Such Gold Discuss Punk Rock Influences + New LP, ‘The New Sidewalk’
Rochester, New York's hardcore punk outfit Such Gold have been around for a few years now, and after their debut album, 'Misadventures,' came out two years ago, the band has staked its claim in the punk and emo scenes -- despite lineup changes and numerous setbacks. The band has a generally hardcore, underground vibe, with plenty of screaming and in-your-face riffs; but, they feel that they are somehow evolving, moving away from pop-punk with their new LP, 'The New Sidewalk.'
‘The New Sidewalk’ was created under the guidance of producer Bill Stevenson of the Descendents at the Blasting Room in Ft. Collins, Colorado. If you've heard their first single, 'Faced,' it definitely represents what you can expect to hear on the entire LP, at least according to the band. The album is out today via Razor and Tie.
Such Gold's bassist and co-vocalist, Jon Markson, recently took some time to answer a few questions for us. He opened up about everything from the upcoming record’s new approach to how Such Gold became who they are today.
How did 'Such Gold' end up being your band name?
We literally just put "Such" and "Gold" together and thought it sounded cool. We ran with it from there.
Do you feel that your new single 'Faced' is a good representation of what your fans can expect from the new record?
Definitely. But, pretty much any song off of the record would do the record the justice of "representing" it. We really picked 'Faced' because we felt as though it was a really thorough punch to the nose of a first song to release. It's relatively short, dense, and packs in a lot of the themes and feels we explore throughout the whole record.
How did you all start playing music together?
Nate [Derby] and our previous drummer, Devan [Bentley], starting jamming when their previous groups disbanded. They needed a vocalist and Devan knew Ben [Kotin] from a few local Rochester bands. He covered 'You Vandal' by Saves the Day and jammed on a few original Such Gold ideas and they decided he was the man for the job. I used to play in a few bands with Skylar [Sarkis], our old guitar player, and he invited me to join. When he left, Ben moved to guitar and it was an awesome and seamless transition since he was already writing a lot of the guitar stuff anyway. We recently ended up with Matt Covey, previously of Shai Hulud, as our new drummer. We met him at Soundwave Festival in Australia in 2013 sort of on a whim and got to playing with him about a year later.
How was it to work with Bill Stevenson? Did you get to work with any other major players in the punk scene for this album?
Working with Bill was an absolute pleasure. We were pretty nervous going in. The studio time for the record was booked almost a year in advance so we had plenty of time to mentally prepare. We essentially recorded the entire record once through at this studio I run in Brooklyn, so we came in with our parts and arrangements and concepts for the record really well figured out. It really set the tone and allowed Bill and us to just get each other’s vibe. He keeps everyone on their toes really well. The whole time we were working he showed this excitement about the material -- and clearly that just got us incredibly excited. But any time his accolades floated us too high in the sky he would keep us in check by working us really hard to make sure we were getting the takes we needed and staying on top of the task at hand. He inspired us by his insane amount of coffee intake and made sure we drank our fair share. We really need to thank all the dudes at the Blasting Room equally: Jason "Swoll" Livermore, Andrew "Goat's Milk" Berlin and Chris "The Baby Jesus" Beeble worked just as hard with us.
Would you really say that you're moving further away from the pop-punk genre with this album? If anything, I think you're moving closer. 'Faced' has less screaming and is actually a lot more melodic than your past material.
I would venture to say we are moving away from it, but not by any crazy intention. There is never a moment in our life as a band where we contemplate what genre we are or what kind of music we want to write. We all have a pretty common bond in what we find to be engaging and interesting in music. By some standards, 'Faced' has less screaming and is more melodic but I would hardly say that is what makes it more or less "pop punk."
Who would you say your biggest influences have been, current and past?
Our influences vary by the day. We definitely individually have pretty different tastes but we meet in the middle on pretty much any band who can pull off cool arrangements, regardless of style. Lately we've been listening to a lot of this Canadian band, A.M. Overcast, Fugazi, A Wilhelm Scream, and some stoner metal. Matt has been bringing a lot of reggae and R&B to the table as well. That s--t rips. [On the road], the playlist really depends on who is driving.
Talk about your experience at Groezrock in 2012 -- what a lineup every year, huh?
The line-up was awesome. We definitely want to play again as soon as possible. We would love to come to Belgium and play there five times a year if we could.
If you could start over again as a different band, who would it be?
Probably Burning Airlines and Propagandhi, depending on how heavy we are feeling on any given day. We all have pretty different musical tastes but they intersect strongly on pretty much anything J. Robbins has been involved in and [most] Porpagandhi. Both bands are so dense and musically engaging whilst remaining tasteful. Not to mention badass vocals.