Releasing music since the ’80s, Chris Goldbach has seen and done it all.
Goldbach used to live in Fort Lauderdale where the punk scene in the ’80s was thriving. That culture has followed him through band after band, leading to his current outfit, punk band Spicoli Culkin, where he sings and plays guitar.
“My first punk show was Black Flag in Miami back in ’86,” Goldbach said. “It changed my life.
“It seems like back then there was a show every weekend: Bad Brains, Gang Green, The Meatmen, Circle Jerks, Dag Nasty, Dr. Know, The Ramones, Agnostic Front, the list goes on and on. There’s too many to mention.”
With so many influences over so many years, it’s both inspiring and thought provoking.
Growing up with these punk-famous influencers kept Goldbach prolific.
“Being a naive kid and being exposed to such a culture at a young age was a mind opener,” he said. “Hearing people like Keith Morris sing about how corrupt certain politicians were, or H.R. [of Bad Brains] doing flips off the stage and singing about Positive Mental Attitude, it made you aware of what was actually happening in the world.”
Sticking to what you know
Bands tend to go one of two ways over their career. Either they change up their sound distinctly from album to album — sometimes gradually morphing into something completely different from how they started — or they remain more or less the same over the years.
Though Spicoli Culkin have been a band for only 21/2 years, they’ve gone the latter route, keeping their sound fairly consistent.
“It’s hard to say if our style will change up at all in the future,” Goldbach said. “We’re not really into writing ‘hit songs.’ We write from the heart and if people get it, cool. If not, that’s cool, too. We’ll see where it goes.”
SC’s fast songs come together in the way you’d expect with such a cultured member leading the way. And the songwriting doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, despite the fact that it’s been going on so long and so steadily.
Though Goldbach has reached some of his personal goals, the band hopes to reach some of their own, even if it’s churning out songs at a regular volume.
“I’m always coming up with new tunes every week and I’ve already reached a lot of my goals since I started,” he said. “From being on both major and independent labels to touring the world to recording with my band Radiobaghdad at the Blasting Room with the Descendents guys back in the late ’90s, it’s all been a great experience.”
Youthful yet mature
Despite Goldbach being a little more seasoned than his local contemporaries, his music and tone still sounds youthful, yet with some maturity, similar to The Offspring. With hook-laden vocals in the vein of said band, the music is just as fast, though Goldbach’s voice is a little more gritty, separating Spicoli Culkin from a lot of the cleaner-cut punk bands that are their peers.
When the vocals are mellowed out, not quite so pushed, the band sounds more even, surfaced, and pleasantly steady. But the back-and-forth of these vocal divergences keeps each song interesting and in pace with the regularly sprinting beat.
Each member currently works at Sweetwater, but most of them have come from afar. Drummer Adam Lewis is a local, but Goldbach moved from Florida, guitarist Drew Foster was transplanted from Wisconsin, and bassist Matt Smith is here from Connecticut.
Though they are from different parts of the country, it all comes together.
“It all just melts together, which creates our unique style,” Goldbach said. “When recording, our songwriting process is organic. It just flows out.
“I will write a song, record it in my studio then email it to the other guys. When they show up for rehearsal, they usually have it down already. They all contribute their own parts to the song, though. I am not super strict and am definitely not opposed if someone has an idea to change things up. That’s what makes a band a band.”
You can hear Spicoli Culkin on SoundCloud and can look forward to their full-length album out sometime next year.