A String of Coincidence Makes Solid Rock: An Interview with Kadooge

by Erik Oldman

About an hour due west of Chicago lies the Fox River.  This is commonly thought of as the point where the  suburban strip malls and cul–de-sacs of Chicagoland end, and the rest of Illinois­, miles and miles of corn dotted with rural hamlets and college towns, begins.

Straddling the Fox River is the City of Aurora, the second largest city in Illinois, which along with many of the other old river towns along the Fox, doesn’t really feel like a suburb of Chicago.  The people of Aurora move at a different pace, and make up a very tight-knit community. This closeness extends into the network of veteran musicians that make up Aurora’s own vibrant music scene. Pat Goode, the vocalist and rhythm guitarist of  the band Kadooge puts it plainly: “We all basically knew each other from years of playing out.  We’ve all either been in, been fans of, or are friends with people in different bands from around the Aurora area for a long time….Tony (Montana) is one of the few drummers around we haven’t tried hitting up.  So we hit him up.  It turned out to be the one of the best musical decisions I’ve ever made.” Through the introduction of mutual friends, Quentin and Aerie Dover auditioned and completed the lineup. Pat was previously a member of national touring band 5 Year Jacket, Tony is a seasoned drummer who’s played with a number of different bands and artists in L.A. and Chicago, and now operates his own recording studio out in Aurora. Quentin and Aerie are both long-time musicians and also music teachers, both heavily involved with world music. You can find them performing with Northern Illinois University’s gamelan ensemble and Chinese orchestra – as Aerie puts it “Chinese traditional (music)– it’s like acoustic heavy metal.”

The sound of Kadooge draws from the band’s many different influences and musical interests.  The arrangements are based in solid hard rock, mixing ethereal and metal flourishes with dynamic tempo shifts, reminiscent at times of Porcupine Tree, A Perfect Circle, The Deftones, and System of a Down at its heavier moments. Pat reflects on the band’s chemistry “Our sound represents all of our wide ranges of influences, but it’s also a result of our remarkable chemistry together.  We compliment one another, both in tone and style.”

Tony chimes in: ”Being that we all have different influences, we kind of just let everybody do their own thing, and it blends together great all on it’s own.”
This is definitely the sound of accomplished musicians; all the elements work as layers, and the band has a keen sense of dynamics and ensemble playing.  Tony’s drumming is precise and dynamic, bringing a progressive feel to the pulse of the songs. Pat’s’s driving rhythm guitar work provides an excellent foundation for Quentin’s tasteful lead work and textures, Aerie’s basslines are melodic, often providing movement and counterpoint to the guitars and vocals. Atop of the music is Pat’s vocal delivery, a mix of Jack White and Maynard James Keenan’s work in A Perfect Circle.

For the most part, I like to bring ideas and cultivate them as a group” Pat reflects on the songwriting process. “ Some songs, though, you have to write on your own.  They’re too difficult and personal to share until they are done.” Tony adds: “Now that we have become comfortable as a unit, everyone is starting to throw in their ideas to create new material” Having access to a recording studio and the ability to record their own material definitely shows on the quality of the audio production of their EP.The recording was done at Spiral Groove Studios, owned by Montana: “There was a lot of experimenting done on the guitar tones mixing various guitars from Gibson, Ibanez, Fender, and Jackson with various amp heads and cabs from Marshall, Mesa, Orange, Vox, and Sunn.” 

The first track on the EP was written from Pat’s personal experiences with anxiety. “Hold My Breath is a song about suffering from and eventually overcoming frequent panic attacks.” Says Goode. “If anyone reading this has ever had them, you know what I’m talking about.  During them, you feel like you can’t breathe, and are basically holding your breath.  There’s a line in the song that says, “I spend my time becoming accustomed to the only thing that I know.”  It’s about the reoccurring, strange, but familiar feeling like you are going to die.  Not the brightest subject, but for me I learned to handle them and eventually they went away.  The song is sort of a celebration of that victory.“

The second track, “Broken Up in Pieces” a driving hard rock tune, in Pat’s words is “basically about being beat down in life, and finding peace with it.  It’s not necessarily about surrender as it is about being able to pick up the pieces and move on, a bit stronger than before.”

The brooding third track, No Surprise,  “is about not being surprised to see the end of the world in a societal sense.  It’s about our drive for possessions, our loss of privacy in the name of protection, our loss of selves and our loss of soul. “ Pat says.

The band is certainly dedicated to honing their craft, they have been working together since fall of 2011. “We’re just hard working musicians that love what we do.” Pat says  “We hope to connect with you on some level in some way. “ Tony adds in, reflecting on the band’s tenacity:  “We our still in our shell, and have just been plugging away at our songs in a dark basement every Sunday night at 10 pm, while the working class is turning in, and getting ready to meet the man on Monday morning.” Aerie finds a personal release in creating the music: “ [It] is a great cathartic release. I’ve been hit with recent tragedy but Pat’s lyrics and the music’s edge have really pulled me through.” 

And the name, in case you’re wondering, come’s from Tony’s nephew: “The truth- I was out boating on Long Lake with my sister and nephew, when this speed boat flipped and tanked. Just then my 6cyear  old nephew yells ‘Kadooge!’

Kadooge plans to continue writing and recording through the fall and winter to release their first full length in spring of 2013. They just played one of their first shows headlining at Mojoes in Joliet. Keep an eye out for them as they are booking shows around Chicago and the suburbs.

Kadooge is:

Pat Goode: Vox, Guitar
Tony Montana: Drums, electro-percussion, keys
Quentin Dover: Guitar
Aerie Dover: Bass 

Current Playlists:

Pat: Serj Tankian, Deftones, Killswitch, Everclear to name a few.  Listen to Silverchair, they’ve grown up a lot.  Their new stuff is incredible, mature songwriting.  Also, after listening to your [Rock in Chicago] podcast, Psychopathic Daze.

Tony:  Porcupine Tree

Aerie: Chinese traditional – it’s like acoustic heavy metal.

Quentin: At the moment I am listening to a lot of Chinese and South East Asian folk music.I recommend the pipa player Wo Men.

Local Band Shout Outs:

Pat: FiveStar Fools is a great local, original band.  Listen to Meathawk, Kevin Trudo is a master songwriter.

Tony:  Meathawk, the Graham Czach Band

Aerie:  A Light Sleeper

Quentin: Silvertown, OCD, Fight with Monsters, the Designated Ryders, Dropped Once, Five Star Fools.

Kadooge is featured on the October 2012 podcast.