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Published on May 16th, 1996 | by Gerry Galipault

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Together for Goodness sake

Tired of the negativism in your band? Just form a new one.

That is how Carrie Akre solved her problem with her guitar-oriented group Hammerbox a few years ago. She nailed that chapter in her life shut, then constructed Goodness with a proof-positive pop sound.

“In Hammerbox, we got too uptight to the point where nobody was talking to anybody and it really wasn’t going to change,” Akre said recently of the Seattle-based band that had an album called “Numb” on A&M in 1993. “It was like a dysfunctional family. I personally couldn’t stand to be that miserable, play music and be in a band most of my life with people who aren’t getting along.”

The prerequisite for joining Akre’s Goodness was stability.

“It was started in the sense that I wanted everyone to be grown-ups,” she said, “and if this is a problem, you have to be able to work it out, to be nice people. You have to be balanced. If you have a problem, you talk about it right away.

“You can’t put five people together who don’t know each other that well and not have someone go, ‘You really bug me when …’ That’s why we get along so well, we can communicate with each other.”

So far so good for Goodness.

The quintet’s self-titled debut album, originally issued on the indie label Y Records in September, will be re-released on Lava/Atlantic on May 21. They did a version of “Electricity” for the lighthearted “Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks” tribute disc, and they will appear at the Board Stiff snowboarding event sponsored by KNDD in Seattle on May 30, along with Bad Religion, Candlebox and Possum Dixon.

Guitarist Danny Newcomb is one who can attest to Goodness’ family atmosphere.

“One of the things about this band is that everybody has their own personality, has an opinion about what should happen,” he said. “A lot of good things come out of a certain amount of conflict and talking things out.”

Newcomb first heard Akre’s mighty voice on a demo she had passed around. He later introduced himself, quickly developed a rapport and helped assemble Goodness, rounding up drummer Chris Friel, guitarist Garth Reeves and bassist/cellist Fiia McGann.

Sexy and sultry are the most common words critics use to describe Akre’s stage presence. She loves the attention, but …

“I think if that was the only I had going on, I’d be pretty depressed, but they always seem to follow up with something else, which is good.”

BWF (before we forget): Goodness jumped to Immortal/Epic and its follow-up album, “Anthem,” was released on Oct. 6, 1998. … Find Goodness on the Web @ www.goodness.com.

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Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



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