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Gold Fields on Ferns and Blizzards

Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013

Updated: Friday, March 8, 2013 11:03

Gold Fields

Courtesy of Girlie Action PR

Gold Fields

Gold Fields hails from Ballarat, Australia, but the band is set to conquer the US in no time. You might have recently seen them on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and can also catch them on “Last Call With Carson Daly” on March 28. Singer Mark Fuller says the band has been touring nonstop for their debut album Black Sun, which was released earlier this week. The band was getting ready to play Salt Lake City when College Times called to chat about the world they’ve created through their work and what it’s like touring in the northern hemisphere.

College Times: I saw video of you recording the album and it looked like you were in someone’s house.

Mark Fuller:
We spent six weeks recording in LA and went home with something we didn’t really like all that much. We were probably a bit in over our heads in the big studios and stuff because none of us had ever been in a studio before…and then went home and tried to fix it up for a long time, for a summer. We worked on it and rewrote songs and then eventually we decided to scrap everything we had done and just rerecord the whole thing ourselves in my mum and dad’s garage under the house in Ballarat… We sort of trusted our own production ideas and instincts and, yeah, we recorded the whole thing in a shed.

It’s a really nice shed from the looks of it.

Yeah, we decked it out. We were going in there for three weeks and we were going to be there most days for most of the day so we wanted to make it like our own little world, fully decked out with fairy lights. My brother in law made a Gold Fields light box thing and we had lamps set up around the room and ferns and stuff like that to try and make it like we were in the world we were trying to create and bring the whole thing to life. It was the middle of winter in Ballarat, which it doesn’t get as cold as it does here but Ballarat is pretty cold in the winter. I think you can sort hear all that stuff and when we listen back to it we are sort of taken back to those three weeks we were in that little world.

The black and white tribal album artwork isn’t exactly what I expected to go with your music.

A lot of people say that and a lot of people say the same thing about the live shows. I think the album as a whole is, in hindsight…fairly dark, and when we were recording in the shed we had all the art work for the album all sort of plastered up all around the room and I think it sort of helped mold how the album sounded as well. The artwork came from some of our friends in Ballarat – two brothers, called the Leonard Brothers, who are just artists that we loved and sort of went to school with. We got in touch with them and asked if they’d be interested in collaborating and making the visual side of the album and they were keen to do it.

We gave them all the music we were working on and gave them some direction and where we wanted it to go and they hit us back with different pieces of artwork. We sort of bounced off each other and got the whole concept of the artwork molded and then, yeah, we made sort of a rough piece for each song that’s on the record and then that’s sort of how it all came about. We don’t really like cleanliness in live music. I think it looks like of like the music sounds. We sort of did it for us and we’re really happy with it, but if other people look at the artwork and see the music the way that we intended that would be, I guess, we’d be happy.

Have you had any rough patches on the road yet?

We got caught in a blizzard – that Nemo blizzard – last week or whenever that was. We were in Pawtucket [Rhode Island] and it was ridiculous. The roads were just covered in snow, and our van ended up getting bogged on this hill. A guy stopped and helped us out of the ditch and we drove around the corner and got caught again in snow. We called roadside assistance and they came to help us and then the truck that came to help us got stuck as well. We were stuck there for like four hours. We don’t’ really get snow where we’re from. It was definitely a different experience and we probably won’t forget it too quickly. We had to cancel a couple shows, which was a shame, but we’ll make it back there I think. That’s probably the toughest time we’ve had on the road so far. The snow is nice and it’s really weird because we’re not use to it but it’s cool. No pun intended.

A Silent Film w/Gold Fields, Royal Teeth, Crescent Ballroom, March 6, 8 p.m., $20

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