Pool Kids: “We’re working on the very first new song ideas for LP3”

Introduce yourself to Pool Kids before they take the UK by storm this spring.

Florida-based emo math-rock quartet Pool Kids are on their way to the UK. With a string of dates confirmed for April (supporting La Dispute) and May (headlining), they’re kicking up a fuss for the UK release of their self-titled album, out this spring via Big Scary Monsters. Christine Goodwyne spills the beans.

Hi Christine, how’s it going? What are you up to today?

I’m doing well today; a little stressed but having a good time. I’m currently in a green room in Nashville, on tour playing guitar and some backing vocals for our good friends in Woolbright. I play my last show with them in Atlanta tomorrow before Andy picks me up and drives me to Pool Kids practice before our tour supporting PUP and Joyce Manor! So yes, very stressed and busy, but I’m doing what I love, so it’s worth it.

Who are you all, and what are your roles within the group?

I’m Christine Goodwyne, on vocals and guitar. Then there’s Andy Anaya also on guitar, Nicolette Alvarez on bass, and Caden Clinton on drums. The four of us make up Pool Kids; this is the lineup we both write with and tour with. We are a long-distance band, but we meet up in Chicago before tours to marathon practice. Luckily, we’re on the road a good amount, so we never go too long without seeing each other.

What first sparked your interest in making music? Did it come naturally for you? 

My earliest memory of wanting to play music is probably from 3rd grade; I remember being in my bedroom air-guitaring to NFL beer commercials. Playing guitar has just always felt like what I was supposed to be doing, for as long as I can remember. Women in my family pushed me towards piano, so I took piano lessons, but a friend bought me a small First Act guitar in 5th grade, and I never looked back.

Can you remember the first-ever song you guys wrote together? 

‘Further’ and ‘Waking Up’ were the first demos I brought to the full band to flesh out together. Our first record was just Caden and I, so our self-titled record is our first record as a full band, and it really shows. You can hear how much more thought and talent went into these songs than the last record. 

Give us the potted history of Pool Kids – what have you been up to so far? 

Pool Kids started in December 2016 in Tallahassee, FL. Caden and I were in another band (my first band) that had to break up because the primary songwriter turned out to not be a great person. We decided to continue on another project together that I would front, and we agreed to be extra careful about who we decide to bring in as the bassist and other guitarist. We booked shows as a two-piece in my backyard until other people started to book us, finally found Nicolette and Andy, did a couple of hellish DIY tours that I booked myself, and finally started getting asked to hit the road opening for some awesome bands. We saved as much money as we could for those support tours and used it to record our second record, and here we are now, about to tour internationally for the first time! It will be my first time really leaving the States. 

Is there a singular feeling or intent behind your songs? What do you tend to aim for? 

Our songs don’t revolve around a singular feeling, but there are some recurring themes of self-reflection and frustration. I sometimes aim to convey some more complicated grey area feelings that I know other people can relate to but don’t necessarily hear in a lot of other music. For example, there are billions of songs about being sad after getting dumped, but a lot fewer describing the polarising, confusing, flip-flopping emotions that happen throughout a mutual breakup. It can be hard to put into words sometimes. 

What are you working on at the moment? 

Right now, we’re working on the very first new song ideas for LP3. I only have one real demo as of right now, and we’ve worked it out as a full band, and I like where it’s heading. Now I just need to get some more demos out for us to work on. Other than writing, we’re working on making a self-contained IEM (in-ear monitoring) system, and working on developing our Patreon, which just launched this January. 

Are you creative in non-musical ways too? 

I personally have zero hobbies or creative outlets outside of music, other than some hand embroidery that I do for the band. I want to get into making/altering clothes, though, and I just got my first sewing machine. Nicolette is also an illustrator and designs things for our Patreon and is thinking about getting into tattooing. Andy has been toying around with photography and has taken some of the best pics of us on tour, and he’s also a great writer. Caden also shoots film and builds/restores drums and percussion accessories. 

Who else do you think is doing exciting things in music at the moment? 

I think King of Heck is doing some really interesting things in music right now. I feel like I’ve never heard anything like their most recent record before, and I can’t wait to hear more. It scratches an itch I never knew I had. 

You’re coming to the UK soon – have you been before? Is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to seeing or doing while you’re here? 

I have never left America other than one show we played in Toronto recently in the middle of a tour! I’m so excited to play music and connect with people that live so far away. My grandfather used to always ramble about how people in Europe have urinals that are just out in the open, and people just pee in public?! I would love to partake, but I’m assuming that’s only for men. Anyway, I’m most excited to just see all of the small little cultural differences like that; that’s so fun to me. 

Taken from the April 2023 edition of Upset – order a copy below. Pool Kids’ self-titled album is out 7th April.