Based in Minneapolis, four-piece synth-pop band Graveyard Club are set to release their forthcoming album Goodnight Paradise on 28th June.
The simplicity of their music has simultaneously proved to be authentic and nostalgic in the past, and their new record is no exception. The enigmatic songwriting force behind the band has an ability to use an unassuming sound to casually stir memories and emotions. Songs from the album draw upon the tone and sentiment of transformation and reclamation. We spoke to lead vocalist Matthew Schufman about the upcoming release, writing and touring.
Can you talk about how the band got together?
At the time, Mike and I played in a different band that just broke up, as did Amanda and Cory. Mike and I were working on some darker – heavily synth inspired demos and recorded and released an EP called Sleepwalk. Amanda and Cory heard the tracks through a mutual friend right around the time Mike and I were looking to build more of a full band/live set up and were interested in playing together. It was a natural fit from the beginning.
What is the story behind the name of the band?
Originally we called ourselves Monster Club and were just about to release our very first EP Sleepwalk when we discovered there was a band called No Monster Club that was pretty upset about our name choice. We did a little brainstorming and chose Graveyard Club. We wanted the name to have a slightly spooky vibe, so we thought it was a good fit.
You have been likened to bands like The Cure and New Order. Does that please you?
It definitely pleases us; those are two phenomenal bands. However, we never aimed to merely recreate eighties sounds and never wanted to be solely lumped in with bands rehashing a certain sound of a decade. We always intended to have an eighties aesthetic, but build upon it and turn into something greater.
How have your influences shaped the sound of your music?
I think we have a wide array of influences, not just eighties acts, and they have really shaped our aesthetic. With Goodnight Paradise, we are taking The Cure and New Order influences, but also melding them with fifties crooners, with Springsteen, with a hundred other artists and our own ideas to create something unique. I think this record is more of a stepping off point where it’s a lot less about one specific influence and more about our own process of curating and creating sounds from multiple reference points.
Goodnight Paradise is out in June. Can you tell us a bit about it? What was the inspiration?
Goodnight Paradise is a record we’re all really proud of. We spent a long time finding the right songs and recording them slowly over the past two years. Within those years, my life has changed a lot, as have all of our lives within the band. The record is heavily influenced by those life changes. It’s a record about saying goodbye, and the pain and freedom along with that. I think in a lot of ways, it’s a sad record, a record about losing something/someplace you can’t get back, but there are a lot of happy, hopeful songs on Goodnight Paradise as well.
How do you feel you have developed since the first album?
I think we’ve come a long way together and really grown as a group. Early on, I think we played more to the “spooky” vibe – that was a big part of our initial identity. I don’t think we fully realized where we were heading artistically and were probably more relying on those initial influences as guides. I think all four of us have found confidence in different ways and have become more comfortable with our own path, and less about comparison. Goodnight Paradise is the first record that we’ve released, in my opinion, that is Graveyard Club, sounding the way we’re meant to sound.
Did you write this record together or individually? What is your process?
For most of these songs, I wrote an initial demo and brought it to the band. From there, we rearranged, re-wrote, created new parts or arrangements. Amanda wrote unique vocal harmonies, Mike came up with new guitar parts, Cory generated different drum ideas. Some of the tracks on Goodnight Paradise are more demo-esque and relatively unchanged, but the majority are dissected and re-imagined with the group.
Are you currently signed to a label or are you releasing the album independently?
We are releasing this album independently, as we have with all of our other releases. We haven’t completely ruled out working with a label, but haven’t had the right situation come our way at this point.
Are you going on tour to promote the album?
We definitely are. For now, the plan is West Coast, Midwest, and East Coast throughout the summer. I would really love to play in the UK, but we haven’t had the chance thus far. I’m sure they’ll be more US shows throughout the following year.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
I think we put a lot of work and emotion into these songs, and I hope that comes through. I’ll leave it up to each listener to decide what the takeaway is.
You can pre-order Goodnight Paradise here: