Local band Good English keeps it all in the family.
It all started with a Green Day song.
Having found new instruments under the Christmas tree nine years ago, the Rasmussen sisters decided it was time to get serious about starting band.
“We spent all day learning that song and how to play our instruments,” says Elizabeth Rasmussen, 22, guitarist and lead vocalist. “It was so much fun.”
With the full support of their parents, John and Anne Rasmussen, Elizabeth and her sisters Celia, 20, and Leslie, 18, formed Good English and started looking for their true sound.
Initially, the sisters participated in a band camp at Hauer Music, still learning their instruments and how to play together. After a few tries with additional bandmates, the ladies have settled into their threesome with Celia on bass and Leslie on drums.
“We played a few gigs during high school and started writing our own songs and released an EP—Take Control,” says Elizabeth, “But we really hadn’t decided on music as a career.”
Elizabeth went to the University of Dayton and graduated last spring, while Leslie was finishing high school and Celia was a sophomore at Wright State University. The girls took a step back to make a conscious decision on what was next for them as musicians.
Says Leslie, “I thought I would go to college like all my friends. Making the decision to take a gap year and focus on the band was really hard for me.”
But that’s what they did.
Again, with the full support of their parents, the sisters are taking this year to put all their efforts toward growing a fan base regionally, and it’s paying off. The group kicked off the premiere TEDx Dayton event in the fall of 2013 and has continued to book gigs in and around the city.
“Dayton is a comfortable place for us to grow our dream,” shares Elizabeth. “We can drive to and get gigs in so many music-friendly markets and [we] have.”
The band has performed in Cincinnati, Bloomington and all over Dayton, with upcoming shows planned for Kent, Lexington and Cleveland. They have also applied to SXSW 2015 in Austin, and are hoping to play several music festivals next summer.
Having developed “their” sound, which they describe as eclectic indie rock with a dark, rich vibe, Good English released their first full-length album, Radio Wires, in 2013 and are streaming on Bandcamp and Spotify. And their fame is growing. Recently, Leslie got to meet a fan from Oklahoma.
“She came into Clash [Consignment], where I work part-time, and recognized me! She said that she was a huge fan and listened to us on Spotify all the time. It was so cool for both of us.”
Thanks to their grandparents’ generous offer, the sisters have a full-time practice set-up in an Oakwood neighborhood. They love all the folks who stop to listen while walking their dogs.
The plan is to continue writing new music and playing as much as possible while learning the business side of the music industry.
“Until then, we appreciate the support from all of our fans and our family. We couldn’t do it without them,” adds Celia.
Find Good English CDs at Clash Consignment, Omega Music and Toxic Beauty Records in Yellow Springs. Follow them on Facebook and at GoodEnglishBand.com to find tour information.