Ballarat-born dance-pop wonder kids Gold Fields are finally back on home soil after once again smashing it on the international stage. They’ve been touring in the States after a successful crowdfunding campaign and a fortuitous label opportunity helped them on their way, but really this five-piece has always made its own luck. From the very beginning, Gold Fields – from their rhythm-heavy approach to songwriting to their approach to the industry – have always aimed high. Countless festival spots and a host of mind-blowing support slots (Crystal Castles, Pnau and Metric, to name a few) have carried them along as they’ve patiently honed their craft. This year’s release, Black Sun, garnered them a heap of praise and even more attention, but all the overseas commitments have meant that while the album cycle should be winding down, audiences here are still amping up.
“We got back from America about a month ago and it’s just been good to be home, playing shows and touring the album here,” says drummer Ryan D’Sylva. “It’s like we haven’t really been here to play shows for this album and so it’s good to be home. We’re really busy until the end of the year and we’re really looking forward to the New Year’s show.”
That New Year’s show is On The Harbour, where Gold Fields will join Alison Wonderland, Art vs. Science and a whole heap more artists to ring in 2014. But before the streamers go off and the countdown begins, D’Sylva and the band are still coming down from an exhilarating US tour. “The whole experience was really awesome,” he says. “It’s not like Australia where you’ll do an Australian tour, which is shows every weekend and no real shows during the week. In America it’s just day after day, you can drive a few hours and be in a completely new city with a completely different vibe and you never know what you’re gonna get. You might go to a city with a radio station that’s playing your music and you can get there and completely sell a show out, and then you can go two hours away and no-one knows who you are. It keeps you on your toes, which is really exciting. On the flipside, there’s just so much driving and sleepless nights. We had the same routine – we’d get up at six in the morning, we’d drive for anywhere up to ten hours to a city, we’d get out and play the show, then we’d get out of the venue by about one in the morning, check into a hotel, get about four hours’ sleep and then do it all over again. We did that for about six weeks and at one point we played 35 shows in 37 days – but you get a lot of good for those hard bits.”
Have they found that their music speaks to US audiences more than at home, or have the opportunities over there simply opened up for them more easily of late? “I don’t think it’s that we speak to people more overseas; it was really just that our record label gave us the opportunity to go over there and spend some time,” says D’Sylva. “We’d been in Australia for about two years touring; we’d done some tours that we were really happy with but we thought it was just a really cool idea to go over there and do something completely different. I do think we probably spent a bit too much time over there, maybe – but yeah, it was just an opportunity and that’s why we ended up spending nine of the past 12 months over there. I am happy to finally be back playing shows here though, it’s really time. Come next year we’ll probably spend a lot more time here and give Australia a lot more love.”
To the band, it feels like the album cycle is only just beginning on home soil, and although they’re excited, they’re also ready to start recording again. “You can feel an attention from the crowd because there are people who know the songs from the album, and you’ve got their attention more than if you’d just released an EP and people only know one or two tracks. But because we haven’t really been in Australia we’re still kinda seeing the album grow here, which is cool I guess, but we’re pretty ready to wrap up this album now and move onto to something new and release a new single. The album has done what we’d hoped, so yeah, we’re hoping we can use time off in summer to get something done.
“We’re pretty busy until the end of the year but then we’ve got a hold on bookings until around February/March when we’re gonna hopefully have a new live set with some new songs and give everyone the 2014 version of Gold Fields.”
BY KRISSI WEISS
Gold Fields play NYE On The Harbour at Cargo Bar with Art vs. Science, Van She, Alison Wonderland, Bag Raiders (DJ set), Fishing and more on Tuesday December 31. Black Sun out now through Astralwerks/EMI.