Interview: Dirty Gold
When we stumbled across brothers Lincoln, Grant and John Ballif of Dirty Gold back in November, we couldn't really believe how good of a track we were hearing with 'California Sunrise'. In what has been a particularly cold winter, it took us back to summer and then some.
Since then the relatively unknowns have gone on to release 'California Sunrise' on January 18th and sign to Autumn Tone Records for the release of their EP in February.
In the midst of their release, we managed to grab a few words with the guys to see how things started and how they're progressing.
(One For The People) Tell us a bit more than your names, how did you, as a band, came about?
(Lincoln): Towards the end of summer, I was super stoked on surfing and 50’s/60’s music. I started experimenting with afro-beats and drippy guitar lines and I kind of stumbled upon a new sound that I really liked. CA Sunrise really hooked my brother so we started writing together. Grant joined up right before we signed, and he’s added a completely new element to the music.
(1FTP) We've been championing Beachwave since you came about, it's got its own Facebook fan page now (wonder who created that??) There seems to be a growing trend with, 'beachwave' and equivalent genres, how did you end up there?
(John) I came up with "Beachwave" to describe our sound when we started. I sent the name of the genre along with our music to a bunch of blogs. It kinda just took off. It's cool to be able to say you are the OG of a sub-genre.
"I think hipsters are capitalizing on the fact that most chillwave bands are relatively unknown" Lincoln Baliff, 2011
(1FTP) We've noticed of late that Chillwave, a style not too dissimilar from Beachwave and Glo-fi etc, is getting some dodgy press for being a rather hipster genre? Hipster or Not?
(Lincoln) I think hipsters are capitalizing on the fact that most chillwave bands are relatively unknown, but I don’t think its a hipster genre, necessarily.
(1FTP) How did you end up with California Sunrise, its such a summer soundtrack, it wouldn’t be out of place being played anywhere in a summer season. It just seems to be so chilled and relaxed, that it feels like it would only be right if the recording process was too?
(Lincoln) For the demo, I wrote a lot of it as I recorded - improvised guitar lines and lyrics just fell into place. It was harder to get the production quality we wanted on the final.
(1FTP) Being brothers, describe how that helps and how it hinders aspects of the band.
(Lincoln) We don’t act professional towards each other at all but it ends up helping us when we write. Our best ideas come when we are just hanging out and playing guitar in John’s room or singing harmonies in the car.
(John) It makes writing so easy, we bounce ideas off each other all day.
(Grant) It has totally helped the way we function. Since they live together they can easily practice together and we can get new songs together much faster.
(1FTP) Who do you take inspiration from and why?
(Lincoln) Roy Orbison - he really explored his sound, especially in Mystery Girl.
(Grant) Michael Jackson - He was able to mesh many genres together and I find the rhythms of his music very infectious, just love listening to him.
(John) Beach House - the layering techniques they have used are so delicate, yet complete. Also, “Teen Dream” is so cohesive as an album.
(1FTP) You have released your single now, how is the EP coming along?
(Lincoln) Pretty well, but recording can be a drag.
(1FTP) Any plans to tour?
(Grant) Being in high school, touring is very difficult. However, we hope to do some touring as soon as we get out for summer break. It should be a great way to start of the summer.
(1FTP) Where do you picture yourselves musically, next year, and in an ideal world (not an exaggerated one) where would you 'like' to be?
(Grant) In an ideal world, we would all still be together as a band and working on music whenever we could. However, we still want to finish our education, so that will most likely put the band on hiatus.
(1FTP) Any other bands in your area we should be keeping an eye on?
(All) TV Girl, Lesands, Jamuel Saxon, D/Wolves, Writer...
Here is the delightful video for California Sunrise, which was shot by the rather impressive Panaframe, the man behind Jensen Sportag's "Everything Good" we brought you just yesterday.