Federal Way band prepares to play annual Sound Off! concert Friday

After taking on a new drummer last fall and practicing in their garage twice a week, local band The Good Weird will put their hard work to the test when they perform their biggest show ever at a competition Friday.

The Federal Way band was chosen to perform at the Museum of Pop Culture’s Sound Off! in Seattle, an event that garnered about 100 submissions. Sound Off! dates back to 2001 and exposes artists to major concerts and shows, such as Bumbershoot, Sasquatch Music Festival and the Capital Hill Block Party.

“I wanted to look for something that gets our band out there, and I found Sound Off!,” The Good Weird band member Eddie Cuevas, 21, said.

Cuevas describes The Good Weird as a mix between The Strokes, a bit of Green Day and some indie rock and punk, all mixed together. PJ Covello, 20, plays the guitar and sings, while Cuevas also plays the guitar, and Alix Daniel, 20, plays drums.

Having attended Federal Way High School together, Covello and Cuevas started the band in 2014 and went through a few drummers before finally landing on Daniel in September. Since then, The Good Weird, in a way, has revamped their identity.

“We’d been in kind of a loop, me and PJ, writing songs together,” Cuevas said. “I’d be on the drums, or he’d be on the drums, and we would be guitar and vocals. Now with [Daniel] here, it’s so much easier to write songs, and it’s like a re-start, but in a more forward, directional way.”

Their first show together was on Jan. 13 at El Corazon. They’ve also played at Studio Seven.

At Sound Off! they will perform the song “OCD,” which was recorded with Kevin Veatch of Sea Hurst Cabin.

Covello said “OCD” was written about an ex-girlfriend who had obsessive-compulsive disorder. Mental illness is a reoccurring theme in most of the songs the Lakewood resident writes because, he explained, he suffers from depression and anxiety and has battled with drug addiction in the past.

“I ran away from home when I was 17,” Covello said, adding that his inspiration for his songs comes from “growing up way too fast.”

While neither Cuevas nor Daniel suffer from addiction, Covello said both grew up in fairly poor communities, and Daniel said he suffers from social anxiety.

“I’ve been playing since I was 8 to 9 years old, and growing up, I never really knew how to talk,” Daniel, a Bothell resident, said. “I have crazy social anxiety, so music and drums specifically were a good outlet for me.”

Covello said his goals for The Good Weird’s music is to promote people having an open mind about mental illness.

“There’s a big stigma in talking about it openly, and creating music that delves into those issues can really unite my generation,” he said, adding that he believes his generation is the “sickest generation ever,” with some of the worst issues.

Although Covello led the way in writing lyrics in the past, Cuevas said they now share much of the writing and often make songs simply by jamming in the garage where they practice twice a week.

The Good Weird has performed twice at Steel Lake Park with an acoustic set and has a goal of booking more shows and gaining a greater following in the future. To listen to their music, visit www.facebook.com/TheGoodWeird or thegoodweird.bandcamp.com.

For more information about Sound Off!, or to buy tickets, visit www.mopop.org/programs-plus-education/programs/sound-off/.

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