Kerrang! (UK) - - Kerrang! (uk) -

What do blink-182,all­time Low and 5SOS have in com­mon? How about Sleep­ing With Sirens, Black Veil Brides and Biffy Clyro?

The sin­gle thread ty­ing all these bands (and many, many more) to­gether is a man called John Feld­mann. Even if you don’t recog­nise him, you’ll have heard and felt his in­flu­ a pro­ducer he’s twid­dled the knobs of dozens of your favourite bands, and as a song­writer he’s helped them to hone their own writ­ing skills. In 2017 he’s one of the most in-de­mand pro­duc­ers in the rock world, but he’s also a mu­si­cian in his own right, hav­ing fronted the punk band Goldfinger since 1994.They never re­ally faded away or went on a com­plete hia­tus.they’ve be­come a Slam Dunk sta­ple for one thing, skank­ing the UK fest into sub­mis­sion three times since the turn of the decade. Brand-new al­bum The Knife is, how­ever, Goldfinger’s first full-length re­lease since Hello Des­tiny… in 2008.

“Why have we come back now?” John pon­ders. “First of all I had a break in the sched­ule. I also had a small arse­nal of songs that I’d writ­ten for other bands but that didn’t fit, that I knew could be turned into great Goldfinger songs. But mostly I’ve been watch­ing bands that I’ve worked, like 5 Sec­onds Of Sum­mer and blink and All Time Low, play shows in front of in­sane, chaotic, scream­ing fans. I’ve caught the bug again.”

John might have caught the bug, but any longterm fans will be quick to note that the cur­rent in­car­na­tion of Goldfinger is a very dif­fer­ent beast to the one that recorded Hello Des­tiny…. Gone are the orig­i­nal and long-term mem­bers to be re­placed by what is es­sen­tially a pop-punk su­per­ well as John him­self on vo­cals and gui­tar the re­boot fea­tures Story Oftheyear gui­tarist Philip Sneed, Mxpx front­man Mike Her­rera on bass and a drum­mer you might have heard of by the name of Travis Barker (with New Found Glory’s Cyrus Bolooki drum­ming live).

It’s a stel­lar line-up al­right, but is Goldfinger even a band any­more, or is it es­sen­tially a John Feld­mann solo project?

“I hope it’s a band be­cause I fuck­ing love these guys.we played so many shows with Mxpx back in the mid-’90s. I signed Story Of The Year [as an A&R rep for Madonna’s Mav­er­ick Records] and Travis, in my opin­ion, is the best drum­mer that’s ever lived.”

As well as the core mem­bers of the new-look Goldfinger, the new al­bum bris­tles with star guests.there’s Travis’ blink part­ner Mark Hop­pus, Josh Dun from twenty one pi­lots,taka from ONE OK ROCK, Nate Al­bert from ska-punk god­fa­thers The Mighty Mighty Bos­stones and 311 front­man Nick times it might seem like this project is one con­tin­u­ous string of name-drops, but when your name is John Feld­mann, your ad­dress book con­tains more rock­stars than a sum­mer full of fes­ti­val back­stage bars.

So how, we won­der, does the process work? Does he iden­tify a song that would suit one of these peo­ple per­fectly or is it a case of thumb­ing through his bulging black book and just see­ing who’s avail­able on any given day?

“I knew See You Around would be great for Mark Hop­pus be­cause it’s in his reg­is­ter and it’s a nos­tal­gic song about grow­ing up on that post-punk, Re­place­ments-era mu­sic. He and I have sim­i­lar tastes in mu­sic, so I asked him to write a sec­ond verse for it,” John says.“don’t Let Me Go needed a vo­cal, and I’m not a singer like

Taka. His mom’s, like, the Ce­line Dion of Ja­pan and his dad was the Frank Si­na­tra.with Josh, I’d known him be­fore twenty one pi­lots got signed. I was des­per­ate to sign them, ac­tu­ally, but it didn’t work out. Like ev­ery other kid his age, he started in a pop-punk band, and Orthodon­tist Girl was the most pop-punk song on the al­bum. I asked him to play on it, and he was stoked to do it.”

The ar­ray of tal­ent that John has roped into his new vi­sion for Goldfinger might be enough to place The Knife on the radar of the mod­ern rock fan, but when it comes to stay­ing rel­e­vant, he prefers to work on gut in­stinct.

“What­ever’s in your guts is usu­ally the right thing to do,” he nods.“there are peo­ple who study the art of song­writ­ing, but if you over-think it you can lose the magic of it. Every­one has prob­lems and for me mu­sic was al­ways an es­cape. I hated school – I was bul­lied, it was tor­ture for me, but when I put mu­sic on none of that stuff ex­isted.

“With Goldfinger, we sold enough but we never be­came one of those re­ally big pop-punk bands like Green Day or blink,” he con­tin­ues.“we had an en­ergy that was in­fec­tious, though, and that’s what I still want to do.when I go to shows I want to feel trans­ported out­side my re­al­ity.”

So are you still as ex­cited as ever to be putting out a new Goldfinger al­bum?

“It’s dif­fer­ent.when I started I was work­ing in a shoe shop, slip­ping demos into the shoe boxes to try to get it out there,” he laughs.“my band was ev­ery­thing to me then. Now I make my liv­ing as a pro­ducer, but Goldfinger is still hugely im­por­tant. I get that rush of en­dor­phins when I play and I want peo­ple to like the record. But the most im­por­tant thing is that it gets me stoked. If I can make my­self cry I can make the world cry, be­cause that’s the way songs work.” And if any­one knows about that, it’s Feldy, the man with rock’s golden touch. GOLDFINGER’S AL­BUM THE KNIFE IS OUT NOW VIA RISE RECORDS

“if a song makes me cry, it can make the world cry…” JOHN FELD­MANN

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