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Lobby Boy is Burnin' Up Big Time

What can I say about Lobby Boy that hasn’t been said already? Are they cool? Yes. Does their lead singer, Chez Goodspeed ooze unbelievable charisma? Of course. Do they draw major crowds at every venue they play in? Abso-lutely.

Lobby Boy, whose name is inspired by Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, has been dominating the DIY music scene for a couple years now. Their intoxicating, dreamscape sounds mixed with hard, primal vocals make them incredibly distinct among a sea of bedroom pop and shoegaze acts.

I caught up with Chez to talk all things Lobby Boy, the touring scene and their creative writing process.

But first, a quick rundown of the members – for those who aren’t in the know:

Chez Goodspeed- lead vocal

Alberto Sifuentes Jr.- guitar and vocals

Ethan Wilson- drums, vocals, and production

Rylee Holihan- synth bass

Tristan O’Shea- lead synth

KAITLIN OWENS: Where are you all from and how’d you meet!

CHEZ GOODSPEED: We are all from Virginia! Bert and Rylee met in high school. Bert moved to Harrisonburg after highschool where he met me (Chez), Ethan, and Tristan, who were all students at JMU. We all went to house shows and participated at WXJM- a student run radio station. 

KO: What prompted the move from Harrisonburg to Richmond?

CG:I had finished school and had some friends in Richmond. Rylee went to school here and had a lot to do with convincing us to live in Richmond, too. 

I moved here in Summer of 2019, Ethan Winter of 2019, Bert Summer of 2020, Tristan Fall of 2020.

KO: Richmond was just named the #1 Town to Visit by CNN. Why do you guys like Richmond? What keeps you here?

CG:CNN mention is so wild! I have met some of the most amazing people and artists here. Hard working and humble and really funny. 

KO: I’ve seen you play live at the Camel before — it was a fantastic show. It was when you were one of the openers for KOPPS. That night was crazy because the venue was packed to the gills for your set, but then everyone left immediately after you finished playing. They didn’t even stay for the headliner! How does it feel to have such strong local support?

CG: That show was so fun and feels like so long ago now. 2 years goes by quick! Boy Jr. and Kopps are really awesome, hard working people. Touring takes SO much work and is SO expensive. If you are coming to one of our shows, please watch the touring bands! At best you might discover your new favorite band. At worst, you will walk away having seen something new. <3 

Obviously, I feel honored that anyone wants to come see us play, and simultaneously troubled that they don’t have the thought to stick around for the touring artists who are working their ass off to be there. 

KO: Chez, you have such an incredibly strong stage presence. Have you always been a performer?

CG: Lobby Boy is the only band I’ve ever been in. I stay riffing though, and that’s kinda like performing lol.

KO: Your music seems to have a harder, tougher approach to dreamscape sounds- who are your biggest inspirations?

CG: Uhhhhmmm, we love Porches, Future Islands, Japanese Breakfast, ML Buch, Nourished By Time, Leonard Cohen, Toro y Moi, Blood Orange, Lana, Gorillaz, and SZA!!!!!!  

IDK where the yelling comes from if that's what you are asking hahaha

KO: How does your creative process work? Is there someone who writes the majority of the songs then you collaborate on compositions or are you more of a jam session type of band?

CG: Ethan has this really amazing and insatiable hunger to make beats, and a lot of song ideas are born from those beats. Sometimes, we all make songs together at practice, too. There’s different ways to do it, and the songs come out totally different depending on how they were birthed. Usually, I am the second person to touch a song and put lyrics and a melody over it. Bert and I will make demos sometimes, too. But TBH it simply isn’t a true Lobby Boy song until we have all put our paws on it.

KO: What is the inspiration behind the song “Hiding from the End”?

CG: This song is FRESH off our brain. The demo was made in April and we just felt super compelled to get it out as soon as we could. Ethan and I went for a super long walk and were talking about how moot it feels to make small talk, go to parties in town and hookup culture and blah blah blah. I think we all think about it a lot. Makes me existential for sure.

When we got back to Ethan’s, they showed me the beat and I was instantly googly-eyed about it. We sat together and wrote the first verse and chorus, and then I went home and wrote the second verse the next day. Bert, Tristan, and Rylee came in after and filled their parts in. It sounds so different then the first demo looking back on it now.


“When the sex grows bitter, memories shiver, life long (its so long!), lucky to see it fold”

KO: What is the inspiration behind the song “Pure Luck (Baby’s Mix)”? This one is my absolute fav by the way… it goes really hard.

CG: So, we released Pure Luck last year, but it is actually a song Bert wrote in a former band, Bees. Ben Bland who produces and DJs as Benny B Baby was the other member. Bees was a very unique and special band in Harrisonburg. Pure Luck initially came out in 2018 and I remember thinking it was maybe the best song ever made. I feel so lucky that we got to do a version of it last year. 

Dropping remixes is fun, you can explore a new side to a song you normally wouldn’t consider due to the constraints of performing it live. I knew Benny B Baby would EAT a remix of Pure Luck, and he reaalllllly did. 

KO: I’m obsessed with your marketing and brand image. Who does your graphic design?

CG:Thank you :). It is mostly a collaboration between Rylee and I. 

We have worked with plenty of awesome artists for flyers though! Shout out @bran_mauer, @drearyqueentattoos, @_danieldthompson_, @crudcity_, @domvart, @obscuredpunk, on IG! There’s so many more I know I am missing 

KO: What is your favorite type of venue to play? What is your dream venue?

CG: I love a chaotic house show. Feels like home for us. Dream venue has gotta be the 9:30 Club.

KO: What are your aspirations for Lobby Boy? Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

CG: Pay all of our bills with it! Tour the whole ass country! Tour supporting a big band! I wanna meet Jennifer Coolidge and look her in the eyes! Put out a new album! 

Their new single, “Hiding From The End” is out TOMORROW July, 11th. Presave it on their Spotify here.

For more information on The Really Hot Tour, including upcoming dates and where to get tickets, visit their instagram @lobbyxboy


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