Good Morning Bedlam — Interview

Tori Elker, frontwoman for Minneapolis-based folk band Good Morning Bedlam, sits down with Radio UTD’s Olivia Foster for a discussion on ice cream, time management on tour, and plans for new music.

Olivia Foster: Alright, hello, this is Olivia Foster with Radio UTD, and I am here with Tori Elker from Good Morning Bedlam. How are you doing today?

Tori Elker: Thank you so much for interviewing me and for having me on. 

Yeah, of course. It sounds like you guys are having a bit of a nice, chill day, so I’m glad I was able to catch you and your ice cream.

Yes, I am in the middle of eating ice cream, so I’m in the best mood I could possibly be in.

Exactly. Especially after being in Minnesota, where it’s decidedly not ice cream weather right now.

Yes, that’s true.

What kind of ice cream flavor did you get? Because that’s an important question.

I mixed Nutella and chai, which was really good. We went to Rose Rock Creamery in Tulsa, and it’s in a really cool, old building. I don’t know what kind of building it is, but it’s beautiful in here, so. It’s always fun when you have the day off somewhere when you’re on tour to really experience a city, and it’s been fun. We went to a sculpture park and ran around, and it’s been great.

That sounds awesome. And, running around a park is very on-brand for you guys.


It’s very Good Morning Bedlam. So how often do you guys have the time to stop in new cities and take a day like that? Because it seems like you guys are on the road all the time.

We definitely stay busy. We usually take Mondays off, unless there’s a really good opportunity that day, and we like to have at least one or two days during the week of a tour, because it can just be a lot, and having that time to rest just makes everyone happier the rest of the week.

Y’know, that makes sense, because I bet it gets exhausting after a certain point.

Mmhmm. A lot of it is like, alright, we have to leave really early, and our shows get out really late, so it’s a lot about timing and schedule. It gets strenuous, and you’re like, okay, I have to haul all of my stuff to one place and haul all of it to the next place. It’s nice when you have a day off where you’re like “okay, I don’t have to haul anything,” y’know? “I’m just responsible for me.”

That’s gotta be nice. Who out of you guys is in charge of figuring out when you’re leaving and everything?

I’m actually in charge of that. When we’re on tour, we all have jobs, but one of my jobs is to kind of tour manage, so I kind of help. I send out an agenda every evening before we go to bed saying, “This is when we’re gonna leave, and this is when we’re gonna load in,” and all that stuff. I just try to keep everyone on the same page and try to let everyone sleep in as long as possible. That’s always the goal.

That’s a good goal to have, honestly. That’s my least favorite part of any kind of vacation, or in high school, school trips, was always the waking up at the buttcrack of dawn and having to be prepared to go somewhere. I couldn’t do that almost every day, week upon week.

Yeah. Luckily, we don’t have too bad of drives this tour. Like, they’re between two and three hours every day, so it’s not terrible. It could be a lot worse.

Yeah, that doesn’t sound too bad at all. Who drives?

We all share it. So we all try to switch off and do an equal amount.

Okay. That sounds nice. And the van looks cozy. I’ve seen a lot of videos and pictures of the van and everything. So I’m sure there are worse places to be, but, gosh.

Oh yeah. It’s kind of a funny detail. So, it’s almost a year since our trumpet player Dawson joined the band. He saw the van, and he was like, “Guys, can you just let me make this awesome?” And we were like, “Yes, please.” He was like, “We’re gonna take out seats, we’re gonna put a little sleeping area in, we’re gonna make it cozy.” And he really made the van a very cozy place. So you can sleep pretty well.

Y’know what, that actually sounds amazing. So, it’s been about a year-ish since Dawson joined officially, right?

Yeah, yeah.

So, and then it’s also been about a year since your guys’ album Lulu came out.

That’s right. Actually, his first official show with us was the album release, on last February 4th.

I was gonna say, I remember that, because it’s my birthday, so I was like—

Oh my goodness! That’s awesome, happy birthday!

Oh, thank you. Did you guys do anything for the anniversary of it this year?

No, we’re on tour, and we all were like, “Oh my gosh! It’s the anniversary today!” So I think the most we did was a little Q&A on our Instagram story of, like, “What were everyone’s favorite songs on the album?” to try and celebrate it. But yeah. I forgot until the day of. I was like, oh yeah, this happened a year ago.

Well it was really funny, because it was like, I saw the Q&A, and I was like, “Oh. Well now I’m never gonna forget that that day—okay.” So it’s like, ingrained in my head forever. So, Dawson joined about a year ago, and then you guys recently lost Sophia and you gained Kat.

That’s right.

So how has that been?

It’s been amazing. I mean, we loved Sophia, because she started the band, so she’s a huge part of the writing of almost all of our songs and our history, and she’s an amazing person and player. It was just, the road was not for her. It was really making her kind of unhappy, and I think she just needed to move onto different things. And we just so happened to get connected with Kat, and it was like, right person, right place, right time. She was just gonna fill in some shows and then ended up being like, “Can I also audition for the band?” And we were like, “Of course, please, ‘cuz you’re awesome.” And it’s really been working out. We’ve been having so much fun, and we’ve gone into the studio for one song, “Elemental,” that’ll come out in March, and that’ll be with Kat and Dawson, the first song that we’re all gonna be on together. And then at the end of this month, actually, we’re going back into the studio and recording a couple more songs, so we’re really excited to just be writing together and creating together. And also the performance aspect is really fun too.

I’ve seen you guys live, and you guys are amazing performers. Like, your energy is just so off the charts. You guys just have the most infectious excitement, and it just seems like you really love what you’re doing. You guys just have the best vibe.

Thank you so much.

Of course.

It’s not put on. We really do love what we do.

No, it doesn’t even seem put on. You guys just do have a genuine excitement and passion for what you’re doing. Like, I’m so excited to see you guys on Wednesday—

Yeah, I’m excited for that too.

Yeah, you guys just have the best energy. I’m so excited. So, with Dawson and Kat being on this album, has that changed your guys’ writing process at all?

Um, a little bit, here and there. It hasn’t much changed the process so much as the influences on the music, y’know? We all try to write collaboratively, so it’s really cool to have two different musical brains on songs. And our rule for songs is like, whatever is best for the song wins when we’re coming up with ideas, and really to kill your ego when you write something. We all try to come up with ideas and write the best thing possible, and that’s why our songs sound really eclectic, because we just want to serve the songs and make it the best it can be instead of like, “Well this is how Good Morning Bedlam should sound, this is what we should play,” and instead be like, “What would be the most exciting choice? What would be the most creative choice?” And it’s been so fun to have new people on that, and new brains and new creativity involved in some of the songs. And also just, like, expertise. I wouldn’t consider myself a musician first, because I’m so much newer to it. I learned the bass when I was 22, and I’m 28, so I guess I’ve been playing for—oh my gosh, six years now, that’s crazy. Time has flown. But having Kat and Dawson in the band now, both of them are just incredible musicians and actually understand theory in a different way, and understand song structure in a different way. It’s just such a treat to get to write with them, for sure.

No, that sounds awesome. Yeah, I’m so excited to see y’all again Wednesday, because yeah, when I had seen you guys this summer, you really do have this really big, eclectic, energetic sound, and I saw you guys at the Brookings Arts Festival with my sister, and I think I spoke with you at the merch table after—


—and I think I asked you, “Do you listen to Florence + the Machine?” because you guys each had such an individualistic sound that comes together so nicely. You guys are all insanely talented. I don’t know, I’m so excited to see you guys again. You’re so fun to watch.

Thank you so much! I’m really pumped for the Dallas show, because I’m actually from Fort Worth. I grew up in Roanoke, Texas, which is over by the motor speedway. But I’m just excited to be back in that area and actually playing at Club Dada, which will be fun. And of course, added to that show, we’re opening for our friends, The Arcadian Wild, and I’m so excited. Because, they’re incredible as well. So that show is going to be all-around great, all-around fun. And yeah, I’m excited. It’ll be fun to play.

Yeah no, it’ll be really nice. And I think Club Dada just had some renovations done as well, if I’m not mistaken. Like, they were in the middle of renovating when I went there at the beginning of November, so. But I don’t know. Deep Ellum is such a nice area to go to see concerts in. It just has such a nice vibe. So yeah, I’m so ready for Wednesday. I’ve been hyping it up all week. I’ve washed my Good Morning Bedlam shirt and everything. You guys have me so excited, I’ve done laundry. So, this is a momentous occasion.

I feel honored, wow. Thank you, aw.

So you mentioned that you guys were in the recording studio for a new single, “Elemental.”


So when in March is that coming out?

That is coming out March 24th. Yeah, the end of March. So, we’ll be putting it on all our socials and everything coming up really soon. So you’ll be seeing a lot of advertisements for that for sure.

Well, that’s exciting. I remember all the “Sticks & Stones” advertisements, and those were fun, so I’m excited to see ones for “Elemental.”

We also will have a music video coming out for it as well. Just like with “Sticks & Stones,” we had a video, with this one, it’ll be a mix of stop-motion and animation, so it will be very different for us. But I’m really excited, because I don’t even know what it looks like yet.

That’s exciting. And then you mentioned that you guys are working on some more things, so is “Elemental” just going to be a standalone single, or is it kind of precursing more of an upcoming album for you guys?

Y’know, right now, we’re going into the studio, we have about three songs that are ready to be recorded, and then we have a couple more cooking, and so our goal was to like go, okay, well maybe we’ll get an EP out, and “Elemental” and “Sticks & Stones” will also be on that EP, so we can sell them physically to people. And then our goal would be to have another EP come out soon after that, and do a side-A, side-B sort of thing. So have two EPs that flow together. But we’ll see what happens. We might have a whole album. We’ll see.

That’s so exciting, oh my gosh.

Yeah, we’re pumped. I don’t know how many of the new songs we’ll play at Club Dada, but we’re definitely going to play some brand new ones that aren’t recorded, and we’re really excited.

Oh, now I’m even more excited, because I know I have some friends back in South Dakota, and a couple who have moved to Minneapolis and everything, who follow and listen to you guys. So I’ll get to rub it in that I’ve heard new, unreleased stuff, and they haven’t. Oh, perfect.

Please do, yeah.

So, I know you are probably gonna want to get back to frolicking through parks and your ice cream, so I will let you go with just one more question.

For sure.

Okay so I guess, my main question is, what is your favorite song off the Lulu album? Because like, I have a guess, but I want to know if I’m right.

Hmm. I think that my favorite song is “Salt,” because I wrote it, and I feel very proud of it. I felt like, not only was the writing very collaborative, but I felt like in the recording process, and in the way we were able to capture it, it captured how I felt about the song. And that was such a cool moment. And also, I felt like I had a lot of input on every single piece of it, and that felt really—y’know, after you put it all together and I heard the first mix of it back, I was like, that is exactly how I envisioned it in my head, and it’s a really cool feeling to have that sound exactly how you imagined it. So, I think “Salt.”

That was my guess, so I’m feeling proud of myself right now. Okay, yeah, perfect … I don’t have anymore questions, so I will let you get back to everybody, and to Tulsa, but thank you so much—

Thank you.

—yeah, for being willing to give me a call and sit down, and I will see you guys on Wednesday.

Awesome. See you soon. Thanks for calling.

See you soon. Yeah, of course! Bye.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here