At the Foodlab in Silver Lake, Katy Goodman's ginger bangs hang over her eyes; it's her trademark look. But in recent times everything else – including the direction of her music and personal life – have changed.
Sporting a hoodie with a pair of fashionable cross trainers, Goodman looks more L.A. chic than DIY punk. Focused on her side-project La Sera, she's also now the former bassist of Brooklyn's Vivian Girls – who recently called it quits after seven years, three albums, and near legendary status on the DIY punk scene.
Vivian Girls were based in New York, but Goodman has lived in L.A. for a number of years, and is now back home in Silver Lake following the final Vivian Girls performances. Their last L.A. show was particularly wild. “L.A.'s always had a wild audience,” says Goodman, referring to the Church on York farewell gig – where the security was, um, quite permissive.
Sitting down to chat over chocolate cake, Goodman cuts off any questioning relating to the Vivian Girls breakup. “I'm not going to talk about that,” she says, while picking away at the frosting and awaiting the arrival of her boyfriend and lead guitar player, Todd Wisenbaker, who helped produce La Sera's latest album.
Hour of the Dawn, set for release on May 13, reflects Goodman's desire to shed the baggage of her past. “My life has really changed in the past two years,” she says. Now 29, she no longer plays video games – her former favorite pastime. She's also not the nostalgic type. When asked about a possible Vivian Girls reunion, she responds: “Coachella 2030!”
One suspects the real story here might be quite interesting, but Goodman won't even say if she'll miss playing shows with Vivian Girls; she's tired of questions that require her to be the band's spokesperson. In any case, one thing is clear: Goodman is ready to move on and embrace the change.
For its part, Hour of the Dawn is a bold, more aggressive sounding record. It's also more personal. The album's single, “Losing to the Dark,” reflect dealings with personal struggles. “When I wrote 'Losing to the Dark,'” she says, “I mentally put myself in a place when I was the angriest in my life.”
The track revisits a poisonous past relationship that brings Goodman to the boiling point: “Every night and every day / It's all the same / Every moment of our lives / Is like a knife into my heart.”
On Hour of the Dawn's tracks, Wisenbaker unleashes shredding guitar solos that juxtapose the folkie melodies of Goodman. “I probably have mild OCD,” she says.
For the first time in her life, she's able to unleash her muse without any baggage. “I was going to let myself be an emotional wreck and not hide it,” she explains.
Through her music, it seems that the real Katy Goodman is only now just being discovered.