Australia’s latest musical export to hit the States is Gold Fields. This electro-dance synth pop quintet has been the buzz around the web for the past few months. Just two days after releasing their debut album “Black Sun”on Astralwerks Records, I had the opportunity to sit down with Mark and Ryan in Los Angeles to get an inside scoop on the scene’s next big thing.
It was a beautiful California day with an abundance of sunshine and the smell of spring. I met Mark (vocals) and Ryan (drums) at the Capitol Records building to chat about musical influences, their new record and yes, fashion. Their debut album “Black Sun” dropped last Tuesday to rave reviews. This is only the beginning for Gold Fields.
I always want to know where it all starts. The spark that ignites the flame so to speak. “I loved Brand New when I was in high school, they are probably one of my favorites”, says Mark. “One of my first introductions into bands was probably Skrillex’s old band, From First to Last” says Ryan. It seems that now people relate Skrillex with his incredible success as a producer and DJ in the Dubstep/EDM scene and forget he was in a hardcore band for most of his teens. “When we started to grow up we listened to more dance music. As soon as we were of legal age to get into clubs bands like Cut Copy, The Presets and the bands on Modular Recordings were a big influence as well,” says Mark. When putting together an album from the conception to the beginning stages of writing a song, it’s a different process for all groups. Ryan on songwriting, “it’s different for every song. Sometimes Mark will record a vocal line and send it around. Then our guitarist might strum some chords and pass that to us. It’s really a musical democracy when putting it together, so everyone’s happy.”
“Black Sun” is a very structured album, each song has a place in the story that is being told. One of the standout tracks, “Closest I Could Get” comes in with a dreamy intro and they go on to explain the initial plan for the song and the end result. “That was one of the last songs we wrote for the album. We were recording parts right up until the end in Mom and Dad’s shed” says Mark. “We ended up changing everything during recording. It was supposed to be the first song on the album, that’s why it has a 30 second crescendo in the beginning. It was the vocal loop that really brought that song to life. The same loop is also at the end of “Anxiety” says Ryan.
After the recording process comes press and the following tour. Being in a band and touring is definitely one of the perks. Getting to perform to a live crowd every night to connect with your audience is what it’s about. Ryan says, “The shows are the best part of being on tour. There’s heaps of good and bad but the show makes it all worth it”.
On signing with Astralwerks, ” Our goal was never just to get a record deal. We only signed to Astralwerks because it just felt so right” says Mark. There really is no better match for the band than the legendary label ,with notable acts such as Air, Placebo, and The Chemical Brothers just to name a few. Artists that have major crossover potential just as Gold Fields is reaching with their blend of electro-indie rock.
I couldn’t leave this interview without finding out a little bit about Mark and Ryan’s personal style both on and off stage. “I usually wear whatever’s cheap or free.” Mark laughed. As he sat in the chair wearing a black snapback hat he had been gifted. “We’re not disinterested in fashion at all. The guy who styled our video clip has a line based in LA called The End that we really liked alot. It’s mostly black and neutrals”, says Mark. “We’re not a very colorful band. We wear a lot of black on stage. Kill City gave us some good pieces for the video as well that we liked. AM which is a cool sunnies brand from Sydney that I like and wear a lot” says Ryan.
So what’s next for Gold Fields? “We’re touring here for the next 3 months here. I think about 20 dates and some festivals. Then home to Australia to tour there and the end of the year we’re starting to write the next record.” says Mark. I got the chance to catch their show at The Troubadour later that day which is something that is not to be missed when they reach your city.
Buy their album Black Sun on iTunes!
Thursday night. A sold out show at The Troubadour, and dance fever in the air. Live shows are the best part about discovering a new band. Yes, you can listen to their record on repeat in your room or your car but nothing beats the feel of bass in your heart and guitar chords echoing through your body, right down to your fingertips. I caught Gold Fields’ TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel the night before but I was left so unsatisfied with just one song. Thankfully, my wishes were fulfilled when I experienced their full set.
Gold Fields is definitely a band to be seen live. The resonating sound of the dual drums and the rising celestial landscape of “Meet My Friends” got the crowd moving at an alarming pace. Singer Mark Fuller dressed in his signature black hoodie and Doc Martens, commanded the crowds attention with his strong yet ethereal vocals. A memorable point of the set was the Underworld cover of “Born Slippy NUXX” which transported the crowd back to Manchester, England in the mid 90s. I’ve never heard a cover of Underworld with a powerful and smooth guitar backbeat and a tribal drum beat paired with an electro vocalist. Something I’ll remember always. Their first single “Dark Again” , which has been stuck in my head for days filled the room with a sonic blast that got the crowd dancing as soon as you heard the first note. These guys will be touring the States this spring and Australia later this year. Mark this down on your calendar, you’ll thank me.
press photos via goldfields official website
live photos: Lauren M Brown