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Peter Anspach of Goose

Anyone following Goose’s trajectory over the past few years will likely have strained neck muscles at this point: it’s all been up, up and up. In December, the Norwalk band streamed a three-hour concert from Rockefeller Center in New York City for its annual Goosemas holiday event. And earlier this year, Vampire Weekend tapped Goose to reinvent “2021,” a song from its 2019 album Father of the Bride. But the band’s biggest leap forward to date, perhaps, will come in September, when Goose performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee, alongside Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, Lana Del Rey, Foo Fighters, Tyler, the Creator and others.

On June 4, Goose releases their new studio LP, Shenanigans Nite Club, named after and inspired by the former Norwalk venue. Also in June, the band will play two sold-out nights at New Haven’s Westville Music Bowl.

In this Q&A, we spoke with vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist Peter Anspach about getting booked at Bonnaroo, Connecticut roots and other shenanigans.

Anspach on playing Bonnaroo:

It’s definitely the biggest festival we’ve played. Bonnaroo is a legendary festival. The diversity of music at the festival is what makes it so unique, and its size. It feels really cool to be part of that. I think it was one of the first festivals, besides Phish doing their thing in the ’90s and the Woodstock things. So it feels good to be a part of it for the first time.

On preparing for the show:

We’re definitely going to have some new music at that time and some fresh releases. [Our new album, Shenanigans Nite Club] is coming out in June, so that’s exciting. That definitely goes into any show that’s happening after that. It also depends on the time slot of the set. If it’s an afternoon set or late night, we can concoct a different strategy based upon the circumstances. We’re pretty prepared for anything. We’re just going to keep it diverse and give everybody a good look at what we can do.

On the role the former Shenanigans Nite Club in Norwalk plays in the band’s folklore:

We played in the actual room that used to be Shenanigans for Goosemas V. It was called Cantiki at the time, and it kind of had tiki bar vibes. [Goose guitarist] Rick [Mitarotonda] played there a few times with various projects, but I think it mainly goes back to Shenanigans Nite Club being a spot to hang out in the ’80s. Rick’s uncle worked there. I had some family who used to go there and hang out. It was just kind of like the local spot, so it’s an homage to that in a lot of ways.

On why Connecticut is such a great place for improvisational rock bands:

I don’t know exactly how it all began, but I can remember our high school specifically was very jam-influenced. And talking to other people my age who grew up around the country, they had nothing of the sort at their high school. So we may have been an anomaly, but it definitely helps get us aware of what other music is out there, improvisational stuff and experiences that we wouldn’t have known otherwise. I can only imagine.

Online: goosetheband.com, @gooseband on Facebook, @goosetheband on Instagram and Twitter

This article appears in the June 2021 issue of Connecticut MagazineYou can subscribe to Connecticut Magazine here, or find the current issue on sale hereSign up for our newsletter to get our latest and greatest content delivered right to your inbox. Have a question or comment? Email editor@connecticutmag.com. And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @connecticutmagazine and Twitter @connecticutmag.