In 2015, Good Times & Company was formed on the foundation of front man Clint Kesinger’s solo acoustic career, bringing a brand new energy and dynamic to his writing process. Over time, Shad Baldes, Kyle Wells, and later in 2017, Keagan Cross have been a part of the band in its journey toward producing what is now a signature sound. With their alternative indie rock, precisely crafted and casually delivered, Good Times & Company is the definition of a growing American rock band. The band brings together influences of modern-day indie and flavors of rock n roll for a truly unique blend of music, with their live show smoothly gliding along the perimeter of melancholy. This band writes from the abstract mind and plays from the primitive heart, with every show is as fun as it is introspective.
About The Band:
For any of our readers who are unfamiliar with yourself / yourselves tell us a little bit about your band.
We are Good Times & Company, a 4-piece rock band based out of Springfield, IL. We play catchy, unique, honest rock music, normally labeled as Alternative or Indie Rock. We have been a band for about 4 years, have toured around many parts of the USA, and are dedicated to songwriting and creative approaches to rock music. Our current line up is Keagan Cross on guitar, Shad Baldes playing bass, Kyle Wells on the drums, and myself, Clint Kesinger, doing vocals and guitar.
What was your earliest memory of music that peaked your interest?
Growing up as a child, I remember listening to The Beatles CONSTANTLY. My dad essentially brainwashed me with The Beatles and Pink Floyd. So, every night as a young child I would be lulled off to sleep by some of the best rock music and I think that just became engrained in me. I was enamored by the sounds.
Who was the first album / single you purchased?
Taking Back Sunday- Tell All Your Friends
When did you first pick up your respective instrument / or start singing?
I was 14 when I found my dads old Peavey guitar in a storage closet. I had him get it out and plug it into this vintage PA system. Once he turned the volume up and I started hitting the strings, I was hooked. I knew immediately I needed to write music. So, I became addicted to guitar and played for 2 years before I started trying to sing while playing. Its been a crazy journey ever since I found that guitar.
What route did you take with your music / instrument / lessons / music school / self-taught and any fond memories of that journey?
I never took a guitar lesson, I taught myself almost entirely from watching YouTube tutorials of my favorite songs at the time. I would come home from High School during freshmen year and just start jamming. I was so bad too. I would be up in my room for several hours at a time, sometimes skipping dinner and just making sounds I thought were cool. Andy McKee really inspired me to play acoustic guitar, so I dove into that head first and really became adept at finger picking. Coming from a small farm community in rural Illinois, we didn’t have many resources for creating a solid band, so we had to pick people and say “hey, you’re gonna be in my band now”, so a lot of this was trial and error until I found out Shad Baldes was into playing Bass. We got into a metal band in a nearby city, which blossomed into this pretty successful group. So, I had a unique time of my life for several years where I was touring and learning first hand the hardships and triumphs of being the front man/vocalist of a successful metal band on the rise, while sitting at home privately and teaching myself how to write rock/folk songs. I also starting singing, which was such a contrast to the harsh screaming vocals I was used to. It was a unique, formative time from 2007-2014. Everything was self-taught, and I look back on all those years very fondly.
Who were your hero’s as a young musician that inspired and pushed you to want to be a musician too?
The local bands that were really putting out great material back in the day had my full attention. Brandon Carnes really stole my heart when he came to play my hometown of Roodhouse, IL. His band Midnight Fall was a great emo/pop rock group and once I saw them, I knew I had to be in a band. It looked so fun. Others include Scott Wyatt, formerly known as Scott Joseph Phares. He was a local acoustic songwriter at the time and ran a lot of shows which was a big deal being where we were from with very little to do as teens. I also remember The Graduate and Park from Springfield, IL really inspiring me to continue striving towards my goals as a young musician. I know these memories were a big part of Shad’s musical journey as well.
Is there one particular album or song that gave you a “Eureka” moment from your youth that made you want to be a musician?
When I heard Panic! At the Disco on Purevolume.com I was completely blown away. It was around 2006, they hadn’t even blown up yet, and I listened to “The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage” on repeat every day. That album, ‘A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out’ really had me hooked on catchy rock music from then on.
What was the best gig you’ve ever attended?
Paul McCartney at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. My wife bought us tickets, it was simply a phenomenal night. That man is a walking legend and still kills the stage.
Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?
Garbage Rap. We as a band will get all turned up and just hype ourselves out on bad, bad rap when we party. So, some of those guilty pleasures would be Higher Brothers, Lil Baby, Bobby Shmurda, Chedda Da Connect, Drake, OG Macko, Shakewell, and unfortunately even Ghost Mane. Its not something we are proud of, but that kind of music requires very little brain power to consume, and its nice to turn our brains off every now and then!
So any new music in the works currently or just released?
We have a new album written!
Where and when did you record it?
We will be recording it in January 2019 at The Nook Recording Studio in New Lenox, IL. Near Chicago.
How does the song writing process generally work for you?
In many different ways. We have a sort of fluid writing process where we take inspiration wherever it may arise and run with it until the wheels fall off. I used to sit at home and write the majority of the music but now we do it as a group. We put on a clean buzz with whatever means are available and just get after it religiously. We record phone demos of our progress and study them, and if the song is a hit, it normally takes shape quickly and things fall into place. We chase down every song idea, some don’t make it onto albums. Typically, we release an album once a year so when studio time comes back around, we pick our best creations and they get released to the public. A lot of songs that don’t make the cut we will still play live, however. We never stop writing.
What route have you taken to build up and establish a fan base locally & beyond your local area?
We know we won’t catch a big break in Springfield, so we have taken to social media to expand our horizons. Instagram has done very well for us and is the reason we have exposure all over the world. I’ve taken it upon myself to always reply and reach out to every person on Instagram. It has made people realize we do care about every fan and we want them to feel like family. So, although we do play local shows and connect with fans here, our focus has really been to reach the world via social media to expand our horizons. It has been a pretty successful route.
What is the music scene like locally to you and where do you fit in?
Springfield is a town of roughly 125,000 people. So, our shows are not going to be huge, but they are very fun. Essentially, everybody knows everybody, so all the bands have been collaborating, booking shows together and combining fanbases for the best turn outs. We are one of the rarer groups in the area, since we only play original music. Springfield, unfortunately, is also a town of cover bands. Those bands do the best around here, but the culture of local music is on a meteoric rise as we continue to collaborate and help each other build our scene. We fit in as one of the bands simply trying to write quality music and have fun. I also book a lot of bands touring from out of town, which has been a boost for the scene as well. The original musicians around here have an unspoken understanding to help each other up, and not make things a competition.
Do you feel there are enough venues around you to help promote and establish up and coming bands like yourself?
I feel the venues are here, but the promoters willing to put in the hard work to bring in successful national acts are nowhere to be found. Josh Catalano, from the band Wayward Motel, has taken big steps towards establishing a solid local scene by bringing in bands on tour. He and I work together on that, and as of the past 2 years or so shows have gotten bigger and better. I foresee the growth will continue as we strive to combine forces.
What would you like to see ideally to help hard working bands / artists get better exposure and opportunities to make a living form their craft?
I would like to see labels start taking chances on bands again. Instead of money and “who you know” aspects of the industry steering the direction of rock music into the ground, it would be lovely if labels would get smart and take chances on bands that are truly pioneering the way. This means the bands that musicians listen to for inspiration. Not whoever sounds like Twenty-One Pilots or Imagine Dragons, groups that are somehow often labeled as rock bands. Bands and artists that are pushing the limits of their genre are the ones that influence musicians, who then go on to become famous. Labels need to remember that even though it is a business, art is the product. If the product quality is sacrificed, the entire industry suffers. That’s why rap, even though I enjoy it, has allegedly become the new rock n roll. It’s time to bring bands who are pushing the limits into the spotlight, and I feel in the coming years this will happen. People know when they’re being duped, and labels/radio have been doing that to listeners for too long.
What is the best piece of advice you have received on your journey thus far?
What would you say has been the biggest lesson you have learnt on your journey to date?
Success is relative to the individual. From that, I learned that influencing even one single person from your music is an incredible success. That’s why we do what we do.
With the music industry always constantly changing – how have you had to adapt to the ever-changing landscape?
We have had to try and stay focused on the necessary evil of social media. We never got into music to show everybody what we are doing every minute of the day. So, I’d say we have been forced to follow suit in making ourselves present online as often as possible. It’s hard for us because we just want to write and create, but we know the fans love seeing the behind the scenes action. As such, it has been a constant battle to continue providing constant social media content to the masses. We would love for that to change, but we may just have to hire someone to run our social media for us again.
Does the introduction of New Technology / Digital Age / Social Media etc enhance your life as a musician or do you feel it can be more of a hindrance?
As much as I dislike the obsession people have with social media, it has been an enhancement. Without it we wouldn’t have reached UK, Europe, Australia, and South America with our music. We have more fans abroad than we do at home, and that is entirely due to social media. We also don’t have to tour constantly to reach people, which is awesome because touring can be fun but its hard work for very little pay. We feel that through creating unique, honest rock music we can gain traction enough online to come see everyone worldwide without starving ourselves.
So moving forward what’s next for you?
Recording our new album, ‘Cosmonaut’, then playing a lot of awesome shows. We will be putting the new songs in everyone’s ears. We will shoot music videos and all that fun stuff too. But this new album is honestly going to change things for us in a big way.
How do you see the evolution of the band / yourself as an artist?
I see it the same way as I see growing up. When Shad and I played heavy metal, we were pissed off teenagers, so it played to our interests. Then we grew up, got less pissed at the world, and started writing rock music. Now that we have done that for a few years, we have honed our craft into a unique sound. That’s half the battle. If you start from the beginning and listen to our entire discography, you can see distinct artistic changes. We consider each album or EP a chronicling or chapter of our lives. It’s an incredible journey, and the future is bright.
Do you have any short-term or long-term goals in mind?
Short-term: record nothing short of an amazing album.
Long-term: tour the world playing our songs.
If you could tour with any band or artists who would that be?
Mac Demarco, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, The Growlers, Royal Blood, The 1975
We are on all major music platforms, here are the most sought-after links:
“Dropping Anchor” Music Video
“The Sound” Music video
“Mr. Rock n Roll”
“Hilly Krystal” Music Video
Contact: clint kesinger [email protected]