Q&A INTERVIEW: Jen Baranick of Good Problems

The Liverpudlian band, Good Problems, have just released their debut single ‘Curio’. So, we caught up with the band’s frontwoman Jen Baranick.

Hey Jen, thanks for speaking with LOCK. The band’s debut single ‘Curio’ is now available on streaming services right?

Jen: Hiya, it’s pretty cool talking to you too!  And yeah, Curio is out today…  it has been unleashed into the wild. We’re all really excited about it.

Tell us about Good Problems, you’re all students at The Liverpool Institute Of Performing Arts aren’t you? (LIPA is one of our newest stockists!)

Jen: Good Problems is a bit of a throwback to the 90s alternative rocker grunge music with a few twists. We call it mongrel rock because it’s a bit of a mash-up of rock influences. We’ve got our grungy rock songs and then the ones where our psychedelic feels come through a lot too.  

Jen: We’ve got Liam Crosbie on drums, Nat Waters on guitar, George Rose on a combination of guitar and bass, and then there’s myself on lead vocals. We’ve all had a really cool experience at LIPA and I think one of the best parts is meeting all the really talented people that go there too. And yeah I picked up your last issue from LIPA, so you’d be right about that.

 Where did the band name come from?

Jen: I think there’s something fascinating to a lot of people, and definitely to us, about how life experiences are bitter sweet. You learn a lot out of the things that go right and you learn a lot out of problems you face.  

Jen: Our music and mood can be pretty dark at times but it has lightness and optimism to it…  and it’s pretty easy to dance to, I’d say haha…  It’s like the good with the bad.  The dark with the light.  Yadda yadda.  Good problems… something I think everyone experiences.. I think it shows in our lyrics and sound.

Do you have any female vocalists who inspire you?

Jen: So many… but.. I’d have to say Shirley Manson from Garbage, Fiona Apple, Brody Dalle from The Distillers, Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Amanda Palmer from The Dresden Dolls, Alanis Morissette, Björk, Tori Amos….. and Gwen Stefani in her early No Doubt years was amazing….  I’d say these are a few of the artists who inspire my performances and lyric writing the most. 

The music video for ‘Curio’ is quite out there haha, nice use of animation as well.  How did the band come up with the idea for the video?

Jen: Haha sure is, that’s what made it so fun. I think there’s something really charming about being a little rough around the edges and working with stop start animation and drawing is nothing but fun. You can make anything you want happen.

Jen: The idea came from the lyrics and mood of the actual song. ‘Curio’ is mainly about how technology brings everyone together but can also tear us apart.  The video makes most of these references in the first half that’s mostly animated.  It shows obsession and reliance on phones, robots are taking people’s jobs, cities keep building and there’s a loss of control over the world we find ourselves living in.  The last bit is pure crazy trippy time-lapses of cityscapes and chaos. Love that part.

Finally, what is next for Good Problems?

Jen: What’s next is… we’re actually venturing our of Liverpool over to Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle in April, and then we’re doing the Liverpool Tattoo Convention over at the Adelphi in May.  All the while we’re working on our EP to release this Summer. Also, pretty sure there’s going to be more ‘out there’ videos around the bend too. So, stay tuned!


You can follow Good Problems on Facebook by clicking here.


Q&A INTERVIEW: Jen Baranick of Good Problems
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