Gold Class – Interview 2017

Gold ClassAustralian post-punkers Gold Class have gone deeply personal for their new record Drum. Whilst their second release still showcases their dark, strident, riff-heavy sounds, the four-piece are this time exploring conversations surrounding queer history and the ideas of silence, evasion and transgression within this. They will be bringing these new tunes to their first ever Brighton headline show in September. I caught up with frontman Adam Curley:

Can you give us a brief history of the band and how it was formed?
Evan, Jon and I were working in a bar together here in Melbourne and one night Evan gave me a tape of some guitar parts he’d written and asked if I wanted to write some words over the top. That was summer a few years ago. Logan joined us this year – he’s from Wellington. New Zealanders are just better humans.

How would you describe your music?
I wouldn’t, given the option. Listening is better for music almost all the time.

How old are the songs on the album and what was the recording process?
On Drum? We started writing the record about halfway through last year, between tours, and then went to the country to work more solidly. We were still piecing parts of it together in the studio, though, and I was rewriting lyrics up until then as well.

Are you conscious of how the tracks will sound live when you’re in the studio?
Yeah, there’s not much difference for us between writing for a live show and writing for an album. I guess only having the words and my voice to work with, I think people have more of a physical response to me live and then will sit down with a record and pay attention to lyrics, so I’m conscious of both. And we played around with different things in recording, like samples and synths and pedals – sounds we can’t replicate live. But we’re only four instruments and we write the songs together, and we haven’t wanted to stray too far from that yet.

Can you pinpoint the influences from the album? Did the breakdown of your relationship have a massive effect on how it was written?
Yeah, it did. It happened the week we started writing and even though I knew I wanted the lyrics to be defiant, I didn’t know how much my personal life would figure into that. So, lyrically, it became more about the silence that swirls around queer relationships and has done throughout queer histories, and the transgressions and moments of resistance that have and can come out of that, too. Evan was really pushing for the guitar to be more melodic and full and, I think overall, we were aiming for some groove to the rhythms with some belters as well.

Is there a particular process that your songwriting goes through when crafting the tracks?
We write all our songs together, which seems fairly peculiar. I don’t know, it’s just how we started to write and I prefer it that way, too. To me, being in a band is about different ideas rubbing up against each other, working with other people. It’s not the easiest way to write all of the time, but it means everyone has ownership of the songs and everyone has a voice in the band.

What does the next 12-18 months have in store for the band?
Mostly touring, now that the album is almost out. We’re back in the UK and Europe briefly in September and a couple of us are going to hang out a bit longer, then we’re back here to tour the album. I don’t think I’ve ever known what I was doing 18 months ahead of time, though, so who knows?

If you could work with any artist, who would it be and what would they bring to?Gold Class??
We were excited to work with Gareth Liddiard who produced the record. His band The Drones have figured heavily in Australian music for the last decade or so; it’s impossible not to have been influenced by what they’ve done and he was full of wild ideas for how to record. I’m honestly not sure how other people would come into our writing process, but I’ll happily stray and go make a dance record with HTRK or write a duet with Tina Halladay from Sheer Mag or Perfume Genius.

What music are you listening to at the moment? Are there any bands on your label that we should listen out for?
I’ve been listening to the new Angel Olsen and Alex Cameron duet a lot. And the new Downtown Boys album. The new Au.Ra record out on our US label Felte is really good.

Is there a particular ethos that drives you as a band?
Do something interesting and get through the day.

What is your relationship with the city of Brighton?
We’ve been a couple of times now and met lots of lovely people, drank a bit too much and been swimming at the beach at midnight in winter, played The Great Escape and won (barely) a stand-off with a fairly terrifying hotel owner over paying for towels. We’re like family at this point.

Paul Hill