Friday, 29 August 2008

INTERVIEW: Golden Silvers

Fresh from the release of their debut single, Neon Buzz caught up with Golden Silvers backstage at Cambridge Junction to talk club nights, capes and Phil Lynott.

You’ve just released your debut single, ‘Arrows of Eros’. Why did you choose to release that song?
Gwilym Gold: I think it’s because we started doing it at gigs and it seemed to be a favourite. It felt like the right one to do.

You released it on Young and Lost Club, which was a one-off deal. Have any other labels shown an interest in you?
Gwilym: Yeah, there’s quite a few actually. Suddenly they all – not all, a few – have started to show an interest but at the moment we’re not sure what we’re going to do. I think we’re going to try and do our next single on our own label.

I read a quote from you saying that the traditional way of signing a record deal is outdated – what did you mean by that?

Gwilym: I just think that the whole idea, the whole thing of getting signed is outdated because you can do a lot of it in your own way now. You don’t really need labels as much anymore ‘cos you can do stuff on the internet and whatever… it’s not like the olden days where you’d get signed and they’ll give you like a million pounds. It’s not really like that anymore. (Wryly) Probably going to sign a million dollar record deal next week though, hopefully.

You run the Bronze Club in London… is that always at the Macbeth?

Alexis Nunez: Yeah, it’s always at the Macbeth.
Gwilym: It’s pretty much always there. We have been known to do the odd one somewhere else but the Macbeth is the home of it.
Alexis: It’s getting quite busy now, actually. Every time we do it it’s getting busier so we might have to start thinking about moving it to somewhere else.
Gwilym: Although the Macbeth feels like a spiritual home to it.
Ben Moorhouse: The people who run it are really cool, they’re all musicians and in bands and stuff.

Why did you start running the club?
Gwilym: We basically just started it for a gig for our band. We knew the people at the Macbeth and we thought there’s a lot of shitty promoters out there so we thought why not promote your own gigs and then you can control how you put it out there. You can get all the bands you like to play with you.
Alexis: And pay them as well. We always put on good bands that we know and we love.
Gwilym: It’s the same thing as with the record label, to a degree, ‘cos I know at some point we’ll probably need people to help us but why at this point go through people when we can put our own gigs on and make sure that it’s all done in the way that we like.

So you held your single launch at the Bronze Club and people turned up in gold and silver clothes and made Golden Silvers outfits – was that a bit of a weird experience?

: We made this dress code where if you dressed in gold and silver you’d get in free so quite a few people made the effort. Someone made like a gold cape that had Golden Silvers embroidered on the back, which I wore during the gig. There was this jacket as well with sequins that said Golden Silvers. There were some good outfits for it.

You won the Glastonbury New Talent competition and you played the Other Stage on the Saturday. What was it like to play Glastonbury?
Gwilym: We were really looking forward to it. It was a great weekend, there was a group of us and we all had our tents set up facing each other and everyone was hanging out the whole time, and then on that morning we just got up really early and went backstage. We walked on stage and the crew were all setting up then we just saw the massive field in front and all the people getting up in the morning.
Ben: It was mainly just seagulls though at that point. There was one guy who’d set up a little chair at the front, from about nine o’clock.

Michael Eavis compared you to Oasis and Coldplay after you played; what do you think about that?
Gwilym: (laughing) They’re probably two of the biggest influences on the band…
Alexis: It would be nice to have that kind of that success but I don’t think musically we’re that similar.
Gwilym: We’ll take it as a compliment though ‘cos he means it in a nice way. Both bands do their own thing in their own way. The thing is I don’t think people would instantly think that we’re a similar band to those two in terms of sound but songs-wise, we’ve got the songs but we just play them in a different way.

Over the rest of the summer you’ve also played Radio 1’s Big Weekend, Latitude and Oxegen. How did they compare to each other and to Glastonbury?
Gwilym: Radio 1’s Big Weekend was great because the guy who put us on, Huw Stephens, has been supporting us a lot. I’m not having a pop at it at all but it did feel a tiny bit underwhelming though, because we were playing at the very end so we were playing at the same time as all the other big bands on the other stages so there weren’t that many people there.
Alexis: But what was funny about that was we played to quite a few people but because we were headlining the BBC website said “the Golden Silvers ended on a triumphant….”
Gwilym: “Brought the Introducing tent to a rousing finale.” But it didn’t really feel like that.
Alexis: They just had to make it sound good.
Gwilym: Latitude was one of the best ones I thought. It started raining just as we played so there was like so many people in the tent. We couldn’t believe it. I looked out at one point and there was quite a lot of people and then when it started raining I looked out again and there was like a whole tent.
Ben: At Latitude though, we weren’t expecting it ‘cos we’d just done the Bronze Club the night before and we’d had to get up really early in the morning but it was really good.
Alexis: Oxegen was like… I didn’t like it.
Gwilym: I wouldn’t say that. We got treated really well there and got really nice food and they were really nice to us, just the tent we playing and the time were a bit dodgy. People started shouting at Ben, saying he looked like Phil Lynott.
Ben: We played the ballad, like the slow Fade to Black tune and that’s when they went for it the most.
Gwilym: When the music was down a bit, they’d go mental. It wasn’t really very fitting.
Ben: It is kind of my fault though, ‘cos I did dedicate that song to Phil Lynott.

You’re playing Bestival in September. Are you going to get into the spirit and join in with the dressing up?
Alexis: I’m just going to bring some clothes and it normally looks like I’ve made the effort anyway. It’s in the middle of the tour anyway so I’m probably going to take all my clothes with me.
Gwilym: We probably won’t have much time to get dressing up clothes. Sometimes I think when people are dressed up that that looks better than what you wear normally so why are you acting like this is a joke?

Mystery Jets chose you to support them on their tour in April/May, did you have a good time touring with them?

Alexis: It was really great fun; they’re lovely people.
Ben: They’re really warm people. We got really into the band and were always checking out their set.
Alexis: Plus we got to play in front of quite a substantial crowd as well so we learned how to do what we do but to a larger audience.
Gwilym: They’ve got a really nice crowd, a really good crowd to play to. They all turn up at the very beginning and watch all the bands, they don’t just come for the Mystery Jets.
Ben: It’s not really like London, y’know. People are a lot more accepting with the fact that you’re out there trying to do something.
Alexis: They’re a great band anyway so to be supporting them is really good.

The September tour is your first headline tour and it’s like a month long, right? Are you looking forward to playing anywhere in particular?
Gwilym: Probably Darlington (laughs)… no, all of them. I haven’t even been to half of these places. Everyday seeing a new place will be good.
Alexis: I don’t really know what to expect either because we’ve not been on a tour like this before, like a long one, so we’re going to have to learn quickly about all that stuff, try and keep out of people’s hair.

Are you going to have local supports or are you taking someone on the road with you?
Gwilym: We’re travelling with this band called the Ex Lovers so I think it’s going to be them and then local supports as well.

I heard ‘Magic Touch’ is going to be your next single and, like you said earlier, you’re going to release it on your own label.

Gwilym: Yeah, well we’re still working on it but it’s going to be a double A side with a song called ‘Another Universe’. We’ve just recorded it so I’m really looking forward to hearing it.
Your lyrics are quite poetic, do you take influence from literature and poetry or is it more lyricists? Do you have a favourite poet?

: I suppose a bit of poetry and prose, yeah. [My favourite’s] probably Dylan Thomas or something.

What are your plans for an album?

Alexis: Well, we want to do one that’s for sure. It’s just the logistics of it, waiting for people to make offers but we want to get it done as soon as possible and hopefully get it out by the start of next year.

Is there anyone you’d want to produce it specifically?

Alexis: There’s lots of people that you’d like to work with, that are your heroes but realistically…
Gwilym: We did just do the single with this guy Lex and we got a really good vibe off of him.
Alexis: I’m sure a situation will just get in introduced and we’ll just end up going with it because we’re quite instinctive like that but obviously it’d be great to work with Pharrell, Prince…
Ben: Andre 3000…
Alexis: Just most of the big hip-hop producers.
Tonight was your first time in Cambridge, what did you think of the crowd?
Alexis: They were really cool, there was people smiling. It was nice, actually. I didn’t have a very good time, primarily because of the sound on stage, but it kind of makes up for it when people in the crowd are going for it and having a good time.

Rhian Daly