Pop/alt-rock band, The GoAround, has weathered many changes since their inception in 2006, but after a myriad of member switches the band now revolves around two core members, brothers Alexander and Anthony Saddic. The East coast band is still based in their hometown of West Chester, Pennsylvania and has garnered a local fan base by playing shows with other well-known local acts – a fan base that they’re hoping to expand to a national level in the coming months.
Their debut album, entitled Restating The Question, was released August 10, 2012 and features “Fooled”, a song about the band’s experience with bullying. Written from the perspective of the bully, Fooled is a song about how easily an individual can overlook the power of their words. In their own words, The GoAround want you to know that, “[Our] songs lyrically serve to motivate people to analyze what they stand for… Everybody is essentially chasing the same things: Love, acceptance and happiness. That to me is the common thread that unifies all of mankind… and that is the point that we are trying to make.”
How did you come up with the name of your band The GoAround?
Alex: A “Go-Around” is when a pilot fails a landing, perhaps by overshooting the runway or something like that, and needs to literally go around and try again. I have always been fascinated by aviation, and as a band we want to empower people, so a piloting term with a metaphorical representation about redemption seemed perfect.
What was the first album you remember buying?
Alex: Backstreet Boys - Millennium Anthony: Hit Parade - Audio Adrenaline
Being two brothers in the band, do you think that your bond is stronger than most bands? What are some difficulties you encounter that may differ from other musicians?
Alex: Musically it makes us very tight. We can sort of sense each other’s next move when we are writing or jamming and it makes music-making a much more freeing experience than with other people. We both like the same music too, so we don’t typically have any musical issues when we play together. The area where it becomes troubling is that we are both hard headed guys who have been living together all of our lives, so when it comes time for decision making we tend to butt heads and things can get ugly, haha.
What artists influence you or provide you with inspiration to draw from?
Alex: We have a very assorted library of influences. Everything from Led Zeppelin, Smokey Robinson and Pink Floyd to Herbie Hancock, Foo Fighters, Savage Garden, Linkin Park and The Backstreet Boys, haha. One thing that is very important to us is musical diversity. We don’t ever want to fall into a niche where we would become so comfortable that we would cease to grow as musicians. I think that by experimenting in all genres we are able to keep ourselves well rounded and open-minded. Anthony: Lots of people, when you ask them what they listen to, say “a little bit of everything.” … Well, we REALLY listen to EVERRYYTHING. I think that our eclectic bunch of musical influences helps us create more unique and diverse sound that can be enjoyed by people all across the board. The artists that inspire me the most are ones who are adventurous with their music. I think that is what made bands like The Beatles and Queen and Led Zeppelin so special.
What motivates you and gives you hope?
Alex: One thing that I have learned is that every emotional season is exactly that, a season. And seasons come and go. Every time I find myself in a state of depression, sadness or anger, I force myself to recognize that it will pass. Every time that I have successfully weathered one of these seasons, I find myself more prepared for the next one. Music has always helped me to cope with tough times. Often times sad songs help me to realize that I am not the only who feels this way, and so I feel less alone. And of course, happy songs give me hope and a vision for a brighter future. Anthony: It gives me a lot of hope and joy to know that I’m not in control. When sucky things happen, I know I can’t do anything about it so I should make the best out of it. It’s important to relinquish a certain amount of control in your life. That’s the secret of the keys to the answer of the question of the meaning of life as far as I’m concerned.
You strongly believe in standing up against bullying. Does your inspiration come from personal experience or from being a witness to bullying?
Alex: Both. In elementary school, I was very much a loner. I had a few friends, but I never really “fit in” so to speak. I was also very immature which I am sure didn’t help, but nonetheless I was just a young kid who wanted to be loved and accepted. A lot of the things that were said to me as a kid still ring in my head and often make me insecure as a young adult. In middle school, I moved to a different school and had a much better experience. In high school, I was actually somewhat popular, but having been a veteran victim of bullying I could see it happening to other kids and it broke my heart. I always do my best to make everyone feel welcomed when they are around me. Having been so lonely for so many years I would never wish that on anyone, and I want to spread a message of hope to isolated kids through my music so that they may feel less alone and develop a sense of hope for their future. Anthony: It sucks that people always seem to remember more negative words than positive, but I guess that’s the way we work. Somebody has probably said something to you at some point in your life that really hurt you and still hurts you, but they probably don’t ever remember saying it. You’ve really gotta make an effort to not cut people down because it could do a lot more damage than was ever intended. I hope that I’ve said something positive to somebody that has stuck with them ever since…
Do you think music can change human behaviour or at the very least do you think it can inspire people to make changes?
Alex: Absolutely. Music is what got me through all of the toughest seasons of my life. As a depressed and suicidal teenager, it was an album called “Nothing is Sound” by the band Switchfoot that turned my whole attitude upside down. “Golden” and “The Shadow Proves The Sunshine” took away my desire not to live and helped me to visualize myself doing great things with my life. It literally saved me. If I can do that for even one person through my songs I would feel that I have succeeded, but obviously I hope to reach many more than that. Anthony: I believe that the music that you listen to can and will change your entire mindset and even help shape your beliefs and feelings about life and stuff.
How do you hope your music will affect others?
Alex: I think my last answer sort of covered this one, haha. I want it to change people’s attitude towards life, and to make them evaluate themselves and what they stand for so that they may feel an increase in their desire to “do” rather than simply imagining themselves doing the things that they dream about. Anthony: I hope that our music lets people know that they aren’t alone. Feeling alone in a world of 7 billion people is awful and nobody should feel that way. Music lets people be much more honest than they would be in conversation, and we hope that when WE are honest with our feelings through our music, somebody listening will relate and be like “Ooooh, so there ARE other people that feel this way! I’m NOT alone!”.
Which of your songs do you feel speaks to the issue of bullying the most and why?
Alex: The song “Fooled” is directly about my experience with bullying. Written from the perspective of a bully, it is sort of a self-evaluation. When people put others down, they are essentially shifting negative attention away from themselves and onto the other person. Even though I don’t think all bullies are conscious of it, their actions directly correspond with their own insecurity. “I honestly fooled myself. I’m not fooling anyone else. I honestly could not tell when I fooled myself.” This line is a bully admitting that he had himself convinced that he was above his victim and that he was entitled to treating others as poorly as he did. He then realizes that such entitlement doesn’t exist, and that perhaps he needs to re-evaluate his own motives.
What is the best piece of advice someone has given you?
Alex: I always find the best advice in music. There is a line in the song “Golden” that I mentioned earlier that goes like this, “You’re a lonely soul in a land of broken hearts. You’re far from home, it’s the perfect place to start.” There is so much wisdom in that line. Happiness is a journey, and there is no journey that begins at the destination. The people who have experienced the absence of love and happiness will be so much more equipped to understand and appreciate it once they find it. People who have overcome great hurdles such as depression and neglect have so much influence over struggling people. They are a beacon of hope and a symbol of strength and the ability to overcome. I wholeheartedly believe that.
What is some advice you can give to someone who is being bullied and is having a hard time standing up for themselves?
Alex: It is important to recognize that the actions of a bully are a sign of his weakness and insecurity, and that maintaining a positive self-image despite being put down is a sign of strength. I believe that all people have equal and infinite potential. If you can harness that potential and see past the negativity, you will not only be successful in your own life, but you will be left with the satisfaction of knowing that no other person, no matter how hard they may try, has the power to determine your value. It is your own attitude and actions that will determine your place in the world. There’s an old saying that success is the best revenge. It’s true.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us about The GoAround?
Alex: This Sunday, Feb 17th we are shooting a music video for our first single, “Her Love is Like Glass” that will be out soon. You can be the first to see it if you join our email list, or by liking us on Facebook. Thank you so much!