Indie 101: Geoff Koch

In my opinion, SXSW made a Gigantosaurus Rex mistake in 2008 by not accepting Geoff Koch’s (pronounced like ‘coke,’ not ‘cock’) offer to play at the festival. The way that he handled the rejection: he banded together with a huge group of musicians in Austin that do not support the event–and they all played at anti-SXSW themed venues. According to Geoff, “a growing number of people are sick of the long lines, and short sets”. So, ladies and gentlemen, meet Geoff Koch: a young musician and author who will not take “No” for an answer. Give him a barrier and he will surely find a way to destroy it. Even talking about his drive makes me feel like I should sign up to run a marathon.

In 2006, Geoff Koch was the winner of the People’s Choice Award for Best Singer-Songwriter in St.Louis. However, in 2008, as you read this, his brand new album–that was recorded with Wilco’s first drummer, Ken Coomer–is being mixed and mastered. This is hot off the press, people!

I spoke with Geoff the other day about how recording the new album went, and he told me that the 12 day endeavor consisted of 10-12 hour sessions (this makes me not want to sign up to run a marathon), and that it was “Fascinating to experience the feelings of transitioning from tracking instruments and overdubs to listening to mixes and final mixes.” He also said, “Mix time was after we’d been burnt out for a week, so it was an incredible challenge to care if there was food on my shirt, let alone if the shaker sounds good enough on a chorus somewhere…” But after listening to a few sneak-peeks off the album, I would have put money on the fact that they were all well rested, hydrated, nourished, and completely focused. Geoff, who was born and raised in St.Louis, Missouri, recorded this album in Nashville and said, “The talent pool in Nashville is crazy. I’ve been blessed to be around amazing people on both sides of the board for this record.”

You can listen to a few of the tracks that are going to be on the new album at My personal favorites out of this batch are Pro-War and Don’t Leave Me Now. I can tell that this album is going to be one that represents the range of Geoff Koch’s instrumental and vocal diversity. Sonicbids actually described Geoff and this album as “Elliott Smith’s XO meets Wilco’s Summerteeth with a dash of Sigur Ros Soundscapes having a drink with Ryan Adams and Salvador Dali.”

Additionally, Geoff wrote a book about his experiences on a seven-week tour that took him across the country in 2006, and is currently looking for a publisher. I’m not concerned about Geoff not finding a publisher, because as I said in the first paragraph, ‘Geoff Koch destroys barriers.’ If he can’t find a publisher, he’ll create one.

Click play to listen to my interview with Geoff Koch. This clip includes Geoff talking about his book, his inspiration behind the song Chasing After You, and of course the song Chasing After You.

You will love Geoff Koch of you love: John Mayer, Howie Day, and O.A.R.

Geoff Koch at Myspace. (Go here to listen to a new demo that he just put up)

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