Kali Ra with The Kamals and Psychic Milk
8 p.m. Saturday
113 N. Crawford, Norman
Most musicians are reluctant to speak about a band breakup, but when they do, it’s almost always in a pre-approved, press-release manner that may as well be the recording industry’s version of the once-romantic couple’s face-saving lie: “It was a mutual decision.”
But local musician David Goad has no problem baring his soul.
“I’ve been in [the Oklahoma music scene] since I was 18,” Goad said. “But nothing I did was ever worth paying attention to until about three years ago, when I was in the band Of the Tower. We had a small, but fervent group of fans, and we did dark, post-punk stuff. They really dug that. I really dug that.”
It was at the height of this local success when differences about “directions and goals” caused creative fractures in the group, eventually leading to its demise.
“Namely, I wanted to make records and play gigs and do festivals, and do it to the fullest extent that anybody could possibly do a band. And that means, to at least a certain degree, some kind of commercial success,” Goad said. “They weren’t on for that, for the most part.”
From this dissolution, Goad re-evaluated his music and persona to form Kali Ra, which has a sound he said audiences have compared to David Bowie and Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy.
“Out of that breakup, I took it as a carte blanche — a tabula rasa, if you will — for me to take all the songwriting skills and performing skills and business skills that I’ve learned and do what I wanted to do. I had free reign with it. Kali Ra is liberating,” Goad said.
“Of the Tower was sort-of a clichéd Goth band or darkwave band. Kali Ra is far less clichéd. The way that I wrote the songs for Kali Ra is like orchestral pop songs: very baroque. The treatments that I applied to them afterwards — there are various styles that go into it, like David Bowie glam rock and industrial music and British electronic music and what have you. But it sounds like Kali Ra. It’s original.”
Describing himself as “creatively happy” right now, he said fans of his work in the past will “not be disappointed” by Kali Ra’s upcoming live shows, which includes Saturday at the Opolis in Norman.
He promised to continue his “Iggy Pop stage antics” and has plans to incorporate multimedia facets into his stage act.
“In fact,” he said, “we have a large undertaking under way after the release of this first album [set to release in February] to produce something very large. I can’t give away too many details, but it could be my flagship.”
Even with such promised live spectacle, Goad still realizes that, in the end, it’s all about the music.
“It’s what people want and it’s what I want: good, crafted songs and a good package of wonderful musicians to deliver it in,” he said. “Ultimately, my goal with Kali Ra is for the most amounts of people to listen to and be entertained by the live performances.”
Hey! Read This:
• Of the Tower interview