Matthew Good sounds dejected, and who can blame him? It's the morning after the U.S. election and Good, an omnivorous political hound who leans way to the left, is shocked and distressed at Donald Trump's victory.
"As the father of two daughters, it's very disconcerting that a man like that is president of the United States," he says. He explains that the elder of the two, who has just turned 10, was particularly upset, waking up to the news that morning. And Good is beside himself.
"I'm distressed not just at the result of the election; I'm distressed at the level that the political discourse and intelligence in this election sank to. It was like watching America's Funniest Home Videos but it wasn't funny. Instead of the guy falling into the pool, he hit his head on the edge. But yet that was still kind of funny.
"I just don't understand how in the race for what's arguably the most powerful political position in the world, how it could be so utterly lowbrow," continues Good, from his home in Mission, B.C. "It's crazy. This idea of 'make America great again.' They're going to turn back the clock to the 1950s?"
It's a different sort of turning back the clock that has us talking to begin with. Good, 45, is about to release an EP, I Miss New Wave: Beautiful Midnight Revisited. It features five songs from his hit 1999 album Beautiful Midnight, reinterpreted. This winter, he'll kick off a cross-Canada tour, where he'll play the album front to back.
The EP features a haunting I Miss New Wave; an amped up Suburbia; a version of Born To Kill that Good calls "vastly better" than the original ("I think that just comes with maturity"); a forceful, angry Let's Get It On; and a way-slowed-down, moody and contemplative Load Me Up.
The project came about after Good noticed the album was selling well on the vinyl charts and figured it could be fun – and perhaps profitable – to reimagine and record some of the tracks and then tour the album. He finished recording in September, the EP will be released in December and he heads out on the road in February, playing intimate venues such as the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto and the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver.
"I think it's going to be a hell of a lot of fun to do," he says, adding that he believes the smaller venues will appeal to his fan base. "There's going to be a lot more connectivity. A lot of people who come to see this are going to be older. I think they're going to enjoy that a lot more."
Good, who lives with his wife and their three children in the suburbs, is busy. He is also working on a studio album with new material. Last Wednesday, the morning after the election, Good posted a demo of one of the tracks, Bad Guys Win. "Up in the tower a hard fought victory/Down in the valley the carnage of sin/Where God he dismisses uncertainty/Bad guys win."
The song, which he began writing last summer, was inspired by the U.S. election cycle. Among the bad guys we discuss are Trump's alt-right supporters such as white supremacists. "This is sunshine to them," he says of Trump's win. "This is validation."
Good worries about how polarizing the election was – and what that will mean moving forward for a superpower in some decline, as the U.S. is.
"It's dangerous because it's kind of like a tiger in a cage and it has the most teeth," he says. "It's like a garbage can covered in kerosene and someone with a Zippo a mile away just walking slowly towards it."
Matthew Good's I Miss New Wave: Beautiful Midnight Revisited will be released Dec. 2. His tour kicks off in Victoria at Alix Goolden Hall on Feb. 11 and wraps up in Halifax at the Marquee on March 25.