One of my favorite musicians online is one who has the greatest humility of all. I know him as Ian, but he goes by Good Morning Passenger. His songs literally carry you away in their gradual, soft, shifting way, and I love the way his melodies compliment the rhythms so well. Good Morning Passenger is not a touring band- it’s just Ian and his tunes that he records himself. But make no mistake, these songs are top-notch, and if I had anything to do about it, he’d be on tour right now.
These are the types of songs that just transport you elsewhere. If I could adequately describe how much I love the song “Empty Beds” you wouldn’t believe me. Highly recommended.
You come from a musical and creative family. How did they encourage you to get started with music?
A: I remember being forced to take piano lessons as a child… which didn’t last too long. After that I found my dad’s old guitar in a closet when I was around 10 or 11 years old… and I just kind of took off from there. My dad was always very encouraging though… always excited to hear anything I had learned or came up with… which led him to buy me my first four track recorder when I was around 17.
What bands influenced your love of music today?
A: Any band that I can listen to and feel like they are creative being themselves. I hold Radiohead very close to my heart… Elliot Smith, Cursive, Bright Eyes, Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade, Andrew Bird, Beirut, Broken Social Scene, Mogwai, The Microphones, Neutral Milk Hotel. Then there’s the stuff from my very early teens… Nirvana, Silverchair, STP. When I was a kid my dad was always playing early Genesis (before Peter Gabriel left), Yes, and The Beatles in his vehicle… I still think Selling England By the Pound (by Genesis) is one of my favorite albums ever.
When did you start writing your own original music?
A: Around 16. I finally realized I didn’t have to sit around learning other people’s songs anymore.
You grew up in an area where there weren’t too many LDS people. How did this influence you growing up?
A: I really didn’t think about it too much. I had the occasional weird comment or question thrown at me now and then. There were maybe 5 LDS kids in my high school altogether. It was normal for me to be a minority in a religious sense.
How do your beliefs influence the songs that you write?
A: I’ve found most of my songs have reoccurring themes, often told from someone else’s point of view, but they definitely coincide with my own thoughts and beliefs, or even fears. Often it’s the struggle of believing in something but at the same time feeling like you’ll never truly know until a certain defining point. Like with death.
Have you ever played in a band or gone on tour?
A: I’ve substituted in a few bands. I played drums in a band called violet for a show. It was a blast actually, it was in the middle of the desert on a trailer. I played bass for another band for one show. As for my own songs though, I’ve never performed any of them live. I need band mates. There’s just too much going on for it to be just me.
Your songs seem very atmospheric and steady, to me. Your melodies are really creative and they seem to catch on to the listener and stick with them. How would you describe your own music?
A: Well… I think it’s kind of moody. I don’t necessarily try for that, but my songs seem to end up that way. One time a girl who had been listening to my music came up to me and asked if I ever wrote happy songs. I wasn’t sure if I should be offended or not.
What are your goals for your music? Where do you want to go with it?
A: Honestly music is just a hobby of mine. I’ve never really expected to go too far with it. The fact that one person can send me an email telling me they really enjoy what I do is good enough for me. I don’t want to be a hotel room destroying, drug addicted rock star or anything. However, I do plan to start playing shows this fall in the Salt Lake area. A friend of mine and I are working together on some stuff.
Your MySpace mentions that you have a CD. Care to elaborate? How can we get a hold of one?
A: I’ve been recording a group of songs over the past year or so that will eventually be compiled onto one disc. With artwork and everything. I’m hoping to have it finished by this fall, or winter… it’s going to be released by Slow Owl records, which is an up and coming Label founded by Andrew Ramey who happens to be a childhood friend of mine and bassist of Bedtime, my brother’s band. You can look into all that at my Myspace page.
Find Good Morning Passenger songs at http://www.myspace.com/goodmorningpassenger !