While pool kids have made their mark on Florida’s vibrant DIY emo scene, their second LP is set in the musically agnostic “breakup album” style. All of those tried-and-true narrative rhythms — devastation, resilience, reconciliation, catharsis, probably in that order — have coalesced into a genre of their own, attracting people who might not otherwise be interested in someone hunched over their piano or acoustic guitar or sampler .
We caught up with up-and-coming emo-rockers Pool Kids on their recent month-long US tour. Her 2018 debut album Music To Practice Safe Sex To caught the attention of Hayley Williams, who claimed it sounded like Paramore “WISHED we sounded in the early 2000s.” Pool Kids are now a four piece band consisting of guitarist Andy Anaya and guitarist/vocalist Christine Goodwyne. Since then they have grown and toured with acts such as The Wonder Years and Into It. Over It., Mountain Goats and Origami Angels. In April 2023 they start their first European tour supporting La Dispute.
Check out her latest release, That’s Physics, Baby, below.
EB: Pool Kids is originally from Florida. Was there a DIY scene in Florida that made you want to get into music?
Andy: We all grew up in different parts of Florida. I grew up in Miami. I got into the music scene quite early, I had some friends who played guitar in bands in high school. I started my first metal
–Core tape in 10th grade. We played all these local shows opening for nationally touring bands like Suicide Silence, Dead to Fall and Folly. That was around ’05, ’06.
Christina: I didn’t know such a thing existed until college. Most of my musical life was playing in church bands in high school. I joined WVFS college radio at Florida State University, discovered shows and realized I wanted to do the same.
EB: How did growing up in Florida affect the sound of Pool Kids?
Andy: It’s not so much the Florida heritage that created our sound, but when you start playing with so many of the same bands, there’s stylistic overlap and other bands’ sounds start rubbing off on you.
Christina: There’s this band called Echo Base that doesn’t exist anymore and before I started Pool Kids I was very inspired by them and I was like, ‘This is how I want to be and play fun shows like this.’ Well, I guess I will making music like that… very sober, swinging guitar stuff.
EB: Paramore’s Hayley Williams recently signed Pool Kids on some. Did that inspire your latest record?
Christina: The shoutout didn’t change the music much. But in general, Hayley Williams has always been an idol of mine. People compare any band with a female singer to Paramore, but I can’t deny that there is a Paramore influence there.
Andy: We all like Paramore so it was a real honor to be recognized by her.
EB: What music have pool kids been listening to lately?
Andrew: In the van we listen to music of all styles. We started the day listening to progressive metal band Death and switched to the new Pile song. So quite opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s kind of everywhere.
Christina: We all like gymnastics. There are few bands that all four of us can agree on and this is one of them. We got to see them on our day off which was great. Scott Ian was backstage. And we all thought, “Oh my God, Scott Ian!”
EB: You’ve both been rocking Music Man guitars lately. What attracted you to it?
Andy: Christine and I both play Music Man guitars. I have two Music Man Albert Lee models. Christine uses a guitar as an alternate tuning. I also have a Music Man Valentine that I absolutely love. I bought my first copy second-hand in 2019.
I had always wanted a music man. I once played an Albert Lee at a guitar center and thought, “This thing is perfect.” I don’t know what it is, the shape of the neck, the radius, the pickups, everything about it was perfect. It was an ‘edgy’ guitar without being over the top and metallic but still present. The staggered, quirky shape is different while still looking classic.
I used to play other guitars, but Music Man has something that puts all other manufacturers to shame. It’s just better in every way. It’s kinda crazy.
Christina: I hadn’t really found a guitar that I really loved until I first held a Music Man John Petrucci JP6 in my hands. I held a few different ones in my hand, then I felt one and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s awesome!’ Andy was pretty happy because he’s a huge Dream Theater fan.
I hooked it up to Andy’s Marshall ’77 JMP combo and after a few shows it was the best I’ve ever heard. I also still use Andy’s Albert Lee, I think it will be my next purchase.
EB: What was your favorite stop on tour?
Andy: Roseville, California was a big surprise. We weren’t expecting a big crazy audience but the show was great. We needed it too. We had just flown back to play The Fest in Florida; Two long flights, hours of driving, it was worth it.
Christina: We made a list: Chain Reaction in Anaheim, CA, The Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ, Pittsburgh, PA, Denver, Cleveland… Honestly, we’re super spoiled on this tour. It was great every night. Chicago was great. It’s like a home game for us now. Lots of friends and new young faces came out, which was fun.
EB: Pool Kids is supporting La Dispute on a European tour in 2023. Will this be your first tour outside of the US? What can we expect from this tour?
Christina: I had never left the country until this tour. We played a show in Toronto and I had to get my passport for it. Andy has toured all over the world with previous bands but it will be my first time going abroad.
Andy: It is going to be great! La Dispute is a phenomenal live band and we’ve heard nothing but good things from friends’ bands who have toured with them. We’re friends with a band called Sweet Pill who have been touring with them for about a month and everyone has been singing their praises. We are very excited and feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel abroad and visit new places. Hopefully people will connect to the music. If not, we’ll still have a great time.
Christina: We had basically designed our ideal year 2023. We thought we’d have to put together our own thing. We didn’t expect to be asked on this tour. But this is so much better! It’s a Dream.
EB: The tour seems to be a success so far, how does it look?Andy: It’s almost unbelievable. We say it every night on stage: we don’t expect to see a full house when we go on stage. We don’t expect people to cheer and chant our band name. In some places it’s absurd. Essentially we are living this dream, we are all so happy and grateful to the people who have been so kind to us.