Gold Class’s 2015 debut album, ‘It’s You’, was something of an underground sleeper, seeing the band short-listed for the Australian Music Prize and sending them off to tour the USA and Europe throughout 2016. At home, the band continued to sell out shows and was welcomed by festival crowds, includeing those at Splendour In The Grass and Golden Plains. Much of this year is going to see the Melbourne post-punk outfit on the road as they gear up for the release of their new record. Ellie Clarke met up with the band at their Cambridge gig last week…
Your touring career is ramping up; how does it relate to your roots in Australia?
We’ve had the chance to come to Europe and the UK a few times actually, this is the third time we’ve been over here in the last, I guess, 18 months? Or maybe a bit a more. And yeah we went to the US before that. It’s a treat to be able to do it. I think Australia is technically just a long way away from everything, so to be able to have done it in such a short amount of time, again and again and again, it’s a real treat.
Do you think there’s something that gives you a universal appeal?
I dunno! I’d say no? But we have enough people who seem to like us and want us to come back so I think that’s kinda nice.
What brings you to Cambridge?
Maxwell from Culture CT put this on tonight. We met him in The Bodies which is his old band, and we got a long great with them, so it was like ‘ah, we’ve got to play with you again’ and they were kind enough to sort this out. It was just like, ‘yeah cool, we’ll just show up and do whatever!’
Do you have any other UK connections?
I guess we’re still forging them.
You’ve played with YAK and Thurston Moore
Yeah we’ve played one show with YAK, at this weird metal bar in New York. Yeah that was really weird I don’t even know how that came about, seems like an ill-fitting thing.
And then the Thurston Moore thing was in Australia which was obviously like, y’know, I grew up listening to Sonic Youth, I think we all did to some extent, so it was a huge honour to do that. We didn’t really have that much to do with him. His bass player though is Debbie from My Bloody Valentine and she was really lovely, so that was just like ‘this is fucking incredible’.
I think with these big career bands, they’ve been doing it for so long, it’s like they show up when they have to, and there’s not a lot of interaction between whoever else is around. So you’d see fleeting glimpses of Thurston and it’s just like, ‘oh there he goes’. But he’s like 8 feet tall so you can’t miss him.
Is the follow up to ‘It’s you’ out soon?
Yeah, hopefully in August everything going to plan. We put out a single from the album which we’re really happy with. The rest of the record’s being mastered right now so hopefully if all the vinyl pressing and everything comes through, touch wood, then yeah it’ll be out in mid-year and we can come back and do all this again.
Anything special with the vinyl?
It’s gonna be white vinyl I think. Real fancy, yeah y’know, really splashing out. It’s pretty minimal but it’ll look really cool.
Has it evolved your music or themes?
I think we kind of wrote the same way we always have. It’s just four people in a room and bouncing ideas off each other until a song happens. It’s a really long drawn out process but that’s kinda what works for us for whatever reason. I think thematically this time Adam was wanting to explore things about vulnerability. I mean, I don’t know I’m generalising here and I don’t want to put words in his mouth or anything. That’s a tough one without completely misrepresenting him.
You lost a dummer, what’s he up to now? How’s new drummer Logan doing?
Logan’s doing great, Logan is fantastic. Yeah, we were really fortunate enough to have him randomly recommended to us and then he was just incredible, the perfect fit. But yeah, it was obviously really sad when Mark decided he’d had enough. He just felt he wanted to focus on other stuff and was a bit exhausted with work and everything else, and yeah it was just best for him to call it I think. So we weighed up what the best option was. The rest of us were all really happy playing music with each other so we wanted to keep it going, and then yeah Logan came along and here we are.
Looks like you have a lot of great Australian contemporaries, like Mere Women…
They’re great people, we play with them whenever we can. They live in Sydney and we’re in Melbourne so it’s not that frequent of a crossover but yeah they’re always nice enough to put us up when we go over there. I think they’re just like, they’re one of my favourite bands. They make really interesting honest music, and they’re all just stupidly talented at what they do and they’ve got an album coming out too so that’s exciting. I don’t think they’ve ever been to Europe so yeah please tell people about them!
Are you inspired by your contemporaries or do you do a lot of 80s listening?
All the 80s stuff is like amazing and everything, but I feel more inspired by who’s playing at venues around Melbourne than I do by seeing whatever big act is playing a nostalgia tour. There’s so much great talent in Melbourne, it’s just a super exciting place to be involved in music. That you can rock up to a show and just somebody’s doing something really interesting and diverse and intelligent, you can walk away from that and just feel like ‘oh fuck, I’ve got to step up my game and write and play as best as I can’.
You’re Creative writing students?
Yeah, well I guess just 2 of us are now Mark left.
What do you like writing other than music?
Adam does amazing like personal nonfiction stuff, like essayistic type things. I was sort of studying short story writing which has fallen by the wayside. I haven’t really thought about that in like 12 months or more. Eventually I’ll get back on it. Go back to where the real money is with creative writing instead of this music haha.
What do you like reading?
I’m reading The Animators at the moment. By Kayla, what’s her name? I keep wanting to say Carley Rae Jepson but that’s not it. That’s definitely not right. Kayla Rae Whitaker!
When we started the band, Adam introduced me to Anne Carson who is kind of a long form poet. She had this autobiography I’ve read and I guess that was sort of something that informed the start of the band a little bit. So, yeah that’s a great book.
What else? I dunno.. Joan Didion’s always inspiring, I feel like you can judge a person by whether they’re into Joan Didion haha. Yeah shit, she knows. She’s really good. Who else? There’s this essayist, Leslie Jamison, who’s also great, she’s also from the States. She writes these essays which are interwoven in really kind of unique ways that don’t seem obvious at first but she brings them together and yeah, I dunno. Loads!