DIY experiment right for Gold Fields
AS Gold Fields hopped on a London-bound plane for their first-ever UK tour in 2010, they couldn’t help but look around and check for signs it was all a big prank. Back then, the Ballarat-based group of high school friends had played only a handful of gigs when they got a random call from a London agent who wanted two things: to release their debut self-titled EP on vinyl and accompany the release with an overseas tour. Recorded in frontman Mark Fuller’s parents garage, the five-track EP was picked up on the international blogosphere. ‘‘We couldn’t believe it was happening. We were laughing about it the whole flight and we were waiting for a cameraman to jump out and declare it all a joke,’’ Fuller says. ‘‘At that stage, we didn’t know what we were as a band. We were really green. That trip was a whirlwind. It was our first real tour.’’ Fast-forward three years, the quintet have added hundreds of overseas tour dates to their resume and are on the right track to discovering their musical purpose. In March, Gold Fields released their debut album Black Sun, a collection of new wave danceable tunes loaded with pop hooks, tribal beats and plenty of emotion. Most emerging bands dream of recording their debut in a swanky LA studio, for Gold Fields, the experience didn’t sit right. ‘‘The first time we recorded the album it was in a studio with a proper producer. When we finished, it didn’t sound anything like us,’’ Fuller says. ‘‘So we scrapped it and came back to Australia and went to another studio in Sydney. We tried to fix what we had done but by the time we were 90 per cent finished it was still the base of what we did in LA.’’ Longing for something more stripped-back, the band decided to go back to where it all began – Fuller’s parents’ garage. ‘‘The five of us spent three weeks in that garage, recording it the same as the EP,’’ Fuller says. ‘‘This time we had a lot more knowledge. We learnt about producing and how to use the software. It was painful to have to redo it again, but when we realised we could do it ourselves, it was the biggest relief.
‘‘Doing it ourselves meant we could experiment more. It was completely unconventional and experimental.’’
– ROSE SADLEIR
Gold Fields, Phebe Starr and Willow Beats play Elsewhere Bar, Surfers Paradise, tomorrow night.