Although Snowstorm Nemo wreaked havoc on the east coast this past Friday, altering plans for our intended in person interview with Gold Fields, Mark Robert Fuller was kind enough to answer a few questions about their debut album, being named an MTV band to watch, learning from St. Lucia, and what bands he wants you to check out. Check out the interview after the jump.
IM: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. How are you?
Gold Fields: No, thank you. I’m good. I’m cold and good. We’re in Toronto at the moment about to play a show. It’s pretty chilly but it’s nice here, I really like it.
IM: You have your debut album, Black Sun coming out in just a few weeks on February 26. What can fans expect in terms of not only sound, but also live performances surrounding the release?
Gold Fields: Well they’re two totally different questions in one, haha. From our record you can expect to hear the product of our past 12 months work. We ended up recording our album three times. We recorded the bulk of an album in LA at Ocean Way studios and Capital Studios. These amazing big studios with producer Mickey Petralia (The Dandy Warhols, Ladytron) and we were just a bit out of our depth. We’d never even been in a studio before or worked with anybody else. So we ended up there with something we weren’t really happy with. That whole experience just feels like a surreal blur.
We went home to Australia and went into the studio with our great mate, Scott Horscroft (The Presets, Silverchair) and tried to fix up what we’d done… and we spent a long time on that… until eventually we realized that what we were trying to do was pointless. We scrapped everything we’d done and decided to re-record the whole thing by ourselves in my parents garage. So we did that.
The experience of recording it all ourselves was just a massive relief and gave us complete freedom with what we were doing. We spent three weeks experimenting and recording in a dark shed with fairy lights and lamps set up with our artwork all over the walls… along with everything we’d learned from Mickey and Scott… And the result is a record we’re really proud of.
With our live show, we try and create the experience we’ve had at dance festivals. People shouldn’t come to our shows expecting to watch some indie band… and they shouldn’t expect to hear our music as it is on record. They should plan to have a designated driver and a big night.
IM: You’ve mentioned that you’ve learned a lot from bands like St. Lucia while on tour. Aside from performance, what else have you taken from that or other tours?
Gold Fields: They’re just a professional unit. They take their show just as seriously as we do so it was just good to see how other bands do it. Early on, we learned a lot from Miami Horror and Pnau in Australia about how to manage the whole live vs electronic thing, which is sometimes really hard for a five piece live band to pull off. And production wise for the live show, we’ve taken a bit from people like Crystal Castles and Lykke Li who we’ve also toured with
IM: On the flip side, what do you think those touring with you, take from the experience?
Gold Fields: Haha, umm I’m too sure. Probably not a lot. Our shows are mainly just for the people in the room to feel free to have a good time with us.
IM: You’ve said the buzz surrounding you here in America, most recently being named an MTV band to watch, hasn’t really affected your mindset or how you go about playing. Although grateful, do you think there will come a time when that kind of buzz and hype will affect what you do?
Gold Fields: Not at all… It’s great when music people are interested in your music. So those things are a bit of a heads-up that you’re not doing everything wrong… But we’ve got our own vision and things we want to create and we’re nowhere near ticking any of those boxes yet. Our first record isn’t even out yet.
IM: Almost right out of the gate you had your song “Treehouse” circulating Australian radio. Do you think receiving media attention and gaining a following is a different experience in Australia? For instance, do you think the community is more accepting of new music?
Gold Fields: Ummm well there are people who love music wherever you go… The main alternative radio station in Australia, Triple J starting playing our music before we’d even really played a show… and that enabled us to tour the country very early. But with that we had to try and play catch-ups and learn how to be a proper band very quickly. The difference with America is that there are so many different radio stations and so many people across so much land that to tour well in America, you need 50 radio stations playing your music. Australia is just a lot more concentrated… if you’re into music, you’ve pretty much got a handle on what’s happening around the rest of the country… that’s not really the case in the states… each state is it’s own world, which is really cool.
IM: On that note, what are a few unsigned or local bands you’d like our readers to check out?
There’s a band from Perth called Bastian’s Happy Flight and a band we’re good mates with called Millions from Brisbane. Also, Northeast Party House from Melbourne and also City Calm Down who are also another favourite of mine. There is so much good music coming out from home at the moment.
IM: Family and friends aside, what do you miss most about home when you’re on the road?
Gold Fields: Tiarne, my shower and my bed. And mum’s cooking and watching the footy on Friday nights. And the Karova Lounge, which is the live music pub in our town.
IM: Unfortunately the Boston, MA show has been cancelled due to the snowstorm. What would you like to say specifically to those fans?
Gold Fields: We’ll be back in Boston very soon to make up for it. Please help us get the word out when we know we’re coming back!
IM: What’s in the future for Gold Fields?
Gold Fields: A lot more shows, plenty of touring and a new record.
IM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Gold Fields: Nah, just thanks heaps. You’re a great interviewer… better than most of these things we do. You’ve obviously done some research. It was my pleasure.
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