DIY ex­per­i­ment right for Gold Fields

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

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.

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