From jamming in a basement with lovely vintage drapes, rustic wooden floor boards and cut out mattress shapes, GOLDSMITH have now to accommodate for crowds of one of Australia’s most prominent festivals, Groovin’ the Moo. Just one of the many perks of winning a spot on triple j Unearthed, the Newcastle five piece have even more to celebrate with their current east coast tour. A relatively new ensemble combining the love of old school with various fashion sensibilities, Goldsmith will be hitting up the universe with their vintage pop sounds, and in a big way. PEARL DAVIES had a quick chat with the gentlemen just prior to their Newcastle set.
To give us a bit of history, when and how did you guys form? Goldsmith started when Donnie’s dad built a basement for him and his friends to rehearse and record in. We’d all played with Donnie (drummer and super high vocals) at some point in the hundred of bands that he’d played with locally. His basement became a rad place to hang out and over time the five of us started writing and playing together down there. We seemed to spend a lot of time listening to our dad’s old vinyl collections down there too which in turn started to have a significant effect on the music that we began writing.
You have had a great response with your debut single ‘White Flamingo’ and have now released ‘Backbone’. Do you think we’ll be seeing an album anytime soon?
That’s a good question. We tend to take each song as it comes so if we were to write an album or an EP we would want to be confident that it sounded good as a whole. It needs to be a piece of work that works on its own. At the moment we have a bunch of songs that we’ve demoed in the basement, it’s just a matter of determining whether they belong together or should stand separately.
You have a nice set of dates coming up, and not only with your Backbone Tour. You also piggy back on other shows doing some support spots. How do you manage to set up such a tight schedule?
Stealing time. There’s plenty of time it’s just whether you look for it or not. We tend to not like having long periods of standing around scratching ourselves so if we’re not touring we’ll be writing and demoing more songs. Besides, music is too fun to not be doing it. We kind of can’t help ourselves.
Based in Newcastle, your producer is located in Brisbane. How did you catch his eye to work on your tracks – or was it the other way round..?
Our first single ‘White Flamingo’ helped open a couple of doors for us. Matt heard that track and instantly got the vibe that we’re trying to create. His studio is like custom made for Goldsmith with its analogue desk, timber paneling, astro-turf etc. It was like a perfect match. He nailed the mix for Backbone straight up bringing a warmth and tone to it that is just perfect.
You recorded your latest track at your homemade basement studio. How would one make a homemade studio? Egg cartons stapled to the walls..?
Egg cartons to the wall isn’t too far off. Originally the basement had these nice windows and glass doors that let in a bit of fresh air. But over time the amount of recording and rehearsing that we were doing, and the need to keep the neighbours onside, has resulted in every last patch of daylight being blocked out with bits of foam and old mattress. Aside from that slightly derelict touch, it’s quite a classy little place with old wooden floors, a heavy gold curtain and vintage, analogue synthesizers.
Newcastle trio Innocent Criminals got their big break with a demo competition on an SBS show Nomad as well as triple j. They then went on to become Silverchair. Now you have been given a bit of a big break, what are you going to do with it?
Haha – probably not become massive in the neo-grunge scene. Hopefully though this will create a greater audience for future songs that we release. We would love to build to a point where we could be given the time and space to work on a debut album and share our music with other parts of the world.
You’re in the middle of your Backbone Tour at the moment. How’s it all going and how are your audiences responding to your shows?
The tour has been great. We’ve played with some very talented local bands and have been delighted to see people from interstate cities coming out especially to hear our music. Community radio and national stations like triple j have really helped spread our tunes. It’s very satisfying watching people smile when they recognize one of your songs live.
Australia’s Triple j has handed you an unearthed spot. Included in this, national air time and an opening slot in this year’s Groovin’ the Moo in Maitland. This came at just the right time for your ‘Backbone’ film clip release and tour. What’s in line for us for when we come and see you open this year’s GTM?
I know – the timing has been perfect! Hopefully we can set a good tone for the whole festival. We’re definitely hoping that we can put everyone in a good mood and get them grooving. We have some new songs that we’ll be pulling out and we’ve been working on some new dance moves. You’ll need to get there early. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. We’re so glad people are enjoying what we’re doing.
Goldsmith perform at the Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, on Thursday April 18, and opening up at Maitland’s Groovin’ the Moo Saturday April 27.