Today, we are speaking with Leo Goh. Can you give us a little background information about yourself? How did you get into music?
I’m a Singaporean guitarist/audio engineer based in California. I’ve been here about 3 years and graduated from Musicians Institute Hollywood. I’ve worked with Suvi Suresh, Noor Che’ree, Austin Gatus, Curtis Brooks etc and have played along the sunset strip, opened for Macy Gray, Blue Sun Festival etc. I currently run a band GrooveMartini with my partner Nipun Nair. Groovemartini is a high energy cover band playing corporate gigs and is currently planning a Vegas headline show. Do check us out 🙂
I started getting into music when I was doing my bachelor’s in business at the University of Buffalo, New York. It seemed like a natural calling and something I was really passionate about. I began with a lot of Japanese rock music like Miyavi, Gazette, MUCC etc. Their playing along with the visual aspect of their music intrigued me. This progressed to pop and acoustic gigs in bars around Singapore and finally to the states.
Is your 2015 release (the Jig is Up EP) your first foray into recorded music?
Yes and no. I’ve recorded and played sessions for other people before. For my own music, this was definitely a first.
What was the preparation and the recording process for the album like?
It took several months just writing and planning. Being self-produced, it was tougher having to think of the overall picture. My drummer Leonne Castellas and bassist Jason Lobell definitely helped a lot with their inputs. My home studio set up works mostly just for DIs and that’s where I recorded guitars and bass. I run through a DI and blues junior with a SM57 for guitars. Bass-wise, Jason has his own rig with his preamps and I usually just run him straight in. The rest of the instruments were recorded in several studios at SAE and MI where they had, (coincidentally the same board) the SSL Duality. Drums typically with about 10 mics and the grand piano I used a typical spaced pair approach. I love recording percussions and strings the most.
The Jig is Up EP is musically diverse, with hints of funk, jazz, and rock all present. How do you think the tracks combine to tell a story about yourself?
I think it kind of tracks my progress as a musician. From playing rock with it’s grit and conviction, to hitting those up beats in funk and then to swinging in jazz. I believe after awhile, the things I hear and write end up mashing together into such a convoluted mix that it just ended up that way.
Which artists are the greatest influences for you and your music? Is there a dream lineup of performers that you would like to perform with if given the chance?
I would have to say John Scoffield, Snarky Puppy, Hiromi, John Mayer…There’s too many. Well, having been in LA awhile and to NAMM several times, I do believe I’ve already seen several incredible combinations and lineups already.
You have a website available at https://leogoh.bandcamp.com/ . How is the promotion and experience on the website (and your FB/YT/Instagram) different from the traditional face to face meeting and performances that musicians utilize?
I guess different approaches just result in different audiences. I get more international audiences from the online medium and social media, while the traditional face to face gets me a more local audience. I still definitely prefer live shows and jams though.
What are your plans for 2016 and beyond? How can interested NeuFutur readers locate samples of your music?
2016 and beyond is going to be busy especially with my band as we start growing more in Vegas and other places. Once that’s fully settled, I think I’ll get back more into writing again. Interested readers can follow me on Soundcloud, where it’ll be easy to listen to any new material.
Thank you so much for your time. Finally, do you have any additional thoughts about life and the universe for our readers?
I remember a good friend of mine Lemuel, who’s also the drummer in my band, once said, “The people who’ve made it all have stories to tell.” As struggling musicians, I just have to keep believing all these will be my stories someday.