Brooding, melancholic, ruminating and thesaurus: These are all words that come to the front of our mind when we listen to the Vancouver, BC quartet Gold & Youth. It’s a deeply industrial styled outfit that wanders around darker genres with its own contemporary interpretations of inspirations past. Igniting visions of '80s powerhouse Depeche Mode, the band effortlessly combines late 20th century nostalgia with what we’d expect out of a soundtrack to our workday time killing zone-outs.
Gold & Youth’s album “Beyond Wilderness” was originally released in the band’s native Canada in late spring 2013, followed by a fall release in the UK, receiving tremendous praise in both. Gold & Youth has spent the year touring relentlessly, including SXSW and CMJ in the U.S. and dates internationally supporting Tegan and Sara, Fun., and Diamond Rings. The band is currently on the road now, and will be in Denver this Saturday, June 28 at The Marquis Theatre.
We made some fancy conversation pieces with lead singer Mathew Lyall about the band before they arrive.
From first listen we couldn’t help but think of Depeche Mode when Gold & Youth hit our speakers. Was this just a coincidence because of your deeper voice, or was this something you tried to achieve purposefully?
Beyond the obvious vocal similarity, I think we attempt to blur the lines of synthetic and organic instrumentation, something Depeche Mode do exceptionally well. Also, our record was mixed by Gareth Jones, who produced and mixed several Depeche Mode records. So there was probably an inevitability of some sonic similarities. It’s definitely not a comparison we take issue with since they are one of the few bands we collectively agree on in the van.
What are some of the more notable things you’ve taken from larger scale acts you’ve opened for as an inspiration to your work?
Somewhat off topic, but basically just don’t be a jerk. Be kind and courteous to everyone at the show from the opening band to the sound techs to the kids who drove two hours to see you and just want five minutes to talk and tell you about their band. To paraphrase Henry Rollins, it doesn’t matter if you’re David Bowie or the milkman, no one has time for rock star diva bulls*%t and there’s no such thing as being too cool, too busy or too important to treat everyone at a show with respect.
If a squirrel darts in front of you while driving do you swerve or just gun-it and pray?
Gun it and pray. Sorry little guy.
There’s one piece of pizza left in the box and each member of the band is looking at it; who would end up with it and why?
Jeff (drummer). He’s a tiny little man and he really needs the nutrients.
What’s one of the ultimate goals as a band you all try to accomplish with each release?
Make music we would actually listen to. You’d be surprised how hard that is for any band.
Name a few downsides to the whole ‘rock star’ lifestyle:
There are few things in life as glamorous as sharing a two star hotel room with three other people for six straight weeks.
Are the long travels best passed by Netflix marathons? What else is a great way to pass time on the road?
We listen to a lot of podcasts. Some personal favorites: Q with Jian Ghomeshi, Radiolab, The Best Show on WFMU, This American Life, Conversations with Richard Fidler.
Is anyone in the band a video game fanatic?
Does Trivial Pursuit on the iPhone count? We play that a lot in the van too. We are bookish and boring in real life.
Do you have any preference between touring, writing, recording or napping?
Our songwriting process is such that writing and recording are often simultaneous, and few things beat the excitement of actualizing an idea and creating something from nothing.
Colorado always gets knocked because of our lack of oxygen, but it’s not our fault, honest. Is this something you worry about coming here to perform?
Hadn't thought about it till now. Maybe we can rent those hyperbaric chambers that Spinal Tap got stuck in on stage.
Also, artists always claim to get far drunker here than anywhere else. Please do be careful:
Noted. Less worried about this.
Anything you wish to tell your Colorado fans before you come through and deliver us some music?
Listen to more Constantines