Pennsylvania pop-punkers Goalkeeper continue their upward trajectory, releasing their best work to date in the LP I Wish I Met You Sooner. With the help of pop-punk heavy hitters, including members of The Wonder Years and Man Overboard, Goalkeeper is clearly at the top of their game.
The album blitzes from the opening track “Car Wreck” with nostalgic lyrics, smooth production and excellent musicianship. Singer Ryan Beebe’s powerful vocals standout as some of the scene’s best. Pop-punk continues to progress with Goalkeeper showcasing how far the music has come.
The band is on the road with a handful of up-and-comers, recently sharing the stage with Games We Play. We chatted with Beebe about Goalkeeper’s newest release.
How is the tour going?
Beebe: Tour life has been going really well. This one we have had a few more off days than we normally have. We opened up for Games We Pay, which was unreal.
How are playing at house venues different than, say, playing at a bar or club?
Beebe: It depends the house venue, but usually it’s a lot more intimate. We played at one in Tallahassee that is outdoors. It was Halloween. The house was rented by a band. They know how to set the stage up. But it can be a crap shoot. You don’t know if it will a ton of people or not. There were at least 200 people at the Halloween show. People were on the roof. It was cool though… compared to a professional venue they can be super intimate… love playing house venues. Especially in Philly… that’s where you get your name out.
What was it like finally releasing the album after all these years of singles?
Beebe: It feels great. We had been working for almost two years now on the album. It was really a product of the pandemic. We released our last record in 2020 which we recorded right before the pandemic started… the day we finished, the first covid cases started popping up. But the mixing process, people can do that remotely. But once we had it all done we couldn’t tour. And Goalkeeper was built to be a live band. Not being able to play live shows, we didn’t know what to do. So we thought if we can’t play live shows we are going to release music. So “Sooner” and “Car Wreck” was created around the time we did “Happy.” So we have been working on it since then. We wanted to make sure it is the best quality and we are working with the best people we can find. I think it is the best we have done so far.
You’ve been working with Nick Bruzzese from Man Overboard for a long time, but I’m sure it was great to have him on a song.
Beebe: Working with Nick this time around was awesome…now that he is with Gradwell House, his game has stepped up tenfold. I can’t say enough good things about Gradwell House in New Jersey…studio is fantastic and we got great tones and sounds. Nick is the type who is really easy to get along with. We were able to gel with him. He was like this is dope, how can we increase the coolness of this part? And then being able to feature him on the record, we wanted to feature song writing with different people. Nick invited us over to do some song writing…we brought one rift and that turned into “Lost Reality.” I didn’t think about it until we did the vocal feature… I am a huge Man Overboard fan and hearing him sing on that, it brought me back. I actually have pictures of me and my sister posing with him at pictures at Warped Tour in 2012…and I think he has only been on one other song. So being local and seeing him work…he has worked with hundreds of bands. He is a hustler. He works with so many bands….and the fact that he wanted to be on the song and be a feature on it made me feel insanely good. It felt like we were doing the right thing…I can’t thank him enough.
“Sooner” is such a perfect pop-punk song. What was that like creating?
Beebe: Combination of a couple different things. We came up with it on the fly in band practice. And Marc (Juliano) started hitting that first riff. And then Cody came in with the driving drums… it just kind of came together really quickly. And it gave me a driving, kinda like really passionate feeling… I grew up by the beach outside of Atlantic City.. summer time is a huge thing, I’ve had the opportunity to live the summer lifestyle here. The lyrics of that song were inspired by experiences I had and experiences other people have had…. You have this really intense relationship for a short amount of time. And things just don’t connect outside of that moment in time. And that felt like it fit the vibe of the song we were creating. “Sooner” is my favorite thing we have and something I wanted to do for a long time…. I feel like it is the perfect combination of blink-182 fun and The Menzingers musicianship.
I love ‘Truth in a Frame.”
Beebe: “Truth in a Frame” was another one that we were just like jamming out in our practice space…really inspired by the way Cody’s drums came in and the energy of it. That one we had some lyrical things we tried to work into other songs…but this one ended up working out. It just had that classic pop-punk feel. We really tried to push ourselves. I would say lyrically that is my favorite song. When it comes to creativity and taking chances with similes and metaphors and stuff. It is really about coming to grips about someone who has moved on for something better for them….but you are kind being selfish and thinking I wish…there is a line I believe in the first verse “ you left me hanging at the punch line….” That line is based on a joke Cody loves to tell. And it really works.
Do you have any favorite themes or lyrics in this album?
Beebe: “Sooner” hits close to home for me…a lot of the imagery in the song is something I have experienced….”Talk About” that one is becoming a favorite of a lot of people. That one comes from an experience of being ghosted, dropping off the face of the planet…I am really glad how that came together…the ending line, “I won’t stay if there is nothing left to save,” people need to hear that because you need to be willing to let go. “Former Lives,” that one was really one that we came up with the first verse chilling in our hotel room, we went down to Nashville to write with Kevin Mahoney and Will (Pugh) from Cartel and we wanted to do some song writing with….we wrote the lyrics to the verse just in the bedroom. We were hanging out, jamming. The reason why I love that one, the lyrics point to letting go of what people want you to be, and challenge people to be themselves…there is definitely something freeing about letting go and taking that chance that you didn’t think you had.
How did it feel to play shows for the first time after the pandemic?
Beebe: We got back to it as soon as we could. We actually played our first show in July of 2021… it was funny because we played in Los Angeles, we did a one off with our manager’s band and first song, first show back, my base cut out. It was the worst start possible… but we have got back on a roll…the reaction to the new songs have been fantastic….one that I am really excited about is seeing people experience is “Talk About.” You can tell people really connect with it.
What do you have planned Next?
Beebe: We have three more dates on this tour. We will finish up in Pittsburgh… we are opening up for Allister and playing with Driveways. We have our holiday show up in Philly… but far as after that we are working on more tours for 2023. Probably after the holidays we will start writing whatever is next….I think we will do something similar with Nick…we also want to branch out with a few other song writers…one thing to note, “Half In Half Out” was cowritten with Casey with the Wonder Years…it’s kind of funny, we had no idea what to expect…but when we met Casey he immediately came in and was like “what are we doing, what do you got.” He was super intense, but in a good way.
Finally, I want to ask about your music videos. I know you put a lot of work into those.
Music videos: My trade is graphic design and content production. I used to make videos back in the day… but I was never in a band like Goalkeeper. When we first started out, we wanted to have as much fun as possible. As the project grew and grew we started working with other people. I really like how “Car Wreck” came out. That is definitely our strongest. We just had so much fun in that video. I think that is where we are at our best. When we are just goofing off and having a good time.