The Cardboard Meteorite plans for Chicago debut at Goose Island Brewery

By Brian Dukerschein

Dan Goers, 27, couldn’t find a job in his field after graduating from Columbia in 2007 with a degree in radio. After working a number of sales jobs, he left the city to work at a radio station in Mendota, Ill., for a year. When he returned to Chicago, he reconnected with Dave Roby, 28, a friend from high school who introduced him to Jake Goodman, 30, and Ted Leonteos, 31. The four started playing music in Goodman’s basement and discovered they could combine their contrasting musical styles. With Goers on lead guitar, Goodman on lead vocals and guitar, Roby on bass and Leonteos on drums, they formed The Cardboard Meteorite nine months ago.

The Chronicle spoke with Goers about songwriting, the group’s upcoming debut performance and the relative safety of falling cardboard.

The Chronicle: Your band has quite a name. Why did you choose it?

Dan Goers: We were thinking a meteorite is this fascinating spectacle. When you see it in the air, people love it and they want to see it, but it can be dangerous. What we would get at is you have this piece of cardboard coming down, visually stimulating, but if it came down and hit someone, it wouldn’t hurt anybody. That kind of describes what we’d like our music to sound like. We want our music to be audibly stimulating, but at the same time we’re all a bunch of peaceful people, and we just like to have a good time and put on a good show.

The Chronicle: How would you describe your sound?

DG: I would say our genre is a pretty broad fusion of music. It’s rock ‘n’ roll mixed with blues, pop and some classic rock influences. It’s a difficult type of music to describe. One guitarist is a hippie player, and he likes hippie jam band music. Our singer is an indie guy, and I am more of a hard rock guy.

The Chronicle: Who writes your songs?

DG: The way we were writing songs was everyone would bring an entire song to the table, but when we were playing all our

songs in a row, it was just feeling like all the songs were super different. So we trashed all of the songs and restarted. Over the last four months, we’ve been on this different path in which we’re creating songs as a unit as opposed to individuals. That’s why it’s taken us so long to get out there and actually perform.

The Chronicle: Is it a challenge having four people with such different musical tastes writing songs together?

DG: It takes awhile. I think some bands mesh better than others. It’s kind of like a relationship. Sometimes things start off rocky and end up good. Sometimes things start out great and just continue being great. We really just go step by step creating songs, and whatever feels good, we just kind of go with it. It’s really a group process.

The Chronicle: Have you performed anywhere yet?

DG: We got a show coming up at the Goose Island Brewery, [3535 N. Clark St.], on Sept. 16. It’s a big kickoff for us, so we’re pretty excited about that. We just want to see if we can get a nice fan base built up. There’s only so many shows you can do where you don’t get people coming in to see you, and then you can’t get a gig anywhere.

The Chronicle: Can you see yourselves ever putting out an album?

DG: Until we really see how people react to our music, you never really know what’s going to happen. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time. The right people need to hear it, and then anything can happen. We don’t have the desire to be huge or anything like that. We just have the desire to use music to feel good and hopefully play it for a couple other people who enjoy what they’re hearing.

The Cardboard Meteorite will be performing with Ryan Puett, Thinner Teed and The Visiting Hours at Goose Island Brewery Wrigleyville, 3535 N. Clark St., on Sept. 16. Tickets for the 9 p.m. show are $7 and it’s 21+.