BY BECCA GOREN
Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” emerged as Kurt Cobain strung together power chords in the garage in the back of his house. Monterey County-based bands The Ajimas, Zealousy and Carmel High student band Good Word are all starting the same way, and they’re collaborating to launch their careers with house concerts and opening for each other’s gigs.
Most recently, Goodword was asked by The Ajimas to open for them and Zelousy at the East Village Coffee Lounge in Monterey May 5. Viewed by an audience of about 50, Goodword debuted a few original songs as well as played a handful of other originals that have been heard at previous Ajimas-Goodword showcases.
In late March, members of The Ajimas opened their house in Marina to local bands including Zealousy and Goodword to perform for other locals. As locals piled into the living room turned concert stage, videographers captured Goodword guitarist and vocalist TJ Sullinger bobbing his head and flipping his hair as he strummed out a guitar solo followed by Ajimas’ vocalist Tyler Dawn grabbing the mic of the stand to dance with his fans.
“We’re just trying to support ourselves and other bands around here,” Dawn says. “And it’s just dope to play with these other guys.”
Goodword’s bassist and CHS senior Sean Crawford agrees that the community being built between these bands is opening doors for the rather young band of CHS students.
“The coolest part is that we have a relationship now with other bands around here that are amazing,” Crawford says. “And it’s awesome that they noticed us.”
According to Crawford, Sandpiper writer Archer Michaels initiated the conversation between local bands and his friends in Goodword. After writing multiple music-based features in the CHS student newspaper, Michaels introduced Sullinger, Crawford and drummist Cosimo Enea to the local talent.
“We met Goodword through The Ajimas,” Zealousy bassist Zach Gattis says. “They have an awesome sound, and we’re really glad that their career’s picking up.”
According to Enea, Goodword’s presence in the community escalated after being introduced to The Ajimas. In fact, Goodword’s first EP is in the process of being recorded by The Ajimas to be released this summer.
With help from The Ajimas, Goodword plans on sending their EP and other singles to a licensed distributing website to release on Spotify.
Despite the clear business relationship held, Sullinger cites their friendship with the local bands as the best part. “I consider all of them friends rather than business associates,” Sullinger chuckles.