Gold Field's debut album, Black Sun comes out TOMORROW, February 26th and features the songs "Dark Again," "Treehouse," and "Moves."
Gold Fields band member Mark Robert Fuller graciously took time to answer questions about the new album, the joys of collaboration and the importance of staying true to their music.
How is the tour going? What has been the biggest surprise so far on this tour?
The tour is going great. The shows have been the biggest surprise of all. We knew coming over here that tickets were selling but when we got here, to have the crowds we’ve been getting, that’s been a surprise. It’s sort of weird to be on the other side of the world playing for a few hundred people each night, it’s awesome.
How are the new songs from Black Sun settling into your live performances?
Really well. We spent a lot of time working on the live set before we came over. We're perfectionists when it comes to our live show and we spent a lot of time on the set to make sure everything is as good and as fun as it can be. The new songs have slotted in nicely and are going down well so far.
What did you learn about yourself as a musician while working on the songs for Black Sun?
The actual recording process was huge learning experience. We spent an entire year recording music for the album. We spent six weeks in LA recording every day, then we went home, weren’t happy with what we’d done so we spent the entire summer trying to fix it, but then it got to the point where we decided to scrap everything we’d recorded and recorded the whole thing again ourselves in my parents garage.
I think we learned to trust ourselves. We went into the recording process taking advice from anyone who would give it to us and tried to do what everybody else thought was right. I think we learned we have to be musicians/producers ourselves and make something we love, and that’s what we did.
What was the first song you wrote for Black Sun? Which was the hardest to write?
“Treehouse” was the first song we ever wrote as a band, and “The Woods” and “Moves” are also from the first batch of songs we ever wrote. From there I think we developed as songwriters, and hopefully you can hear growth in the songs. “Closest I Could Get” was the last song we wrote. We were still putting parts together as we were recording because the song starts with a basic intro and then builds upon itself throughout the song.
How would you describe the chemistry of Gold Fields and what have you learned from your collaboration with the other members of the band?
We’ve all known each other for 10 years or more, we all went to high school together, so we’ve been friends longer than we’ve been band mates. The band side of things is still new to us, but it feels good to be genuinely friends and on the same page with everyone in the group. When we’re writing songs there is definitely a chemistry between all of us, if one of us isn’t there when we’re writing or recording it doesn’t feel right and we’ll end up going back and changing it. We all have to be in the room at the same time, all giving our ideas and opinions. To create the sounds we want, we all need to be in the room.
Black Sun has pop, tribal, and dance influences; do you ever find it difficult to maintain the initial thread of a song when combining different genres?
I think when we were starting out we did. When we were recording we were laying everything possible down on top of each other and the song would get lost. Over time working with producers like Mickey Petralia and Scott Horsecroft taught us to strip back the songs to its bones and have the song be what it’s supposed to be.
What was the hardest part of making the video for “Dark Again”?
It was actually an easy process. When it came time to do the video we wanted to incorporate the artwork, the artwork is a massive part of the album for us and just as important as the audio side. We wanted to bring that to life and did that with the video. It came together in one day of shooting and working with everyone who worked on it was awesome, everyone was on the same page. A lot of it was experimenting as we went and having Shaun Ross in the video was awesome.
How would you describe the Australian music scene? How does it compare to what you’ve encountered in the US?
In Australia it’s a smaller, tight knit community. If you’re in a band or just like music you kind of have a grip on what’s going on around the country. In America, it’s so much bigger. We’ve been playing and touring here for months and haven’t found a niche that exists with our music. At home, there is a flood of awesome electronic bands coming out, we can go to shows and bounce ideas off each other, and it’s nice to go to shows and see friends playing music. Over here we’re playing shows with more of a rock vibe and trying to find the dance electronic niche to blend into.
What is the most challenging part of the recording process?
The technical and engineering sides of it. A lot of the three weeks we spent recording was experimenting with the technical side of recording, and I think you can hear it on the record, some of the sounds aren’t the cleanest or clearest but that’s what makes it sound the way we want it to.
Who are some artists that have influenced your music and why?
For me it would be Jesse Lacey of Brand New, Nick Littlelemore of Pnau and writing wise it would be Nick Cave.
What does being brave mean to you?
Going through with something you are scared of and facing your fears.
What’s next for Gold Fields in 2013?
We’ve got the album coming out February 26th and I think that’s when everything starts. We’ve been doing this for a couple of years now and we’re really looking forward to when the album comes out.
After that, we’ll be in America touring and playing as many shows as we can, then we’ll go home and play music festivals. Our dream for this year is to play some music festivals over here, that’s where our show really comes to life, so we’d love to play some music festivals in America. Then at the end of the year, we’ll start writing the next record.
Where can my readers find you online?