Made up of Ben Peters, Juliet Harding, Matt O'Connell make up the good-vibes dance music band Goodluck that have blazed their own trail across the dance music industry, gaining fans as far as Berlin and Rotterdam. Since 2011, they have become one of the most electric live acts to come out of South Africa, and are moving into the next phase of their careers this year with the release of their 3rd album. The Nature Within took flight to their eager audiences on October 17th and the band hosted launch parties in Johannesburg and Durban, with an exclusive listening session in Cape Town.
Having recorded their second album Creatures Of The Night in the open air of Namibia, for The Nature Within, they took to Singapore, India, Norway, Germany, Netherlands, Seychelles, Mauritius, Zambia, South Africa — even a yacht in the middle of the ocean — coming together better than ever before and blossoming from the constructive criticism they are comfortable enough to share with each other for what’s easily their best album to date.
We chat with Ben, Jules and Matt to find out more about this exciting project.
How would you say the band has grown or changed since the release of 'Goodluck' in 2011?
Jules: What's cool about this album is that the sound in totality is a lot more consistent. There is a lot of variety, but there is definitely more of a thread. The first two albums were quite schizophrenic, but this has got more of a holistic sound.
Matt: Ben actually played a song off the one previous album and Jules really hated it. So comparing that to what we're making now it's a huge jump from where we were. An album always describes who you are as an artist at that particular time.
Ben: In the moment, every album you release is your best work. It's kind of like a photograph of what your limits and abilities were and becomes a little benchmark for a period in your life. You look back you're like "Wow, I was a very different person back then."
Can you explain the title of the album to us?
J: The name was really thought out for a change; we wanted it to encapsulate the theme of the album but also to differentiate this one from the rest. Nature does influence us as a subject, but this is more introspective. It's more about human nature, your feelings and emotions.
B: We're kind of expressing our inner turmoils and solutions. The crystal cat on the cover is see-through, and it helped us pick from of the potential names for the album. It's us saying we are going to be transparent with you about who we are as artists and musicians and who we are as people.
This is the first full album that Matt has been involved in for Goodluck, how has the dynamic changed since he as entered the group?
J: Matt brings a very happy energy to anywhere he goes,he's never ever grumpy. And if he's grumpy, or becomes a "Grouchpatch" as I like to call him" he'll just go a little quiet. So it's been really cool to have that..
B: .. lightheartedness. Because Jules and I can get very serious. When you're juggling so many balls you naturally become more serious about things. And I'm so grateful that have this bright light that comes into the space and shakes it up a little bit and goes "well, let's just have fun with this". It reminds you to not always take things too seriously.
What is the most exciting project on the album and why?
B: I think “Back In The Day” was probably the most frustrating for me because going back and forth with De Hofner. I was just not getting what I wanted; to the point where I just wanted to throw it away, but Jules was like "No this is such a good song and we put so much effort into it," so we pushed through to finish it, it was a real labour of love. Not actually, I think I hated the song.
You guys recently had a listening session of the album playing out of 5 Mini Coopers! How did this unique idea come about?
J: First of all, we put a status on Facebook asking people where they'd like the album launch to be, expecting our usual fanbase of Johannesburg and Durban to be louder than anyone. But inevitably, Cape Town decided that they were determined to have something in their city. There was no time to do all three cities, so we approached Mini and Ben had this idea of pulling up somewhere cool and daisy chaining the sound systems of 5 Mini's together and playing the music in unison.
What is the one thing each person in Goodluck cannot live without?
B: Jules can't live without her phone. Matthew can't live without Instagram.
J: Matthew can't live without clean shoes, he's always cleaning his shoes. He's a neat freak.
M: I literally can't leave the house if my car's dirty, I won't drive it.
B: What can't I live without?
J: Aah I know, hand cream and tooth flossers, those little things you floss your teeth with
Describe the album in 3 words.
Matt: Fresh, unique, soulful.
Ben: Deep, melodic, edgy.
Jules: I would say introspective, fun and energetic.
Catch Goodluck perform at their Album launch tomorrow at the Goodluck Bar in Johannesburg.
Images via Al Nicoll Photography