Forming a Band in College: An Interview with JD Eicher

Last Thursday I wrote about starting a band in college.  Since then I’ve had the opportunity to interview JD Eicher, singer and guitarist for a band that formed at my Alma Matter.  JD Eicher and the Goodnights have managed to make music their full time job since graduating in 2009 and just released their second album, Shifting.

Cody:  How did the band form?

JD:  I started off as a solo acoustic singer/songwriter, and I wanted to flesh out the songs with full band arrangements, so I started looking for players. They were all people I had heard play – friends or acquaintances.

Cody:  Any crazy tour stories?

JD:  Haha too many! …especially in the early years, when I would take any gig. I’ve played solo acoustic at a metal show, I’ve played at a drive-in movie theater on Halloween weekend (between two horror films), and we’ve driven 8 hours through snow storms, slept in hilariously disgusting hotel rooms, etc. It never ends, but as crazy as it sounds, those adventures are what make this job so much fun… and sometimes scary.

We actually have a video series called Tour Story:

Cody:  What is the most famous band you have played a show with?

JD:  We’ve opened for Coldplay, Rod Stewart, Bryan Adams, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bret Michaels (of Poison), 38 Special, Pete Yorn, Cartel, and Anberlin, among others.

Cody:  Where is your favorite place to play a concert?

JD:  That’s a tough one. Playing at the Alma Mater (Westminster College) is always fun, but we really enjoy playing all kinds of venues. Colleges and festivals tend to be our favorites.

Cody:  What’s it like being on the road?

JD:  It’s hectic and tiring, but I often find myself craving it when I’m not touring. The adventure and my love of playing in new places make it worth it.

Cody:  A lot of people think that being in a band is all fun, but there’s plenty of hard work involved, right?

JD:  YES. I work all day long making phone calls and sending emails and press kits, and we’re constantly working on new marketing, ordering/designing new merch, working on various web sites, writing songs, and practicing new and old material. After a long day of work, then I go to the show that night and work!

Cody:  What’s the best part about being a musician?

JD:  The music. For me, nothing beats writing songs and performing them. I love it, and I go through all of the other hassles because it’s worth it to me. I can’t see myself doing anything else.

Cody:  What do you have to say to anyone who is thinking of pursuing a music career after college?

JD:  It’s way more work than you think. Make sure it is the ONLY thing you can see yourself doing. If that’s the case, though, dive in and be persistent and patient.

Cody:  Any advice on forming a band in college?

JD:  Find good musicians you get along with and get together and play. You’ll know when you’ve found potential band mates. Sometimes it comes right together, and sometimes it takes time, but the best thing to do is just start.

Cody:  Do you ever wish you had decided to pursue a career in your major of study instead of pursuing a music career?

JD:  I majored in music and business, so this is actually one of the only things I can do haha.

Cody:  Here’s your chance to plug your band. What do you want the world to know about JD Eicher and the Goodnights:

JD:  We love making music, and we’d love for you to check us out. We’ve released two full-length albums (on iTunes, Amazon, etc.), and we’re always working to get the music to more ears. Please visit or and give us a listen!

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