometimes. And, you know, we would kind of just like, just be S, you know, like, we would just kind of talk about, you know, places we were gonna go things we want to do. Yeah, big dream, big ideas and dreams and just kind of, you know, romanticize this, those types of things as, as one often does. And I think that's kind of that idea is kind of where the song came from, in terms of the inspiration was basically about, you know, it's like we can, we can dream all we want, you know, like, we don't have to do anything about it. So it's kind of, in a way, like, it's like a two fold. It's kind of like bittersweet, in a way. Because it's like, you can find comfort in and dreaming about stuff, while also like, not getting anywhere close to it. And that couldn't be okay, you know. So that's kind of the inspiration of the song. Lyrically.

That's my first time actually hearing that. Yeah, I'm with you, listeners. i

Well, thank you for that. And now we got to talk about your performances. You guys have a huge EP release coming up this Friday, and then a show this Saturday, January 20. Why don't you tell us about your show? Yeah, so

we're gonna be playing at Kings in downtown Raleigh on Saturday. We're gonna be performing with a band from Richmond called Holy Roller, who are incredible. And Lauren Moore is gonna be opening a show, I guess be one of her. It's the second time I've seen her. But she's an incredible singer songwriter, like on the full gear side of things kind of in line with like Taylor Swift and like Phoebe Bridgers. She's gonna have a band with her. Yeah, we're really excited for it. It's our first show headlining and like the last year has been a lot of us performing in Raleigh and performing outside of Raleigh to try and like build a sense of community and hopefully, get people interested in like what we're doing and the songs that we have to show. And the big hope is that Saturday is kind of us putting it all out there for everybody. And hopefully, yeah, it's received well,

yeah, well, Raleigh is a pretty musical environment for up and coming bands. How would you say that living in performing in Raleigh has changed your music style? Or do you feel like in a different environment, you would have a different style I

live with my, one of my closest friends named Jonas, he's a very well connected into the music scene in Raleigh. And I think for me, personally, I can't speak for everybody, but like, it's really pushed me to be better. It's not just like a, you know, I play bass sometimes for good deal. Or it's like, I, it's something that I'm proud to have my name attached to. So it's the music scene being connected. And like, go just go into shows randomly, and seeing all of these bands that come through or like, I think that's probably one of the biggest thing is all of the bands that are able to come through Raleigh is so cool, because then you can make connections with everybody. And then it's a real, it's a community really, and it's really, I think it's a very healthy one. And I mean, we everybody takes care of their own and it pushes me to be a better musician and want me to, you know, play more music. So,

good answer. Thank you.

I told you guys, I was PR train.

rallies, we love rally. It's having been in the area for a while and like seeing a bunch of bands come through. Like, I think we we've kind of touched on we take influences from a bunch of different bands. And I've come through from different genres and stuff. And it's we're just really honored to be a part of it, and we hope we're contributing in a good way. Honestly, I think it has, I don't think it necessarily has an too much of an influence on what we're trying to create, but more so we're just glad that we're being received well, or at least from what we can tell. So Yeah,

I think definitely like, part of kind of going back to, like us getting started kind of towards the tail end of the pandemic. Or at least I remember, you know, sit in, you know, alone, kind of working on music and just, you know, thinking about the possibility of, you know, getting to play music in front of people again, I was definitely like craving that sense of community of like, you know, I have something to share. And there's, you know, other people around that can can enjoy it, as well, I think, you know, definitely, like, I started going to shows in, in the Raleigh area, once I was in college, you know, local band, local beer was a thing. And, you know, I've met and become friends with some of the bands that, that were around at the time, and that are still around. And yeah, it's just, it's very open and like, accepting of people trying to put themselves out there and, you know, kind of share what they have in terms of music. So it's really cool. And it's just such a wide like, range of different kinds of music, you know, like, each like, there's a hardcore scene, there's an indie scene, there's a country scene, there's folk scene, hip hop, jazz, soul, r&b, like it's, it really does, like span across so many genres. Yeah, absolutely.

There's so many cool venues to, and it's kind of I'm with Miller on the kind of motivates you to be better.

Because I remember, I mean, seeing some of my favorite bands at these places, and then the be up on that stage playing where I've seen them played is really cool. We've also played a lot of really cool shows like that. I think it just helps contribute to the overall like, being just like being a part of it, like Andrew said, is just something that I think is super sick.

Yeah, touching on that, can you tell us about your first performance as a band?

Oh, man. Our first show was also at Kings. So Saturday is kind of like a full circle moment for us. But it was just it was a really, it was awesome, because our friends modern kind who are friends of ours from varying avenues, but they, we asked to open for them, they were going to be doing like a long run of shows up and down the East Coast. And we just got asked to put on and it was it was honestly really nerve racking. You know, like, we've been working on this thing for several months at this point in trying to craft the songs and make making the way that we want the sound and hopefully, dial in on that. And yeah, we you hit a point where you, it's just going to be however it's going to be. And I think we're lucky in that. It went well. We got we got a lot of really positive feedback. And yeah, it was a really fun night.

Yeah, I mean, it was, I didn't feel super nervous leading up to it. And then kind of like, once I got on the stage, I kind of blacked out a little bit not from like any alcohol or anything. It was just like herbs. Yeah, kind of got it all happened in a blur. And I remember singing and playing and having a good time.

I remember asking you after the show, I was like, Yeah, what do you think I gotta go and you're like, honestly, kind of blacked out.

Oh, yeah. Okay. But it was definitely a positive experience. And definitely, it gave us a lot of momentum to, I think, especially for me is kind of having, you know, bringing these ideas to them and kind of almost having to sell them a little bit in some ways be like, you know, like, let's try and get this to work. I think that first show was kind of a a milestone for us for everyone was kind of like, you know, this can work like this. Actually, we can do this, you know, so it was definitely a positive step forward.

Do you guys tend to take any band rituals before your performances? I

have one. I don't know. I mean, I always do. I don't condone this unless you're 21 and over I always shot a beer. That's always my shot before the show would appear on stage here. Good. I feel like that helps calm the nerves. The

rest of you just wake up performance Pretty much yeah, they're just much better than me.

It's we just haven't really had anything consistent I think as a group but

yeah, I guess we don't have like a set ritual but mean we've kind of gotten into a routine we're always kind of hanging out just getting kind of prep together but then also for me, and I'll probably do it too but I just get in the zone in your own head as well.

Especially the the ritual for the raw leashes That for me is usually like trying to find parking for my car after unloading especially if it's earlier in the in a weekday for some reason. And like I live downtown so like sometimes it's like close enough to get to my house so it's so I guess you would say the part of the ritual for me is like walking back and forth from like the venue to wherever I parked my car. So again, some steps, right? Yeah.

Well, before we close off, we are going to be playing for you guys one more song by good deal, which is currently unreleased. And we'll be coming out with their EP release this Friday the 19th. Do you guys want to tell us a little bit more about this project?

The EP as a whole? Yeah, I mean, essentially, it's just us taking a first stab at writing songs and playing them together. For the most part, and most

of these are like our first batch of songs that we wrote. I mean, three of them were some of the ones that cliff and I wrote like, initially, before we even had Miller and William on board as well. So it's kind of like the start to us being able to have music out and the clothes on kind of the first chunk of what good deal is,

I think, yeah, it was in that chapter for sure. I think it I think like stylistically, each song kind of leans on a particular like sub genre of a rock and country. And I think it's still though, hasn't sort of cohesiveness to it in a way that I think is pretty cool. I

would also say to like our new stuff, kind of doesn't even sound like you know, it's like a combination of everything. Now, it's like we've kind of found an avenue to start doing our own genre of music. It kind of feels like like our own style, I would say style choices of right you know how we play a certain thing and coming to the table with this sound is Yeah, an EP but also shout out mark at the echo lounge. Love you mark eves, the one we recorded with

Mark museo from Ghost blonde, if anybody remembers them. And it's been a while they haven't really done too much lately. So I just want to

Yeah, they did have a this early this year. Yeah. He 10 year release. Yeah. That was our one

year anniversary. Yeah.

Yeah, he recorded and mixed most of the songs on the EP and really did a great job working with us. We were super appreciative. Very of him.

Yeah. Very patient is a wonderful friend. And so

what should our listeners expect at your show this Saturday?

They should expect some new songs, a lot of stuff that we don't have out or isn't available anywhere yet. A couple guests surprises. And just great show. Great performance.

Yeah. As Miller likes to say on social media, when he's promoting stuff for sometimes a reason to in good time. I

say that. Yeah. I've said that. Yeah. So you could expect

that route, dude, good time. Yeah. Yep. Yeah.

Good vibes and good deal. Yeah, no, it's

gonna be fun. Why don't you tell them where they can look for more information on this?

We're very active on Instagram at for anybody who's curious and finding out more information about us what we're doing and keeping up with us. Our Instagrams, good deal underscore band. braze. Stay pretty active on there. So thanks

to Andrew. I don't go near the social media. Try not to. I'm afraid he'd yell at me.

He does. He'll

never yell at you guys. All

right. Well, is there anything else you guys wanted to mention before we close off? I

think just thanks for having us. Yeah, absolutely.

It really was.

Thank you guys for coming in and talking to me today. It's been a pleasure to meet you all. Yeah. I appreciate y'all for tuning in. And you can check out the interviews I do with other local artists at by clicking on off the record. I'm DJ lucid, this is off the record and you were just listening to good deal on WKNC 88.1 FM HD one Raleigh I'm gonna send you off with one more song by our friends called circles which is currently unreleased but will be out on January 19. So make sure to tune in Thank you for listening and I'll catch you next time.

Reaction two sides each you

this checker is around Tregs


Go crazy by the surf lately reflected off somewhere sure

break me follies

to save me

Transcribed by

Good Deal
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