A good talk with Good Talk
The band of brothers Good Talk stumbled into my jagged little world one morning and never left. A friend sent one track my way off of their debut album The Arrival; I was drawn into a voice I pegged right away. It was a voice I knew so well, one that I love that has played a grand role in the last few years of my life. A voice that has been missing... I was listening to Jordan David Miller, formerly of the wildly successful band The Movement, and I was completely frozen. This happened a few times throughout the interview process, but that is a risk you incur when you hit up your idols and strongest musical influences to chat.
If you haven’t yet, do your ears a solid and check out the album.
I’m not going to lie and say every single album or track I review is my style. I have been very open about my favorite artists. This is not just because of the music they make, but the people they are. Not every album is solid from start to finish. Yet, The Arrival is. Miller, now in his thirties, is happily married and happy to be alive after a near fatal accident leaving him incapacitated for over a year and a half. Since then, he has stayed true to his roots living in his hometown of Columbia, SC and continued making music, writing songs like "Shoulders" 10 years prior to this album.
Miller began working on the album alone, self-teaching himself with a laptop in tow and a studio full of basic instruments. He already had five songs recorded when they took it to Cory Plaugh at Plaugh’s House Recording Studio in Columbia. Plaugh – who produced, mixed and mastered The Arrival album – is the real deal. He took the original five songs the guys brought in and added his "amazing ear”, to quote Miller. Miller, Plaugh and Genaro "Gino" Cruz (the other musical half of Good Talk) was nice enough to grant us an interview on the album-making process:
What was the vibe while working with Jordan and Gino on the album?
- Plaugh: I usually feel like part of the band by the end of a project, but that's not to say that some aren't more dear to my heart and natural. We got to a really comfortable place in the process where we were all moving forward in this stream-of-consciousness-like state. Chemistry like that happens and it's always the goal, but it's rare. If you have great songwriters and performers like these guys, it really makes things a lot easier in a lot of ways. But, in some ways, you know you have to do the best you can delivering their musical babies. It’s not like there is no pressure there.
All of us are well aware that people are placed in our lives to change it up and re-route it accordingly. Enter Genaro “Gino” Cruz. Jordan approached his savagely talented brother-in-law to join forces on this new project he dubbed 'Good Talk'. Later stating how much of an “ideal” and “perfect fit” he found his brother to be. These guys love making music together, almost as much as they love each other and it is something you can feel. Gino started with poetry at age 5 and the rest is history. This guy’s versatility is lucidly visible throughout the album. Cruz adds the perfect amount of himself to The Arrival.
The two men made it their goal with this new project Good Talk to stay true to their roots. Miller comments:
- Miller: [Good Talk] is a grassroots mentality. We appreciate all the little things involved and all the small things. We just want people to learn the music and show up... We’ll do the rest.
After gaining fame via The Movement, what is the best advice you would give yourself with this new project?
- Miller: I’m in a different place and fame is not what this is about. Just staying in that ‘fishbowl mentality' and continuing to play local. We would take 40 people having the time of their lives at a show over 4,000.
Anything you want to say to your fans (old and new), as well as to readers hearing about you for the first time?
- Miller: This whole process has been humbling, to say the least. I’m always going to respect every song and stay true to who I am. It’s always gonna sound like me and I’m gonna keep doing what I love!
How did you come to the name Good Talk?
- Cruz: Pretty much, after every conversation, we have we would voice text each other how it was a 'good talk'. Fast forward to finding a band name and it fit along with everything else that has fallen into place. We always have left each other on a positive note.
The diversity and versatility of this album is unlike anything I have heard in a while. This is because Miller has a style all his own and Gino’s rhythmic offset of Miller’s style has the perfect yin and yang result. This album has something for everyone: some songs marinate in country while others are Latin-infused. There is some reggae, hip hop, a few ballads... and that’s just naming a few songs off this eclectic debut release. Good Talk's The Arrival is available on all media streaming outlets now! If you haven’t yet, do your ears a solid and check out the album. Also, catch Good Talk in South Carolina and surrounding areas or visit the links below to stay up-to-date with the band!
Purchase or stream The Arrival album:
*Jay Cohen would like to dedicate this interview to her dear friend's unfortunate passing, Robert DeCarlo*