I almost don’t even need to say anything with this interview, I can just sit back and let you listen to the greatness that is Goth Babe. Griffin Washburn is Goth Babe. A fuzzy sound that needs to be in your ears right this second. Fans of Ty Segall, Wavves, and Fidlar will fall even harder for this. Listening to him tell how he makes his music, makes it even more incredible and pure for me. Whispering quietly in his dorm room and on his phone. I am totally in awe of him and his dedication in making this EP. Moving from Memphis to Nashville for school, music is in his very being. Here is what he had to say about it all…
Goth Babe is a project I started when I moved here from Memphis to go to school at MTSU. I was fortunate enough to have some awesome friends who would play live with me, and I basically just have been writing songs in my dorm room for the past month or so, and doing lo-fi recordings to save up and eventually get recorded in a studio.
-How would you describe your sound?
Probably just garage rock. I use a lot of surf influence because of my old band that I wrote for, The Lagoonas. It’s really just a fuzz pedal cranked all the way up and lots of yelling when we play. I’d say there’s a lot of So-Cal garage influence mixed with me just listening to a lot of chill surf bands.
-How did you adapt your sound?
I basically just recorded and wrote a lot of lo-fi surf music when I was in Memphis, and when I got to Nashville I just felt like I wanted something new and just heavy. So I scavenged up some cash and bought a Fuzz War pedal and just started writing what sounded best with that sound.
-Are you working on a full album?
I’ve been writing for some time since I’ve been here and it seems like my writing standards have gone up. Mostly because I used to write, record, and sell an album in a week, but lately I pass on a lot of the stuff I write and I just pick the ones that stand out. So with that, I really only have five good songs picked out for an EP, my manager and I are potentially about to record in a studio somewhere.
-How did you get started making music in your dorm room?
Well before I left Memphis I was dead set on getting a house so I could record and play drums, but that was just too pricey for an 18 year old. So I moved into a dorm and was a little uneasy with the idea of knowing people would be hearing me sing one room over, and I really wanted to be able to be loud, but that really wasn’t an option. I basically just write through headphones and whisper all the melodies that I think may sound good when I’m writing because my building has thin walls. I document everything I write on voice memos on my iPhone, and I have over 800 of them of me just quietly playing a song idea. All of them sound terrible, but it helps me remember it. My roommate makes fun of me a lot, and when I do demos in my dorm, my neighbors hear nothing but dry shitty vocals when I’m recording, but it worked out okay living in a dorm with a bunch of cool musicians.
-This seems like such an effortless thing for you, to make music that sounds incredible and something people are going to go crazy over. Do you find it comes easy to you or am I way off?
I don’t really see my music as anything really all that great. I go through tons of different ideas and songs that I’ve written because I’m pretty hard on myself when It comes to writing. I guess I’ve been trying not to just put out every song I write. I’ve been taking a step back from all the songs I’ve written and just picking out the ones that suck, and using the ones I feel like sound good to me.
-Describe your process for putting together a song?
I normally mess around on my guitar until something sounds like it has potential and then I find a melody line for the verses and chorus. For the most part, the songs I write are structured somewhat the same, so that’s knocked out. Then I write lead for it, add some sort of bass-line, and then I do a really lo-fi recording of it in my dorm and listen to it about a hundred times until I decide whether it’s cool or not.
-What was the first cd, tape or album you ever bought?
Oh no, that may be a hard one. The first record I ever bought was Jimi Hendrix ‘The Experience’ but as a kid I would always just download free music offline and load it onto my mp3 player. Or I would steal my step sister’s Klaxons albums which I always thought were super rad. I just got into buying music on my phone like a year ago, and I think the first digital album I bought was a Ty Segall album. Soundcloud is like a free playlist to me, so I really just use that, the albums on my phone, and vinyl that I’ve been collecting.
A big thank you to Griffin Washburn for this interview and giving us a look into his life for a bit. And also a big thanks to Nashville Radio for once again blowing me away on the amazing music they are sending my way! Check out Goth Babe and his new EP, Fuzz Ghost, that he recorded all by himself in his dorm room, simply amazing.