2012 Q. & A. with Toby Goodshank


1. Where do you live now and why did you leave NYC?

I'm living in Berlin, Germany. I left Brooklyn because Deenah (of Ladies of Old Hat) received a grant for journalism to be carried out in Berlin. Deenah invited me to live here so that I could spend time with her, to help with her projects, and to pursue my own art and music projects without the hindrance of being employed full time.

2. Are you going to continue painting now that you are no longer in
the same country as Adam Green and Macaulay Culkin? (Toby is part of
an art-collective with these gentlemen.)

I plan to pursue painting as one of my creative outlets, for sure! I hope to have had a solo art show in Berlin before the end of my stay. Painting is fun for me, and because it's new to me I feel like there's nothin but room for me to grow! 3MB (my collective with the boys) has briefly considered doing something together in the EU as well, and in general we plan to continue hanging out and collaborating on various projects involving paint in the future.

Thanks for calling us gentlemen!

3. You quit your job that you had had for a long time.
What was that like and are you now scared regarding income?

Quitting the job felt strange. Kinda lackluster. I dunno what I expected... In general I've felt like a ghost a lot lately. Like I kinda quietly dissipated out of a lotta situations I'd been in for long periods of time. I was there for nine years, the longest amount of time that I've held any job. My boss is a kind friend... Let me leave to tour n whatnot, was always super supportive of my life outside the office...
Anyways, I was stressed-out about money while I was employed and I'm stressed now too, I don't see an end in sight for the foreseeable future. So no, not really scared, just stressed!

4. What keeps you pumping out songs like you do.
You're known amongst the Sidewalk crowd as being quite prolific.

Having no filter insofar as my compulsion to release every single thing that I had recorded was a large factor which contributed to my prolificacy in the past. Having a lotta issues that I'm unable to work out by myself, lotsa things I need to get off my chest... I think having such a powerful propellant as music excites me and makes me eager to explore as many of the various thoughts and feelings that I'm working through as possible... Unturning all the stones, cracking 'em open, treatin 'em all like geodes even if no one else seems to see it at first.

Not for nothing, but I feel like there are a number of our colleagues who get slept on in the productivity department: you, Kimya Dawson (dropped that double album plus a whole collaboraton with Aesop Rock on the way, all recorded within the same span) Julie LaMendola, Turner Cody, Paleface, Stanley Brinks, so many!

5. I understand you started working out.
What's that mean and how is that going?

Ooph! Started, stopped, started again... Just trying to keep in a lil better shape than I've been. I feel like I started to blob-out from frequently drinking myself into oblivion and eating a buncha bullshit. So nowadays I try to lay off and I feel a lil bit better, and when the spirit moves me I do some crunches or push-ups... I have yet to nail-down a solid routine, not sure if I've the self-discipline to do so. Just today bought some runnin shoes though, so we'll see.

6. What is your vision regarding how you'd like to be living (if you'd
like to be living) 5 years from now?

Five years from now, I hope to be healthier and happier and to be making things that are meaningful to me, and to be sharing those things with all people in hopes that we'll enrich one another's lives, if only just a little bit.

7. Any suggestions for guys and gals starting out--folks new to song
writing and performing?

Oh gosh, I guess I'd tell 'em not to pursue writing and performing unless it really gets them off. It's fun, but like many it can potentially be a path fraught with difficulty. I find that it's best to approach it with love and honesty. Perseverance helps, too!