Goddamnit Are in Good Repair With New Single ‘Fix Dis’
For their second record, Philadelphia’s Goddamnit — vocalist / guitarist Arik Victor, guitarist Tyler Pursel, bassist Kyle McKnight and drummer Brian Michael — have expanded on the raw and roughshod punk of their 2014 debut, How to Take the Burn. Written and recorded by Victor and Pursel, I’ll Never Be Okay, I’ll Never Be the Same is a heart- and gut-wrenching exploration of the human psyche that wrestles with a torrent of difficult emotions over cathartic guitars and gritty, gravelly vocals. Today, Goddamnit are premiering new single “Fix Dis” with CLRVYNT. The first track on the new record, it’s a surge of dark but defiant energy that sets the tone for — and flows through — the rest of the album, as Pursel explains.
What does this album mean to you?
It was written primarily by me and Arik, the lead singer. I’d do all the music, and he’d come over to my house and record demos, and then we’d bring them to the band completed. It was the first time that we worked like that, with the two of us being the primary writers. We both deal with a bit of depression, so that’s kind of a theme that runs through it.
What was it like making the "difficult second album"?
It was actually pretty easy, and a really great experience compared to making our first record, which we rushed through in about a week or so. We spent a couple months really working on this one. We both record, so we had the luxury of being able to do stuff in our own studios and on our own time, which was really nice. We’re fortunate in the fact that we can take as much time as we needed — there’s no overlaying studio bills or getting the money together. We can just record whenever we want to record.
It does sound more slick and polished than the first record. Not in a bad way, but it just sounds less raw and more cohesive.
That was very intentional. We definitely wanted to up the ante on the production perspective, and we really wanted this to have an album feel versus our last record, which was kind of a collection of songs that were put together at different times by different members of the band. When we did our first record, we were still figuring out what we were going to do, but as we got into this second record, I wanted to get away from more Fest-oriented punk and do more dark, brooding sort of stuff. We were listening to a lot of stuff like Brand New and later Title Fight stuff, and things like that that have a real dark energy to them, and that was really important to me in the process of making this new record.
There’s a very delicate balance between the gruff aggression of these songs and their fragility and tenderness. Do you ever worry that people might overlook the latter because of the former?
Yeah. Our last record got us a lot of comparisons to Hot Water Music and, obviously, Alkaline Trio, because our band was called Goddamnit, and I think lazy [journalists] assumed there was some direct correlation there, when in fact we just thought it was a ridiculous name that people would always remember. I sort of had some of the ideas for the way this record went when we were doing the first one, but they weren’t as fleshed out as they ended up becoming, so that’s why we focused on having a very cohesive album feel with this record — I really wanted the point to come across that we’re not your typical beardo punk thing. And I hope that it does!
What are your hopes for this album?
We’re going to be doing a little bit of touring, and we’ve got a really positive response so far, which is more in the wheelhouse of what we were hoping people would get from the record. It’s really cool to have set out to do something and have that validated by some people outside of our immediate circle. So, even that’s an accomplishment, but I hope it ups our profile a little bit. If we can get on a slightly bigger tour — we’re talking about doing a European tour — that would be great, but above all, I just hope it resonates with people.