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Gold Fields Discuss Recording Their Debut, Making ‘Heavy Pop’ for a Growing Audience

McLean Stephenson

With only one EP to their name, Australian quintet Gold Fields have sold out shows and been flagged as a “band to watch” in 2013. Still, they’re keeping it humble. They did, after all, record their forthcoming debut album, ‘Black Sun’ (due out Feb. 26), in the singer’s parents’ garage. And they had to borrow all of their recording gear.

“To make our first album we initially decided to work with Mickey Petralia,” frontman Mark Fuller tells Diffuser.fm. “He has worked with the Dandy Warhols and a lot of bands we really like. We went to L.A., to Capitol studios. We spent six weeks there and ended up with something we weren’t that happy with. The whole process was extremely … unnatural would be the word. Obviously we didn’t feel at home. We were still a bit green. The songs hadn’t been finished yet. We just weren’t ready yet. We had never been in the studio before.”

Next, they tried Scott Horscroft, who’s worked with the likes of Silver Chair and Sleepy Jackson, but as Fuller puts it, “the sounds we got just weren’t us.” There was only one thing to do.

“So we decided to literally scrap everything we’d done and record everything ourselves,” he says. “We literally left it alone and started in my parents’ garage and recorded the whole thing in three weeks, just with us, the drum parts in my bedroom. Getting into a room by ourselves and doing exactly what we wanted to, it was a massive relief to do it in a way that was 100 percent natural. We owe a lot of people. We don’t have any recording gear aside from the laptop and we borrowed everything — amps, percussion instruments — everything.”

On the eve of a U.S. headline tour, Fuller chatted with Diffuser.fm about forming Gold Fields, classifying the band’s dance-oriented sound and dealing with industry hype.

How did Gold Fields come to be?

We’ve all known each other for years and years. We went to school together. When we turned 18 we started going out in the city, in Melbourne, seeing the Presets, Cut Copy, a lot of those bands, Tame Pilot, electronic. Miami Horror, Empire of the Sun — all bands we grew up loving. Those sort of bands have influenced us. We knew [drummer] Ryan from playing in bands at school. We got together a couple of years ago, writing some music together and this stuff started happening. We started taking the band more seriously.

As far as categories go, ‘dance-rock,’ seems to be the most convenient for Gold Fields. How would you describe your sound?

It’s hard for us to describe it. Generally, we try to make pop music. For us making it, we realized it wasn’t really pop music. We all love dance music. Probably dance music is what we listen to most. You can hear dance music in Gold Fields, I would describe it as dance or heavy pop. The live show is very different than what the record’s like. It’s more like a full dance band. We try to make it more structured.

Your live show has garnered a lot of attention. How do you process the hype you’ve generated in the States and being named by Elle and MTV “a band to watch?”

We were really surprised. Really, really surprised. It was weird. On our last tour, there were people in cities like Salt Lake City or Columbus – weird cities we’d never heard of – coming out who knew some of our music, which was bizarre for us. That in itself was awesome. Those in L.A. and New York — both sold out shows — were huge experiences. Stuff like MTV turning out the other day, it’s just weird to us.The stuff like that, when you hear it, it’s a bit of a surprise. It’s good people are supporting the band and helping us do what we want to do. At the same time, we don’t take notice of those types of things. It doesn’t change anything. Although we feel thankful for that. We’re not bloody sitting here thinking we’re killing it. For us, it’s about doing what we did from the beginning.

Watch Gold Fields’ Video for ‘Dark Again’

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