For Good English, 2015 was the biggest year in the local rock band’s eight-year existence. The Rasmussen sisters, Elizabeth (vocals, guitar), Celia (bass, vocals) and Leslie (drums), mounted two tours, going as far west as Seattle, Wash. and as far south as Austin, Texas.
Good English, performing at Blind Bob’s in Dayton on Saturday, Jan. 30, is hoping to top that in 2016 with a new tour beginning in March to support the group’s upcoming second album.
Elizabeth, the older sister, recently discussed the band’s grassroots experiences on the road.
Indie touring part 1: “The most difficult part of touring as a non-signed band really boils down to guaranteeing payment at the end of the night. Without the support of a label, booking agent or manager, it can be hard to get guaranteed payments and thus we’re usually paid out from cover charges at the door.”
Road lessons: “The most surprising lesson we learned about Good English and about ourselves as sisters is that van time is personal time. Therefore Leslie always sits in the back with her headphones on and little interaction is had … until, of course, I put on ‘Electric Avenue’ and everyone takes a moment for a unified singalong.”
Indie touring part 2: “Playing new cities is difficult as an unsigned band because we’re going out completely on our own with only our own online promotion behind us. Depending on the city, there were many times where there were many people in the audience and a few occasions where we played to only a handful of people.”
On the road again: “Both of our tours have run so smoothly so far we don’t want to jinx anything. I think the only thing we are making an effort to do differently this tour is ask upfront for guaranteed payment so we can budget better than before.”
Indie touring part 3: “For the most part, booking tours is work, but it’s exciting work and is always fulfilling work when a show gets put together. Although we may not get to play the biggest venues, we’re usually able to book small to midsize venues that are the right size for us and allow personal interaction with the audience.”
Team building: “The big goal for Good English in 2016 is to tour in support of the album, make some music videos and build a team. By building a team, I mean finding a manager, booking agent, publicist, label and really anything that can become a support for us as we continue this wild adventure.”