Behind the Beat: Goldroom
Only The Beat: When did you know you had an itch for music? When did that happen? A lot of people I’ve spoken to today seem to believe it came later in life.
Goldroom: This is my problem with dance music is I think they have a hard time believing their itch was for music. I think that their itch was for the scene or the culture. If you have an itch for music it’s in your soul. I know it was for me. As soon as I started listening to music I was obsessed with it. It became this escapist thing and I would just listen to songs over and over and over again.
I started playing cello when I was in second grade or something like that. I started writing songs on cello which didn’t make any sense. I picked up a guitar a year later and I started writing songs right away. It was something that felt very natural to me. I never had any aspirations to become a musician. I just loved writing music. I just always thought I sucked at it. I liked what I did. I just thought it wasn’t very good and it was stupid to be a musician so I never tried.
It wasn’t until I was out of college that even became something that I might be able to pursue. Everything fell into place.
OTB: You are in New York to play Mysteryland? Are you excited about that?
G: Very much so. I’m trying to wrap my head around it right now because I was in California at Lightning in a Bottle like 12 hours ago. So, it’s been a very long day but as soon as I got here I felt very transformed and transported to a different world. So I’m sort of soaking all it in and getting excited right now.
OTB: Speaking of Lightning In A Bottle how was it?
G: It was amazing. You know I played it two years ago and it’s grown so much in two years. Now it’s just this beautiful lifestyle festival. The people are all so nice and everybody’s there to sort of better themselves. It’s very unlike most music festivals. So it was very beautiful and we got to play on the main stage with a lot of people there. It’s been a while since I played with my full band and so it was great.
OTB: Speaking of playing with your full band, do you have a preference between playing a DJ set versus with your band? Or do you like a mix of both?
G: I love doing both. It’s really important to me. I love DJing. I love being a DJ and there’s a lot of bands that have people that go out and do DJ sets. It’s really important to me that I am not that guy. I love doing both. I find them both super artistically fulfilling and both equally as improvisational.
But, that being said if I DJ ten gigs in a row, I’m itching to go play live and sing and play the guitar. And if I’m at the end of a live tour I’m so excited to go DJ cause it’s so much more fun in a lot of ways.
OTB: The EDM craze that’s happened in the U.S. in the last two to three years, what is your take on that coming from a live music background?
G: I think it’s great. I don’t have a problem with it. More power to anyone that’s in that world. It’s pretty foreign to me. I don’t think I’ve ever DJ’ed what people would consider an EDM set. I feel very separate from it. I think of myself as more of an indie rock guy that happens to be making dance music or something like that.
It’s great. The thing that has changed over the last few years is now I think almost everybody in the world is comfortable with electronic sounds which I don’t think was true at the end of the 2000’s. So the chances of someone hearing your music and not giving it a chance because they heard a synthesizer that was kind of high are probably lower. Now I think everyone is just cool with electronic sounds which means they are going to give you a chance.
So for me I’m excited about that. Hopefully, I can be a breath of fresh air when people get tired of some of that music because it’s a little bit soulless at times.
OTB: Who would you say are your biggest influences both for the live band and as a DJ?
G: I’m mostly influenced by songwriters. I don’t think it’s worth making a song unless I can play it on guitar and sing it and have it still be an OK song. Artists like Curtis Mayfield or Tom Petty or even more modern artists like Ryan Adams are people I really respect. They’re the people I’m thinking about when I’m sitting down getting ready to write another song.
Goldroom – It’s Like You Never Went Away EP
OTB: What can people expect from your sets?
Goldroom: I plan on just telling a story over the set. I really like to have 6-8 songs work together as a unit. We go on a little journey together and climb a mountain together. Even if the top of my mountain is the mellowest thing that the DJ on the main stage would play I think because of the way I tell the story we get to a higher place out of it.
OTB: Big picture for you, what do you see yourself going in four to five years?
Goldroom: It would be a lot different if you asked me five years versus ten years. Because I think in five years I will still be doing the Goldroom thing. Hopefully, have put out my second record and sort of continuing to go down the path of seeing what kind of music I can write. Trying to advance myself as an artist and get better.
Ten years from now, I’m hoping to be working with other artists and helping to develop other artists’ careers. My real influences as far as what people’s careers are and what I would like to do are people like Rick Rubin or James Murphy. That’s the career I really want in the long run. I love working with other artists, helping their careers out and helping them work with other songwriters.
OTB: Dream collaboration for you? Someone that you would love to collaborate with on a track or live?
Goldroom: Oh, live is interesting. I’ve been thinking a lot of how cool it would be to make a song with Bjork. I wrote with a couple of Scandinavian songwriters recently and it was a very pleasurable experience. I’m sure she would be incredible.
OTB: If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Goldroom: I would probably be on Cape Cod. I’d probably be putting together a sailing school. I’d be teaching kids how to sail. Almost certain. Or maybe I’d be on a boat in the South Pacific? Sailing has always been my second passion.
I really like having that connection to nature. Some people camp, some people go skiing, some people go surfing. For me being at the whim of nature that way I connect with it.
OTB: And now for the curveball question: favorite food?
Goldroom: I don’t know if it’s because I’m a sailor. That’s funny they are tied but, I love seafood. Perhaps I love sushi the most. I think raw fish is just the most delicious thing in the world.
Here’s where you can catch Goldroom this Summer:
June 28th: Electric Forest (Live Set) – Michigan
July 5th: Zeitgeist at Sea (Boat Party) – New York
July 11th: Mamby On The Beach (Live Set) – Chicago
July 11th: Mamby Boat Party (DJ Boat Party) – Chicago
July 12th: Nautical By Nature (DJ Boat Party) – San Francisco
July 16th: Camp Bisco (DJ Set) – Pennsylvania
July 18th: Bacardi Boat Party (DJ Boat Party) – Honolulu
Aug. 1st-2nd: Osheaga Festival (Live Set) – Montreal
Aug. 8th-9th: Splash House (DJ Set) – Palm Springs
Aug. 22: FYF Fest(Live Set) – Los Angeles
Sept. 6th: Electric Zoo Festival (Live Set) – New York
Sept. 20th: Phoenix Hotel Poolside (DJ Set) – San Francisco
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