Goose Announces Departure of Drummer Ben Atkind After a Decade of Collaboration

By Stu Kelly / December 22, 2023

In a surprising turn of events, the popular jam band Goose has officially announced the departure of their longtime drummer, Ben Atkind. The decision, described as an “amicable parting” in an official press release, was attributed to a “creative impasse that neither side could overcome.”

Born and raised in the Boston area, Ben Atkind played a pivotal role in the formation of Goose back in 2014. Alongside guitarist Rick Mitarotonda and bassist Trevor Weekz, Atkind co-founded the band after their previous musical endeavor, Vasudo. The trio later expanded with the addition of keyboardist/guitarist Peter Anspach in 2017, followed by percussionist Jeff Arevalo in 2020. Atkind, Mitarotonda, and Arevalo crossed paths at Berklee College of Music.

Atkind’s influence was felt throughout Goose’s musical journey, contributing to all three of the band’s studio albums. Their debut, Moon Cabin, was released in 2016, followed by 2021’s Shenanigans Nite Club and Dripfield in 2022.

Ben Atkind is also a co-founder of the band ElephantProof, which formed on the Berklee campus. ElephantProof features Atkind’s former Goose bandmate, keyboardist Chris Enright, guitarist Sean Cronin, and bassist Shon Gordon. The quartet released their self-titled debut studio album in 2021.

Goose’s final performances with Ben Atkind occurred at the sold-out Goosemas 2023 shows at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, on Friday, December 8, and Saturday, December 9. During the encore on the second night, Atkind took a moment to address the crowd, expressing his gratitude and love for the fans.

“I fucking love you guys, thank you for fucking 10 years of amazingness,” Atkind declared, acknowledging an after-show gathering. “Please keep being kind to each other. Show each other empathy. I appreciate you guys so much.”

As Goose and Ben Atkind embark on separate musical journeys, fans are left to reflect on a decade of collaborative magic and eagerly anticipate the future paths the band and the drummer will take. Read official statements from Goose and Ben below. 

From Rick, Peter, Trevor, and Jeff: 

To our Goose Family,

There has been a lot going on these days, and we’d like to take a moment to address a change happening within the band.

Over the last few months, we’ve had some really difficult internal conversations that have unfortunately resulted in Ben’s departure.

As everyone knows, with any type of relationship, sometimes growing in different directions is beyond our control. After a great deal of time and effort working to bridge fundamental personal and creative differences, we’ve come to a place where we feel our current path to be unsustainable long-term.

Looking at the larger scope of our lives, we feel in our hearts that making this change is ultimately in the best interest of everyone’s well-being. Change is often very painful and scary, but an unavoidable part of life. This band and everyone involved in it means the world to us, and there is no aspect of this decision we’ve taken lightly. We all love Ben very much and want nothing but the best for him. He is a world class drummer, and we can’t wait to watch and support his future endeavors.

We ask for your understanding and faith that these types of situations are often far more complicated than what meets the eye, and that this decision is a difficult one for all of us. It is not the result of fighting, drama or malicious intent on any end, but merely recognizing that, over time, it’s just not the right fit anymore. All we can do is continue to move forward towards what we feel is best for everyone’s personal and creative growth, health, and happiness.

We are endlessly grateful for the ride we have had so far. Every hurdle along the way has offered an opportunity to learn more about how to be a band and grow tighter as a family. Sharing our music with a community that we connect with so deeply has brought us a humbling amount of joy, and we wouldn’t trade that for anything.

While this has been a difficult and painful time, we are also incredibly excited for the next chapter of this band. We will be heading into the new year with a renewed sense of creative fire that will allow us to dive deeper into the music and continue bringing you the Goose experience you know and love. We can’t thank you enough for your continuous support and understanding through this transition.

With Love,

Rick, Peter, Trevor, and Jeff

 

From Ben:

To the Fans, Friends, and Family of Goose,

After nearly a decade on the road, hundreds of performances, several albums, and countless memories, it is with both a heavy heart and a deep sense of gratitude that I send this message.

From early shows at Jimmy’s Seaside and O’Neill’s, to sold-out concerts at Red Rocks and Hampton Coliseum, to unforgettable performances on national TV, the Goose journey has been nothing short of remarkable. We’ve had the opportunity to share the stage with personal heroes and legends who are forever stitched into the fabric of modern music. Conceiving a dream isn’t easy, and I realize how lucky I am to have been a part of it — from the very beginning until where Goose is now.

Long-term creative camaraderie demands personal evolution. It demands consistent communication, mutual empathy, and a willingness to compromise. Even though this is something we tried, these elements fell out of sync, which is where we find ourselves today. I will be forever grateful for my time with my bandmates and wish them the best as we prepare to go our separate ways.

To our fans: my journey thus far would not have been possible without your steadfast encouragement, electrifying enthusiasm, and unwavering loyalty. You’ve truly embraced our music, celebrated our milestones, and always made me feel at home. Your continued support means the world to me and for this, I cannot thank you enough.

To the touring crew: your tireless work behind the scenes has made each performance magical. Your commitment and hard work have never gone unnoticed. You are the unsung heroes of this journey, and I am deeply thankful for each one of you.

I look forward to exploring new creative avenues and continuing my musical journey — with all of you and in ways that feel authentic to me.

With love, profound gratitude for the past, and optimism for the future,

Ben Atkind

About the author

Stu Kelly