Doug Martsch (Built to Spill) Talks with Kenny Becker (Goon) on the Talkhouse Podcast

Two similar songwriters from different eras on finding the magic.

On this week’s Talkhouse Podcast we’ve got a couple of fantastic songwriters from the indie-rock world: Kenny Becker and Doug Martsch.

Martsch I’m guessing our listeners will know as the chief songwriter and sole consistent member of Built to Spill, the band that made Boise, Idaho famous. Built to Spill has been an ongoing concern since the early 1990s, releasing a ton of great albums at a fairly leisurely pace, including stone classics like There’s Nothing Wrong With Love and Keep it Like a Secret. The Built to Spill lineup has mutated a bunch of times over the years, and that’s never been more true than for the genesis of their latest album, When the Wind Forgets Your Name. Writing and recording the album was done with members of the Brazilian band Orua, but the latest live lineup features Martsch alongside a pair of incredibly talented young women from up-and-coming bands: Prism Bitch’s Teresa Esguerra and Blood Lemon’s Melanie Radford. They bring a new energy to this storied band. Check out the hilarious video for “Fool’s Gold” from When the Wind Forgets Your Name.

Goon has a much shorter history than Built to Spill, having really started as Kenny Becker’s solo project around 2015. Along with some college friends, Becker recorded Goon’s dreamy debut album Heaven is Humming. But that lineup was slowly lost to attrition and now, like Martsch, Becker has an entirely new set of players alongside a brand new album, Hour of Green Evening. This new one was recorded in a more bandlike setting, as you’ll hear in this chat, and Becker even had some help from Alex Fischel of Spoon. Check out the sweet and tender “Emily Says” from that new record.

In this chat, Becker and Martsch talk about recording in a studio versus recording at home; they talk about finding those eureka moments in the studio, Built to Spill’s recent cover of a Cate Le Bon song, and getting musical ideas from TikTok. Enjoy.

Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast and thanks to Doug Martsch and Kenny Becker for chatting. If you like what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all of the other Talkhouse network shows. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!

(Feature Image Credit: left, Alex Graham; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)

Talkhouse curates musicians, actors, filmmakers, and others in their respective fields to speak one-on-one with their peers via the Talkhouse Podcast and Talkhouse Live events. The Talkhouse Podcast offers listeners a unique insight into the creative work of creators across all genres and generations. Subscribe now to stay in the loop on future episodes.