Let’s Break The Ice, how did you two meet and at what stage did The Goodboys come about?
ETHAN: We actually met years ago because Josh was very close to my oldest brother. It was in the last 4 years that we really got to know each other, which lead to us starting to write music together.
You were nominated for a Grammy along with Meduza for “Piece Of Your Heart”, congratulations! What was that whole experience like?
ETHAN: I’m still trying to process the whole thing. It was very surreal. You see it your whole life and then you suddenly get to be there, on the red carpet. It was super inspiring and made us even more driven to get another song to the Grammies next year.
JOSH: Being so young and so new to the music industry, it was like “where do we go from here?”
“Piece Of Your Heart”, seems to have been a beautiful accident in how it came about. I read that there were some differences of opinion with regards to keeping the “What? Sorry, just quickly” speaking part in. Can you tell us about that?
JOSH: It’s the craziest story. The Meduza lads are all Italian and two of them (at the time) couldn’t speak English at all. Often when you are recording songs, you have a vocal booth and an engineer’s rooms. So I was in a totally separate room recoding this idea. We had a chorus with lyrics and Simon (from Meduza) couldn’t understand what any of it meant in English. So while he was saying that, I said: “what? Sorry, just quickly” and then just started singing the “da da da part” and they loved it! That whole part of the song is the entire original take; we didn’t change it or rerecord it.
ETHAN: I think it was quite a risk leaving the speaking part in. We just weren’t sure whether people would take to it or not. What’s cool is that it invites people into the songwriting process.
Speaking of songwriting, what is your songwriting process like?
ETHAN: We normally start with a melody because that’s the bit that has worked the best so far. We like to make simple melodies that are going to stick in your head.
JOSH: One thing I’ve learned from working with the Italians is, they almost represent the European markets. There are certain words that people understand in English if they don’t speak English. So if you keep it simple, it’s easier for people outside of the US, the UK, Australia, South Africa to understand because they can latch on to simple words such as “heaven” – universal words. Simple lyrics, melodies, and universal words are our mantra.
“Faith without action is dead” – a quote of yours. What does that mean to you?
ETHAN: First of all it’s a scripture from the Bible but its also something we try and live by because its almost counter-culture to the world we live in, particularly our kind of age. It basically means, put your money where your mouth is – if you say you are going to do something, then do it.
JOSH: And beyond that, we both believe in God and what that means for our music – obviously all of the glory goes back to God. We believe everything that has happened to far is a blessing. Stuff like this doesn’t happen to almost anybody so we just have to keep thanking God for where we are at.
You have worked incredibly hard and achieved a huge amount in a year. Most people work a lifetime and don’t achieve what you have in such a short period. What is your secret?
JOSH: I was with my publishers the other day and they told me that two years ago I wrote 75 finished, produced songs that year. I think last year I wrote over a hundred. So when people think we have one song that’s got really big, the reality is, it’s one of a hundred. There is no secret. We were blessed, things aligned and it was really hard work.
ETHAN: It’s a lot about work ethic. Once the work ethic is in place, and something happens, you hit the ground running a lot more because you are already used to working when nothing is happening. Most of our advice is to just start. Even if the song is rubbish, just start, finish and move on to the next one. If you can get into a rhythm like that, you will probably strike something along the way because your work ethic is in place.
JOSH: The Grammies taught me one thing – Billie Eilish and her brother made all their songs in their bedroom with average equipment and they won like every Grammy. For “Piece Of Your Heart” – I had a Mac Book Air at the time and I don’t even think I had a microphone. There is no excuse now. Everybody has the same access to the same equipment – so just keep going.
JOSH: We have some really exciting stuff coming up. Two collaboration singles which are ninety percent locked in. Probably in the first quarter, we will release the first Goodboys single. We will be doing a whole bunch of shows, festivals and a big tour which will be announced in the next couple of weeks. We also have some amazing remixes coming out with people we love and support and super proud to be working with.
If you could Break The Ice with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
ETHAN: Prince – because there are not that many interviews with him – he’s just wild. I’ve always been a fan and my brother was a huge fan. There was a tribute to him at the Grammies and since then, I’ve dived back into his music. There is just nobody like him.
JOSH: Probably John Lennon and Diplo – imagine that as a dinner. We are huge fans of Diplo!
Talent: The Goodboys
Host: Kendal Olivia Barrett
Photographer: Jack Lewis Williams
Location: Swingers West End