John Danner

Fool's Gold returns to Columbus this Saturday!

Fool's Gold - Jack in the Pocket - Photo by John Danner

photo by John Danner

There is something infectious about Fool’s Gold's music that makes audiences uncontrollably flail, shuffle, and clap with a feverish delight.  This LA band's music is a delightful combination of western pop, afro-beat and krautrock elements that shimmer and awe, just like an ore of pyrite.

I first saw Luke Top and his awesomely tremendously talented troupe perform at The Summit on a stiflingly muggy night in July of 2010.  That evening, the air inside the venue was especially thick and stung my eyes.  My hair was sticking to my back and forehead, and my clothes were damp with sweat. The door guy told me the AC unit had broken earlier that evening. I was downing water like camel in a futile attempt to cool off. As soon Fool’s Gold began to play, all thoughts about the stifling humidity disappeared. I began to dance like a wild banshee with the rest of the crowd.  

Fool’s Gold returns to Columbus, Ohio this Saturday, May 19 at The Summit! One of my favorite local bands, Maza Blaska is opening! Bring your dancing shoes and don’t forget to stretch your legs beforehand. You won’t be able to stop yourself from moving with the energy both of these bands exude.

Read the JITP interview with Fool’s Gold's Luke Top and Brad Caulkins from 2010 here.




Washed Out was in town.  WASHED OUT.  The countless hours I had spent in my apartment relaxing to his mysteriously mellow reverb laced tunes, pondering what this man was like in real life… well, I was about to find out.  I had worked out the interview after scouring the internet for his press contacts and ended up corresponding with his wife, who set everything up for me.  I met up with Jacob Corbin of Collective Crowd Records before the show; he had driven down from Akron, OH.  Ever faithful photographer, John Danner, was by my side once again, this time with a photo pass for The Newport, which gave him access to the space in-front of the stage to take some amazing photos during the live set.  I found Ernest’s wife, Blair, a beautiful, petite woman with sweet southern charm, working the merch table.  I introduced myself and we chatted for a few minutes.

I was surprised when Ernest walked out on stage with a full band behind him, and also impressed by how tall he was.  I didn’t get a sense of his stature at Pitchfork Music Festival a few months earlier.  

After the set, I met Ernest and his wife out front by the merch table.  I was immediately charmed by his Southern drawl and ease. He and Blair make such a cute couple.  We all chatted for a minute, and then John and I followed Ernest backstage.  We shimmied behind the heavy black curtain behind the crazy looking honeycombs that were set up for the Yeasayer show, using my phone as a makeshift flashlight.  Then, it was up a winding metal staircase held together by balls of electrical and duct tape.  Ah yes, this was the same greenroom where I interviewed Bear in Heaven.  Curved black walls, one light, one worn in couch, parts of it also held together by duct tape.  As we set everything up I learned that all of the new band members of Washed Out had just met each other the Friday before this show.  This was only their second time playing live together.  Pretty impressive, if you ask me.  Their set was tight, and sounded energetic and fuller than Ernest’s solo set in Chicago.

KPSo you’re from Perry, GA.  How did you create Washed Out?

Ernest Greene: Yes, I grew up in Perry.  When I created Washed Out, I was living in Columbia SC; I had graduated college and moved there.  I had been working on music for a couple years in my bedroom, and never really had any intentions of playing in a band or putting music out.  It was more of just a hobby.  The stuff I was working on at that time was really different than it is now but it has kind of progressed into the Washed Out Sound.  So I guess, early last year (2009) was when I kind of started really working on the style.  It was just time, right situation… I met Chaz Budnik of Toro Y Moi and we had similar interest, and started playing music together.   It was kind of his success that kind of led to me breaking out.  He got signed to Carpark records and got blog buzz and through that… He had me as one of his top friends on Myspace, so people just randomly stumbled across my page. I only had one or two songs up…

[door opens…]

EG:  This is Ray!


Ray:  Hola! 

EG:  And so anyway, a couple blogs emailed me about posting stuff.

KPWho were some of the first blogs, do you remember?

EG:  No Pain in Pop was the first one, yeah. So I was just, so psyched that someone was interested.  They are based in London and that was even more fantastic to me.  So as soon as it got posted the ball started rolling and the songs were passed around pretty quickly.  To the point where I was getting emailed from blogs asking for more songs.  I didn’t have any more songs at that time!  So for three days, all I did was record, the majority of which is on my EP.

KPFrom the blogging, it seemed like everything took off really fast.

EG: Super fast!

KPAnd from my understanding

[door opens…]

EG:  This is Phil!

KP: Hello!

EGPhil has a really cool project called Dog Bite.

[At this point my hearing abilities decide to get up and walk out the door so I asked Ernest about 5 times, “What’s it called? What?”  To a point where I got embarrassed just listening to myself during transcription.]

EG:  I heard his music online and was really into the fact that he’s from Atlanta because I spend a lot of time there, so I emailed him and that’s how we got in touch.  So he’s part of the band now.  I want to produce his stuff, because it’s really cool.

KPI’ll definitely have to check it out.

EG:  Yeah, it’s great!

KPLet’s talk about the first show you played as Washed Out, in New York.  It was sold out…

EG:  Yes, yes.  It was at Santo’s Party House… it was really bad. I had done a show, two or three days before in Atlanta.  I had no idea what I was doing.  It was generally a pretty positive experience; it was my first taste of what was to come.  I flew in on Sunday the show was the next night. It was the first time I met most of the guys from Mexican Summer.  They’re the record label that put out the EP. That was mostly done via email; I had talked to them on the phone a couple times.  So that first night, we got absolutely wasted. And the next day, they had scheduled press stuff from 10 in the morning until 6 in the afternoon; the show was shortly after that.  I was really hung-over and really late and it was just the worst experience, I was so tired.  

[Door opens…]

EG:  Oh! One by one!  This is Cameron.

Cameron:  Hi!

KPHiya!  We were watching you on stage, well, me and my friend Jacob who [Ernest] met downstairs. We were saying you look like John from Bear in Heaven.

EG:  It’s the mustache!

Cameron:  I get that a lot!  That and Steve from Prefontaine, Tom Selleck.


EG:  Cameron grew up with Chaz.  They played together in a band together growing up.

KPHe’s a nice guy.  I interviewed him at the Grog Shop when he was on tour with Caribou.

EG:  So it’s kind of a weird, close connection to those guys.

KPAlso Small Black!

EG:  They played as my backing band for a while.

KPJust posted that interview yesterday.

EG:  Cool!  I’ll check it out! They’re pretty good on Twitter about posting interviews and stuff. 

[Yeasayer starts blasting in the background from the show downstairs]

KP:  It’s about to get really loud.

EG:  It only gets louder too!  They’re super pro.  Really good playing with them.

KPThis is your second show playing with them?

EG:  Yeah, yeah.  We’re playing with them for about two weeks. Going to Miami, then New Orleans.  Then they’re playing Austin City Limits.

KP:  When you play big shows like this with bands like Yeasayer, do you have a certain goal for the show or… how do you approach your live show?

EG:  At this point it’s more like, not fucking up and just getting through the songs.  Luckily these guys are really good musicians.  I mean, I know the songs backwards and forwards because, you know, I did all the songs myself. I’m not that experienced playing with other people and being the person who is in charge.  So that’s like… that’s been a little tough.  I think it takes playing a couple shows before you’re really comfortable playing together.  So I could definitely feel that tonight.  I guess my main thing is, once they’re all comfortable and I’m comfortable together, I can be more open to being entertaining and speaking with the audience.  Last night was weird, because we were all just standing there doing our thing and didn’t say anything.  I can tell from here on out it’s only going to get better.

KP: What would you say is the biggest challenge playing solo vs. playing with a full band?

EG:  That’s tough.  I enjoy playing by myself.

KPIt seemed like you had a lot of fun at Pitchfork!

EG:  It’s kind of a weird thing, especially at PF.  It’s an outdoor show… At festivals the stages are so close together, if you’re doing more mellow material, you’ll have sound bleeding in from whoever is at the opposite stage.  When I play shows by myself its more ambient, I extend songs, really get in the zone of zoning out which is really cool.  Most of the stuff is completely improv with the vocals and everything which is super fun.  But I can tell, with the large crowd and it being outdoors in the middle of the day, people just want to have fun and have an upbeat set.  That’s kind of the tradeoff, like, with the band it’s much easier to go to that place and have it be more of a party vibe.  The entertaining factor is a little bit harder.

KPHow did you end up touring with Small Black?  

EG:  The relationship started with email and instant messaging, the same way it did with Phil and a lot of things have happened.   They emailed me to say they were into my stuff and asked if I would be into doing a remix for them. I heard the song probably a couple weeks before and was really into it and I’m not THAT into remixing at all unless it’s something that just works like, in my world.  Most of the stuff I’ve done, I’ll just cover the song and just kind of do it in my style.  Their song just worked perfectly, verse, chorus, verse, chorus.  So I did that for them, and then it was their idea to do the tour and it worked perfectly.  I’m really not good a planning things and at the time, I wasn’t planning on touring at all. I hadn’t done it before, and then I realized there were huge crowds that were going to be interested I thought it would be really bad. The little push I got from them was, “We already have this planned, you can ride with us, we’ll rehearse the songs before and it will be really easy.”  So I flew up to NY and we rehearsed for three days straight.  As soon as we started playing it was instant good vibes all around. We’ve probably done, 60 shows together now.  It’s kind of sad, we did a tour in Europe together in June and they were just wrapping up a record, which is about to come out on Jagjaguar. I guess we both realized… you know this is the end of the road because they have the record coming out and they kinda wanted to do their own thing.  But yeah, they’re definitely some of my best friends now.  They’re a little more experienced upfront than I was, but it was all still really new for both of us.  So it was a really special experience for the both of us. 

KP:  They are some of the nicest people I have ever met.

EG: They’re so funny!  So fun!  You met my wife, Blair.  She’s always the only girl on the road. I feel like I’ve been pretty lucky.  I mean, the guys I play with now are so cool with her.  It was such a fun tour with Small Black.  They have a really good mindset going on the road.  They totally embrace randomly crashing at people’s houses which always leads to totally unpredictable situations. (Interviewer’s note: Is the foreshadowing I hear? See concluding paragraph.) I’m kind of a shy guy. I’m not really comfortable just going around talking to people. But they’re so into that. Within five minutes they would have found a crazy party to go to.  Some couch to sleep on, it was that easy.

KPWe took them out for pizza with one of my friends who is friends with Travis of Pictureplane, and they ended up staying a t her house.

EG:  Ah yeah! Travis!  You know him?  Travis is THE MAN.  Talking about the right attitude on tour.  He is the most intriguing person I’ve ever met.  You should friend him on Facebook. He in his life is just, I mean, he could have a reality show about his life and just totally kill. He’s really good about posting about stuff he’s doing.  It’s really cool.  He is amazing and I feel like you have to experience his set at some really shitty club. That’s where he and his stuff really comes out.  The tour I did with him was really small clubs which was perfect.  I know he’s working on new material too.  Could be a new direction for Pictureplane.

KPMy last question for you was what was your high school experience like?

EG:  I went to a small private school, so it was pretty positive.  I would say at least half of the people I graduated with, I grew up with.  It was such a small school, I played sports, I sang in the chorus.  Just pretty positive.  I went to a pretty big college, University of Georgia.  About 40,000/50,000 students and high school was a little bubble.  Going off to Georgia was pretty weird experience.  I was definitely the weird kid [in High School] listening to all the weird shit.  I was really into jazz music which was not the norm for a kid. 

KPWhat sports did you play?

EG:  I played football and basketball.  I still play basketball all the time. 

Joel:  A stand out in all sports!

[Conversation turns to Yeasayer and their insane light show with honeycombs]

After the show, I had one of the absolute best, and worst nights of my life.  Everyone from Yeasayer and Washed Out and I went to a small hipster dive bar on the East side of Columbus, Carabar.  Many games of Pirate Madness were played, to the point where we achieved the high score.  To the best of my knowledge that high score still stands to this day. I offered Blair, Ernest and their crew a place to crash that night, so I left a little early to drop my friends off at their house just north of downtown.  I didn’t think much of the RIIIIIIIIPPPPP CRUUUNCH that sounded as I pulled my car out of the unpaved lot across the street from the bar.  Then my oil light turned on… then, one block away from my house, my car sputtered out and died.  Turns out, my oil pan had been ripped open and the oil gushed out of my car, which scorched and seized my engine.  I had to get towed back to my house (at 4 a.m.) But the night… er, should I say morning, turned out pretty great.  Washed Out and crew were great guests, and awesome to talk to. (I wasn’t geeking out at all… (lies)) Most traumatic/laid back night.

Washed Out's new album Within and Without dropped via Sub Pop last month. He’ll be returning to Ohio in September at Midpoint Music Festival in Cincinnati.  




When I introduced myself to Freelance Whales lead singer, Judah Dadone, I immediately noticed how much he resembled Mark Ruffalo.  Same kind eyes, and soft voice.  Doris’ personality reminded me of my friend Brit Boras, her contagious laugh just bursts out and gets everyone else rolling.  Jacob, Chris and Kyle reminded me of my older brothers, strong, creative, and very intelligent.

Finding a place to conduct an interview can be an ominous chore.  Ideally, you need someplace quiet so the audio can be understood for transcription, and private, so people don’t interrupt.  The quietest place these Freelance Whales and I could find was on an patio above the venue, with music blaring from the upstairs bar, and from the Gaslight Anthem show next door.  The 5 band members and I arranged ourselves around a table for optimal audio quality.  I set my iPhone in the center…

KPI really hope this picks up everything.

Jacob: We’ll lean into it.

Judah: We can all talk unnaturally loud and monotone.

KPGaslight Anthem is next door, and they only sold 900 tickets apparently.

Kevin: I’m surprised.

Judah: What’s the capacity there?

KPIt’s a lot, like 2,000.

Judah: I thought Gaslight Anthem was really big right now.

KPThey sold 1600 tickets when they were at the Newport last time they were in town which was about six months ago.  But only 900 here tonight.

Jacob: They’re kind of Springsteen-ian.

Kevin: They talk a lot too.

Jacob: Chris brought em on stage at some festival.

Chuck: I heard that he played with them.

Jacob: Yeah he played with Bruce.  I think Bruce came on during a Gaslight Anthem set.


Jacob: Like a festival, yeah.

Judah: Yeah I think he saw them backstage and was like, “Hey man, I like your band.  Can I play with you tonight?”  And  they were like “ch-yeah!”

KPDid you see when Lenny Kravitz heard a high school marching band playing his song and he came out and he was like, jamming with the high school marching band.  They didn’t realize who he was.

Judah: Did he just whip out an electric guitar and an amp?

KPWell, no, there was kids in a high school band playing electric guitars and drums and he would take over the drumset for a couple bars, then he’d get on the guitar for a couple bars.  The kids didn’t even realize who he was.

Chuck: The question is, why is Lenny hanging around high schools?


KPThat’s true.  I think it was in a park or something, and he just happened to be walking by.   So all of you are based in New York City, right?

All: Yeah.

KPThere’s only one person who was born and raised in New York City out of the band?

Doris: That is I.

KP Yeah?  So how did all of you guys meet?

Judah:  The band got together in like 2008.  Everyone had their own little musical projects and stuff like that.  It seems like everyone in the band was actively looking to be in bands and using different online utilities like craigslist and myspace and stuff like that.  A few of us started getting together and there were like three of us for a few months.  We were rehearsing in a little practice studio in Queens and then a few months later we formed a group of five members and decided to stay there.

KPSo how did you guys start out?  I understand that you guys used to play on the street.

Doris: We started off in a rehearsal room.  I’m trying to shout.  I’m like, “WE STARTED OFF IN A REHEARSAL ROOM!”  And then we’d just practice acoustically in this farm colony on Staten Island.  You guys can take it  from there. [laughs]

Kevin: Well originally it was mostly electronic instruments, like the whole design of it was electronic.  Except for obviously like, banjo, acoustic guitar.  But they were still running through pickups.  And still running through the PA.  We ended up trying to come up with a better way to play without having to use electricity.  So we broke a lot of the songs down and started playing acoustic, and we really enjoyed it.  And as way to promote the band without having to hand out fliers, which is really kind of…it doesn’t work, in New York City especially.  You get a lot of sarcasm and people just blow you off.  We thought the best way to do it would be to bring it to them so they would realize that the music is actually good.  And from that we thought it was a good idea, so we started playing in the subway.

KPYou’re actually the first band I’ve ever interviewed that’s actually done promotion on the streets, and really pushed themselves, outside of just playing shows in venues.  Can you describe your journey from that point when you guys were playing on the streets to touring with Tokyo Police Club?

Chuck: Pretty much for the first full year that the band was together, we started doing shows in January of 2009, like proper stage gigs, just really small little bars.  Our friends were being sweet enough to come out and support us but we decided that we wanted to reach new people and to not have to beg our friends to come out to shows.  We decided that when it got warm again we were gonna go outside and we were gonna do it in the subways and in the streets and stuff.  We started doing it before every club show that we had two or three times for like five or six hours.  We noticed that lots of people were coming to the shows because of it, but we were also meeting lots of people that wanted to help in different capacities, meeting people that worked A&R at different labels and people that wanna take photographs and people that do music videos.  It was this really strange, unexpected way of opening up lots of doors.  Not all of those things necessarily came to any kind of fruition, but there was this growing community in a way, like a collective consciousness in New York that’s really hard to get even when you’re playing lots and lots of shows.  We started doing that and then I think some A&R people started coming out to shows, and then by the time that we played the CMJ music festival in October of 2009 there were labels that were trying to put us out on tours and trying to give us deals and stuff like that.  Shortly after we did our first tour with this English band called Fanfarlo in November and we’ve been touring since then.

KP You guys met Adriana right?  She’s dating Amos.

Doris: Yeah, that’s right.

KPI can see that show being a really good blend for you.

Doris:  It was a really great experience.  We learn things from bands on every tour, and just being around them, they’re a really good band to look up to cause they’re so technical and they’re dynamic is always changing.

Judah: They’re really tight, and they sing beautifully together.  Since then we’ve done four tours so they were our first one.  We try to look at the bands we’re out with and try to see what they’re doing right, how and why.  We did UK in January…? January 12th, 15th, something like that.  Mid-January. Yeah we played with Fanfarlo at the University of London.  It was a lot of fun.

KP: What would you say is the biggest difference between American audiences and European ones?

Doris:  The accent.


Judah: That’s the main thing.

Jacob: I don’t think we know enough yet to be able to judge.

Chuck: We’ve only done like two or three shows so it’s pretty hard to tell.

KPNext time you’re in London you guys should try this drink called “Snakebite black,” have you done that?

All: No.

KPIt’s like half lager, half some kind of cider, and a shot of black currant cordial.  Apparently it’s illegal in some parts of London but it’s legal in other parts of London.  It makes guys pretty violent.

Kevin: That sounds amazing.

KPIt’s pretty tasty.

Kevin:  Make people violent.  They would probably get violent just from drinking heavy alcohol.  They were probably upset to begin with, if you’re angry you’re just gonna get angrier.


Doris:  I could take ‘em on.

KPI don’t know what it was, there was one part where this drink was legal and everybody was getting them.  Anyways, you guys play a lot of different instruments. Name off some of the craziest instruments you’ve ever used.

Doris:  Glockenspiel is one.

Jacob: Yeah.  That one’s pretty crazy.  I think the waterphone is a little more out there just cause it doesn’t really have as much a tonal quality as an ambient, kind of eery quality to it.

Chuck: It looks strange.

Jacob: It just looks crazy.  It’s definitely the biggest attention getter.  I remember we used to bring it with us on the subways and stuff.  People would always come up and ask us about the waterphone.  Or just, ya know, “What is that?”

Chuck: It’s like having a cute dog.  Girls’ll talk to you.  Just walk around with a waterphone.

Jacob: You’ll get musicians to talk to you.

Kevin: It’s funny though, musicians will always be the ones that ask, “What is that thing?  That looks amazing.”

Doris:  We have a Frankenstein-ish organ called a harmonium.  I play that for the electric set.  Kevin plays it and Judah plays it for the acoustic set.  But we all get on it from time to time.  It’s just like an organ that you pump air into.  It’s kind of like an accordion except it sits.  And it’s actually not that strange.

Jacob: I think most of the instruments aren’t that strange.  I guess some people think that the combination is strange.  I think the only one that’s really weird is the waterphone, and it’s cause it looks like a medieval torture device or a sex toy or something like that.

Doris:  I don’t know how you would use it in the bedroom.

Jacob: I was trying to figure it out myself.


KPHas there ever been an instrument where you’ve tried to use an instrument that’s not worked at all?

Doris:  The recorder.

Judah: Oh yeah, we tried that today.

Jacob: We had a melodica.

KPCraziest thing, I saw a guy in a taxicab playing the recorder a few days ago.

Doris:  Was he good?

Judah: Could you hear him?

KPYeah, it sounded like something out of Lord of the Rings, but he was just sitting in his taxi.


Chuck: So he was good at the recorder?

KP It was really weird, I was just walking outside of work and he was jamming on his recorder.

Judah: My mom’s learning to play the penny whistle.  I just wanted to throw that in there.

KPYou should get a pan pipe too, that would bring it all around.

Kevin: Yeah we should start a Peruvian pan flute band.  Indie rock, to Indie’s rock.

Judah: It’s great cause in the New York subways you get a lot of world music and stuff like that, and so you’ll see pan flute players and stuff like that.  It would be fun to just like, as a joke, get really good at the pan flutes and go down in the subway.

Doris:  Oh my gosh!!!

Kevin: That would be amazing.

Judah: Okay we’re gonna do that.

Kevin: That’s happening.

KP: Describe your creative process, like before you write songs, how do they come about?

Doris:  Judah wrote all the songs on the album, Weathervanes.  But we’re currently working on some other material that Chuck wrote, I wrote a song, and we’re just jamming it out in the studio.  The same way we jammed out all the songs on Weathervanes.

KPSo it’s becoming more of a collective?

Judah: It’s becoming more of a collective thing.  It’s also becoming more of like, writing as you’re playing, like performing.  Our first record has a lot to do with writing in a more home studio-y sort of scenario where you’re just putting thoughts down, recording them really quickly, and looping them.  I think that served us really well in some ways.  But I think something that now we want to be part of the creative process is actually playing as a form of writing.

Doris:  We practiced for like six hours twice a week on the songs, making them bigger than how they sound on the album.  Not necessarily bigger but it’s like a totally different vibe, different structures, like they’re extended.  That’s sort of like how we write as a band.  I can see, this is not in stone, but I can see the next album being more like our live setup.

KPSo when you play live are you trying to imitate what you have on the album or are you trying to do a different type of thing?

Doris:  Probably extend it.

KPThe translation from the album to live stage.

Kevin: The way I look at it, you take any kind of piece of music or idea on the album and you play it and you go, well, you know what would sound good here, tweak it.  Everybody starts tweaking things, and eventually it becomes a little bit different.  Either it becomes a little bit more aggressive or it becomes jammier in certain parts.  I think through playing the same songs over and over again the desire to want to try something new becomes stronger and stronger, and then eventually you just do it.

Jacob: Or just the instinct to do something like, I think you’ve been really really creative about this, just indulging whatever kind of impulse you have at any moment.  And then just trying to keep track of like what works for you and what works for everyone.  Having songs is like having pets, they’re always growing and you need to give them haircuts sometimes, and you have to take out the kitty litter.  They’re these beasts and sometimes it’s like a burden.  You have to maintain them and they’re always changing.  It’s a both active and passive process.

Doris:  Sometimes they bark at you and sometimes they lick you.


Kevin: What I really like about the on the spot changing things you’ll hear something, I do it with Jake a lot cause Jake’ll do something new, and I’ll just look at him like, I didn’t hear that before.  The other night Chuck started doing something different with part of Kilojoules and I just remember after the showing being like, “Dude, that was awesome.”  It’s exciting cause you’re still talking about it.

Doris:  I actually woke him up in the middle of the night and I was like, “Chuck are you up?”  He’s like, “Kinda.”  We’re in the hotel room and I’m like, “Remember what you did with Kilojoules?  That was awesome.” [laughs] “Alright sorry to wake you.”

Chuck: “Thanks Doris, I’m gonna go back to sleep now.”


KPSo I absolutely hate asking this question because I think it’s so lame, but so many people, when I told them I was interviewing you guys were like, “Freelance Whales?!  Where did there name come from?”  They really wanna know that.

Kevin: Let’s turn the record 180 degrees.

Judah: The name Freelance Whales is a sound collage, I guess, that is not meant to be thought of literally in any way.  Hopefully it doesn’t conjure images of whales lining up for job interviews or something like that.  The quick story is that when I was a kid I spent a lot of time in Israel and I had a near drowning experience in the Sea of Galilee trying to pull a big stone up from the bottom of the lake, and someone had pulled me to the side of the shore and there was an old man who called me a freedom whale or like a liberty whale.  It’s not actually something that was in the forefront of my mind that much when the band was getting together.  But we were thinking about whales, I mean, whales are really interesting creatures for a whole variety of different reasons.  They’re really musical.  One of the things I love about them is that they’re the biggest mammals on the earth, but they’re also like, needles in the haystack of the ocean so you’re lucky to see one in your whole life.  So they’re simultaneously really really big and really small, and that’s how the music felt to me.  It feels like a big sound that could be happening inside a little music box, or something like that.  That’s why whales came into the equation.  And then freelance was a good word to play with as people living in New York.  It implies autonomy and self-reliance and freewheeling mentality.

KPThat’s cool, that’s the best story I’ve ever heard behind anybody’s band name before.

Judah: Well thank you.

Doris:  Yeah, Judah.


KP What do you attribute the attention you’ve been getting on blogs and music websites to, it seems like it’s been really positive but then there’s been this other side that’s been like, “Oh they’re relying on the formula that everybody’s had like two or three years ago.”  It seems like it’s going really well for you guys, but there’s positives and negatives.

Doris:  I try not to read anything online about us, and I take it as it comes.  I know when I’m disappointed or I know when I’m super overzealous about the sound that we just projected.  Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.  [laughs]  But I try not to read that stuff.

Judah: Remember the dream you had the other night about the snake that bit you and you got stronger?

Doris:  Oh yeah, I had a dream that a snake bit me and it didn’t kill me.  Although, it was killing other people, it only made me stronger, and I was holding it up.

KPThat’s awesome.

Judah: You got this adrenaline rush.

Doris:  Yeah it was like an adrenaline rush and I saved the people in the building cause I took the snake out of the water.

Judah: I thought the snake symbolized Pitchfork.


Judah: But I mean the whole thing is like, the fact that anyone is listening to it is meaningful and significant.  It’s really important for us to remember that everyday.  The fact of the matter is that, we had a certain grace period where we were making music and people were only going to write about it if they liked it cause it wasn’t really out and about enough for people to write about it if they didn’t like it.  So the fact that people are writing about it that don’t like it, it’s sort of like, it’s at a level now where it means we have people behind us and we’re really lucky to have those people.  We try to focus on that and we try to punch as many faulty holes in the logic of all those other institutions as possible.

Kevin: There is the rare negative review that has something constructive to say and in that case it’s really good to get sort of, maybe it’s not objective, but an outsiders perspective on what you could improve next time.  Or if it’s a criticism of the live show, like something that could go differently.  I don’t actually have a specific example of a time that actually happened but I guess that’s the theoretical way a negative review could be constructive.


KPPitchfork seems so political.  Ya know, you start blogging about somebody and then they put out their album and they’re gonna give ‘em a good review.  This whole thing about Pitchfork I don’t believe.  There’s good and bad about either but…

Judah: I was totally cool with them not giving us a good review.  It just wasn’t very musical.  They chose to focus on things that didn’t have very much to do with music.  To me it just felt very shallow.

KPYeah, definitelyThat’s what I noticed when I read it.  Last question, I actually heard a girl talk to you about this, your voice has been compared to the guy from Format.

Judah: From The Format?

KPYeah, a lot.  Was that girl saying that she heard about you through The Format?

Kevin: Lisa.

Judah: Oh yeah, this girl Lisa.

Kevin: I just met her too.

Judah: Oh you met her too?

Kevin: I just met her downstairs when she told me she talked to you about that.

Judah: Yeah she’s from Cleveland apparently, and she had her birthday party on the night of our show there.  She invited us back to this rec center where she was having this big dance party.  We couldn’t go but it sounded like a lot of fun.  But yeah, she compared us to The Format.

KP:  So when people compare your voice to The Format, how do you feel about that?  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Judah: Well I didn’t know about them, and I checked them out.  I can see that.  I think vocal textures, I think we all know people that talk in a similar way.  But yeah, I don’t think too much about it.  It’s just one of those things where I think for some people, if it’s a way for some person to get into another band, or like to build a bridge from one band to another, then it’s a positive thing.  I think what I heard of that band they’re really really cool, but I think I was finding more differences than I was similarities, which is good.  Maybe for her that was a way to build a bridge from this other group that she knew, to us.

Doris:  Does he speak like you too?

Judah: I’ve never heard him speak, I don’t know.

KP I think it’s just the intonation when he sings.  Today when I was doing research for the interview, listening to The Format and listening to you, I could see a little bit, but you have a much more distinct tone to your voice than he does.  And they haven’t done anything in years.

Judah: Do you have a record of theirs that you particularly recommend?

KPI haven’t really listened to them since my sophomore year of college and that was like five years ago.

Doris:  Well I bet they’re awesome. [laughs]

KPThey’re not bad.  I was in a really crazy relationship with a guy, and I was like, I relate to your songs.


KPSo, what are the next steps for you guys?

Judah: There’s a lot more touring.  We’re gonna finish this one and then we’re gonna go do the UK thing then we’ll come back and we’ll have a month and a half.  I think during that time period we’re gonna rehearsing a lot together and maybe trying to get one really polished song together in a recording studio and then we’ll probably be touring more throughout the late fall and winter.

KPCool, you gotta come back to Columbus.

Doris:  Well, we’re doing our first full US tour, I don’t know about full, that’s a strong word, but we’re headlining around the United States for the first time in a circle.  We’re excited about that.

Freelance Whales are to embark on a US tour with Foals starting in April.  Tour dates can be viewed here.

Thanks to Autumn intern, Jane Bruce, for transcribing this interview for me!




Kesley, Danner and I piled into my car and headed 2 hours due north to Cleveland. Just a few months prior, I had interviewed Bear in Heaven in Columbus and they were back in Ohio.  This would be the first time reuniting with a band I had previously interviewed -- I was ecstatic.  Their tour mates, Twin Sister also happen to be my current musical obsession.  This show was their last stop before they returned home to NYC.  What luck! 

Twin Sister played an extraordinary set; lovely, soft, swaying with just the right dose of weird stirred in. Andrea has a sweet and yet slightly unnerving stage presence.  Her breathy voice  simultaneously sounded innocent and wise. Her big eyes opened, exposing the whites around her irises wide as the music rose and softened demurely as it fell. Dev masterfully layed out the synth lines, weaving them expertly with Brian's syncopated drumming, Eric's ethereal guitar and Gabe's driving bass.   
John, Adam and Joe from Bear in Heaven danced enthusiastically with every song, shouting declarations of undying love for the band.  Everyone felt the bittersweetness of the exchange, they didn't want their tour together to end.  These two groups regard eachother with such fondess. It was obvious a special bond had formed between them, the kind of bond that only months on the road together can create.

Eric, Andrea and I stepped out onto the streets after the show, the hot muggy night working against our desire to cool off. 

Andrea: Just to start, we are the two airheads of the band.  I am Airhead Andrea the singer.  

Eric:  And I am Airhead Eric.  I play guitar and I sing.

Andrea:  We usually go by… He’s Shmin.  And I am Shman.

KP:  [Laughs] That’s only a vowel difference!

Andrea:  Yeah people have a hard time understanding us when we are like, “SHMIN!”, “SHMAN!”  Yeah,  so that’s our introduction.

KP: So you’ve been on tour with Bear in Heaven for how many weeks now?

Andrea: Almost 3.

KP: They love you a lot!

Eric: And we love them.

KP: So hows the tour been going?

Andrea:  Wonderful. We’ve had a lot of fun we’ve been really lucky our van hasn’t broken down. it’s been a lot of driving but we’ve managed to have a couple of fun days with Bear in Heaven.

Eric: Yeah. It was definitely a good balance. This tour had some very intense drives, we drove from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City for a show.

KP: Oh wow!

Andrea: Yeah it was like 24 hours. We drove through the night.

Eric: That was a wild night.

KP: So did you have a show the next day and you played? Or was it a day off?

Eric: No we kind of arrived at the hotel at 9 in the morning, and then had a show that night.

KP: That’s pretty intense.

Andrea: It was a festival so it was actually pretty early.

Eric: Yeah, It was nice though it worked out as great as it could’ve been.

Andrea: We take shifts sleeping in the van.

KP: Everybody contributes equally to the driving?

Andrea: Well except Brian cause he doesn’t have his license which isn’t his fault, he’s lived in the city so he doesn’t really need a license.

KP: So on this tour with Bear in Heaven I know they have some crazy stories, have you guys created any crazy stories together since you’ve been on tour with each other?

Andrea: I think we’ve had some crazy girl stories.

Eric: Yeah in Toronto we met this girl!

Andrea: Don’t say her name.

KP: Groupie girls?

Andrea: Kind of or just like girls that want to hang out. They’re really sweet girls. There was this one really young Philippine girl, she was hanging out with us and was showing us around Toronto. And there was a bay and she was leaning up against the chain and around like 2 in the morning the chain just broke and she just silently fell into the water.

Eric: It was so scary!

Andrea: And then she popped up and was like “I can’t swim”. So the guys were on their knees trying to pick her up.


KP: Oh my god!

Andrea: She got a little bruised up, but she was a good sport about it and she didn’t know any of us. I would’ve been bright red, I would’ve just let myself drown. Tell the other crazy girl story, last night!

Eric: Oh no…

Andrea: Oh Come on.

Eric: No..

Andrea: Why not?

Eric: We’ve had a lot of fun on tour… [laughs]

KP: Yeah, they’re great guys to hang out with.

Andrea: Bear in Heaven? Yeah, super sweet! We’re hoping to have a lot of fun with them tonight

Eric: Yeah we’re thinking of a good prank to pull on them. We have a couple ideas.

KP: You should cover their hotel room up with balloons, they would love that.

Eric: That would be adorable!

KP: Did they tell you about the “popping off” story with High Places?

Eric: No?

KP: Apparently High Places and them have a thing for sitting on balloons. They got into this whole thing where its cool to sit on balloons and “pop them off”. So you should fill their hotel room up with balloons.

Eric: That’s awesome!

Andrea: We gotta find some balloons! Well what we were going to do is we were going to slap some really stupid bumper stickers on their van and then we found out that they’re renting the van.

Eric: It’s like their friends van.

Andrea: Dreams destroyed! [laughter]

Eric: We’ll figure something out.

Andrea: So we’re still trying to think, I don’t know.

KP: Balloons would be a good way to go.

Andrea: I don’t know where you can get balloons at this hour though?

KP: Maybe like a CVS? They might have something.

Eric: Yeah, CVS has balloons.

Andrea: Hmmm..

Eric: We’ll investigate.

KP: So you guys just signed to Domino Records, are you allowed to talk about that yet?

Eric: Yeah we are. Its Domino Double Six.

KP: Is that US and UK?

Eric: No its just UK, and both EPs will be released on like a 2 CD package, separate CD’s, and then double vinyl as well in the UK and I think September 9th is the release date.

KP: Awesome, are you going to do a tour over there with that?

Eric: Yeah in late November we’re heading over there. The dates just got announced a week and a half ago. So yeah we’re really really excited; it’s our first time over there. Our keyboard player lived over there for a little while, for like two years when he was younger.

Andrea: But it’s our first!

Eric: But yeah it’s everyone else’s first time.

KP: That’s going to be fun, you’ll love the UK.

Andrea: Yeah, we want to go clubbing!

Eric: Yeah!

KP: So you guys know Mark Schoneveld of YVYNYL! 

E & A: Yes!

KP: He’s a good friend of mine.

Andrea: He’s pretty cute.

Eric: Handsome guy.

KP: How did you meet him?

Andrea: We met him around like Weathervane.

Eric: Yeah we were doing this thing before we went on tour, a couple of weeks before we went on tour, Weathervane Music. They let us come and they make a little movie about it but we got to record one new song that will be released I think this month?

Andrea: August.

Eric: Yeah sometime this month, but they put together a nice video of us in the studio. It’s a very cool thing they’re doing and Mark was hanging out.

Andrea: And he’s helping at our, one of our closest friends that probably that would’ve been another member of our band, John K.  He’s like one of our good friends we’ve had band practice with him before but it just didn’t work out. He was living in Bingumton, now he lives in Philly. But I have a feeling he would’ve been another member of our band. He kind of played with us before I think Brian moved back.

Eric: Yeah we weren’t really the band we were, he wasn’t playing with us.

Andrea: No we’re just practicing for a show or something like that.

Eric: John is great, he is one of our biggest influences, and we’re really really excited for his stuff to be put out.

Andrea: He has so much!

Eric: Mark is putting together his little compilation but there is so much up John’s sleeve. He has years of albums that are just fantastic. We’re really pumped.

KP: Yeah it’s interesting cause he has all his stuff up for free on Myspace, and when you download it it’s like 20 songs and they are all great.

Andrea: Yeah they’ve been out for a really long time.

Eric: It’s crazy.

KP: So, how did you guys get started?

Eric: Well Andrea and I were playing music together for a long time. I was 14, you were…

Andrea: 16.

KP: How old are you now?

Eric: I’m 20, she’s…

Andrea: 23, bleh…

Eric: I forgot for a second. We had a little duo. We had an EP, wrote songs, played shows together, got kinda bored.

Andrea: We always wanted to have a band and pretty much the other members were in bands, that were around in high school, and they were our favorite members of those bands. We’d always share each others songs and stuff like that, and then finally… when we started playing a show I was the drummer and Eric was singing, and we were just kinda throwing shows together because we were so bored and felt so useless that we started trying to record songs that were so old and just never recorded that we just ended up forming a band.

Eric: And that was the first EP.

Andrea: Just Happened. Yeah and that was the first EP.

Eric: … us forming together

Andrea: Those songs are so old.

KP: So, how did you meet all the other members?

Andrea: All the other members?

Eric: I met Brian. Brian is my friend of like very, very long since I was like 12. And we were in a band together.  I’ve been playing music with Brian forever. When he was 16 he joined a band with Gabe. They were both guitar players in this band on Long Island that we would play together with, Andrea and I.  Dev was in a separate band as well.

Andrea: Pretty much just playing shows.  And I used to stalk you because I thought you were soooo cute when I was younger.  So, I found you when you were playing your hardcore shows.  Thats how I met Brian and Eric.

Eric: Ahhaaa!  [blushes and laughs]

KPWhat is your creative process like?

Eric:  It varies. I think the majority of the songs begin as minute long instrumental things, where the vocal melody could be the bass line.

Andrea: Or sometimes it starts with the vocal melody and then adding music.  It’s really different overtime.  We let everyone have a pretty equal share.

Eric:  Yeah, everyone comes to the table with very equal things.  It can be a bit hard sometimes because everyone of us are very capable of bringing in a full song and say, “Here it is!” But its great.  We have no shortage of material. We have a lot to record!

KPWhat is it like being the only girl while you are on tour!

Andrea:  Ahaaaaaaah! [claps] Tour!!!  

Eric:  You hate it! You hate it!

Andrea: Oh my god!  I have little mental breakdowns.

Eric:  Luckily… I don’t think… I don’t think we are very manly though.  

Andrea: Uhhhhh, you guys are pretty manly!  I really miss my gay friends. I couldn’t do the tour with girls.  I feel like we would all go crazy. So it’s pretty good being with boys. But, it’s really hard showing up to shows and I see a bunch of girls who are all clean, and their hair is done and they’re all dressed up.  And I like that sort of thing.  It’s really hard living out of a duffel bag, getting dressed in the van, doing my make-up in a tiny little make-up mirror.  Other than that, they’re my best friends.  I love being with them and it’s a lot of fun. I lose it sometimes, but I try to keep it to myself. [laughs]  (to Eric)  How is it dealing with one little bratty girl?

Eric: … fun.  Naah, its fine.

Andrea:  They deal with me pretty well. And my little temper tantrums.  You know what it is? They aren’t very jockey guys… but they’re very nerdy.  So it’s kinda like being surrounded by a bunch of nerds! 


Andrea:  Always talking about things! And discussing things and planning things.  I just wanna go out and have some fun.

KPHow do you pass time in the van?

Andrea:  I just sleep.

Eric: Yeah, you sleep very, very well.

Andrea: I either drive, sleep, or pretend to sleep.  I do read comics, go on the internet.  Eat a whole lot.  I hope I don’t gain a lot of weight by the time I get back home.  I diet so different when I am on tour.  It’s really hard. No exercise.

KPWhat are the next steps for you guys?  Aside from Domino in the UK, what are the next things for Twin Sister in the US?

Eric:  Well, in September we’re basically going to have the month home.  Andrea is going to start putting together our first music video.  It’s going to be a lot of dancing so she’s gonna be practicing for that.

Andrea:  Gotta get in shape!


All Around and Away We Go from Twin Sister on Vimeo.

Eric:  As far as making new music, we’re gonna start working on some new material.

Andrea:  On an actual album!  Which I am so excited for.  We have two LPs, ya know? It’d be so much fun.  We have so much material to put out an actual album.  Now that we don’t have jobs, I feel like it will be a quicker process.  We can put all of our time and energy into making an album, and video.

Eric:  After September, we go on tour for October and November.  December, January, and February… maybe March we’ll have off to record.

KPWhen you return after a long tour, is it hard for you to adjust to being back home?

Eric:  Not really.  I remember last tour when I got home I just immediately cooked a big meal.  That’s one thing you really miss is cooking your own food.

Andrea:  I really miss my dog… My dog and I are really attached so when I come home, she’s a pug mix, so she kinda has an asthma attack she gets so excited that she starts [makes gasping noises] and she just falls on her side.  Its really hard leaving her.  I want to bring her on tour if I can have someone watch her during sets.  Even if its cooler in the van, but its so hot right now.

We stepped back inside and John joined the band in the green room to start the photoshoot.  I stayed at the bar to chat with Joe, the drummer for Bear in Heaven. “I should go see how John is doing with the shoot…” I recalled after some time.  As I turned the knob to the green room I could hear riotous laughter.  The door opened to reveal Brian suddenly turning towards the camera making a pouty sultry face.  Twin Sister KILLED the shoot.  The snarled, vogued, flipped their hair…  I have never seen a band be so comfortable and creative in front of the lens.  I was laughing so hard I started to tear up.

Twin Sister’s EPs are available on Bandcamp.  Check out their YVYNYL curated Shaking Through Session Here.




It was yet another sweltering hot evening in Columbus, OH.  The summer heat felt like it had taken residence inside The Summit. Everyone in attendance seemed to be radiating fire, not only from the warmth but from sheer excitement for the impending show. 

John Danner and I found the members of Fool’s Gold, attempting to cool off next door at Cafe Bourbon Street.  They were all energetically chatting amongst themselves, frequently wiping their glistening brows. I introduced myself to lead vocalist Luke Top and former Columbus resident and saxophone master Brad Caulkins. Luke was sporting a pastel tie-dyed tee-shirt and sharp straw fedora,  Brad a simple white v-neck.  I kept staring at him, I had an inkling we had met a few years back.

KP: Let’s see, where should we start out? I have so many questions for you guys.

Luke: Uh oh.

Brad: I hope they’re saxophone related.

KP: That’s something I’ve never seen back here, is a saxophone on a stand.

Luke: Oh really? Well this is the owner of that instrument.

Brad: It’s true, it’s true.

KP: That’s pretty funny.

Brad: Funny how?

KP: It’s just random to see because I was in an orchestra in high school so I haven’t really seen instruments on stands like that since high school.

Brad: Flashbacks.

Luke: She’s not calling you immature.

KP: [Brad], you were born and raised in Columbus, [Luke] moved here from Israel correct?

Luke: I moved to the general United States, not Columbus.

KP: Right. Did you move to LA?

Luke: More or less, yeah. California.

KP: How old were you when you moved?

Luke: Three.

KP: So how have both of your experiences effected you musically?

Brad: In general?

KP: Yeah in general. Like say, you were born and raised in the midwest and you moved to the United States, has that effected your music at all?

Luke: You go first.

Brad: You go first.

Luke: Um, well, definitely the most obvious thing at play in our music is the usage of Hebrew as the sung language, the main language that’s sung in the group. Yeah I guess growing up in a Hebrew speaking home and kinda subjugating that into my system and then allowing it to come out later in life, I guess, would be the way I’d…maybe reaching out backwards and forwards at the same time to something that was simmering my whole life. Definitely the Hebrew’s a big part of the band, and you know, just this kind of yearning for meaning and identity that happens when a kid like me moves to the States from somewhere so heavy and far and associated with so much history and so much politics. So many ideas come to mind when you think of Israel. Yeah I think these days I’ve found a personal channel to Hebrew in this band that isn’t influenced by religion, politics, history, and all these other things. I mean obviously there’s links but, I feel like I’ve found a personal channel to this history that I have, arbitrary history that I have.

Brad: Because you weren’t even really speaking much before…

Luke: Yeah.

Brad: I mean, you speak it, you knew how to, but it was more like a decision in singing in the band kind of a thing right?

Luke: Yeah. I mean I’m interacting more with Hebrew now than I probably ever have in my whole life.

KP: What about you? Do you think the Midwest has influenced you?

Brad: Sure! I mean, this town specifically has always had a really vibrant music scene, and from the time that I got out of high school I was immediately playing at Bernie’s and at Stash’s and the places where I would go see bands through high school and through college and there was always at least a couple dozen great bands. I don’t know what the scene is much like here now. I know some bands from here but then there are bands like Monster Truck Five and Pretty Mighty Mighty and Earwig and all these people that were 8-10 years older than me that were so open and just wanted to have more young people come into the scene and were really supportive. Having a community like that around me has just encouraged me to continue doing it and moving to LA and immediately finding out how to do that in LA.

Luke: Meeting a bunch of confused Jews.

KP: When did you move from Columbus?

Brad: About three and a half years ago.

KP: Okay, cause you look reaaaally familiar.

Brad: Yeah, likewise.

KP: I think I’ve probably met you somehow cause I’ve been here for seven years.

Brad: Oh really?

KP: Yeah.

Brad: I used to work here. I worked at Bourbon Street for three or four years.

KP: Yeah that’s probably why. I used to come do karaoke on Sundays.

Brad: I did that as well. I worked karaoke night for a couple years.

KP: That’s what it is, now I remember.

Brad: I used to live basically next door at the ugly, tan, stucco, Spanish-looking apartment building right there. The Tropicana? Maybe you’ve heard of it. Yeah, and worked here for awhile while I was playing in The Sun.

KP: So how did you guys meet?

Brad: I was brought to the band by a percussionist that is no longer playing with us all the time. He’s always in the community. Orpheo, I played with him in another band, and a friend of ours, John Webster John’s in LA and I got a call randomly to
come to a rehearsal that night to play a show the next day and I didn’t know any of them and I barely knew Orpheo. Like I’d play a couple rehearsals and a show with him. We just sort of hit it off and he was like, “Yeah you’re cool, it’s fine.”

Luke: I don’t even think we said a word to each other before playing music.

Brad: No.

KP: Wow.

Luke: We played music, that came first.

Brad: Yeah, Lewis had some charts. But the charts are just like, you do this and you do this for nine minutes, listen for this thing or whatever. But he had a couple things written out and we just played through some songs and shook some shit or whatever. I remember that first show was like an echo or something.

Luke: A lot of guys kind of met that way. Through rehearsal, even on stage. Which is something relatively unique to the band I guess, cause we never had to like, put an ad out on Craigslist or anything like that. It was kind of open door policy that we had. And due to this open door this gentleman came in and he’s been with us ever since.

Brad: I won’t leave.

KP: And now it’s come full circle. You’re back in Columbus.

Brad: I know, it’s great.

Luke: Full circle implies finality.

Brad: Oh yes, now we’re gonna spin our wheels.

KP: How many people do you have with you tonight playing?

Brad: Six.

KP: I know it’s max of what, 11 or more?

Brad: It’s been 12, 14.

Luke: It fluctuates.

KP: I was wondering how you guys were gonna fit that many people on the stage.

Luke: Six is a pretty common touring number that we have.

Brad: We started with eight about a year ago when we started traveling, and it’s just been this sort of really organic thing of, well we can’t afford to take everybody and people just can’t afford to go, so we’re lucky that it’s been very little conflict. There’s some hangups, like we had to replace one of our most important members on this tour but it works. It’s kind of made the band different and better in a lot of ways.

Luke: I think we’re a little more of a solid actual band than we ever have been in the sense that the first year or so it was a free for all kind of thing. Now that we’ve been touring basically since September nonstop, I think we’re starting to actually be a band.

KP: You guys hit SXSW this year too, didn’t you?

Luke: Yeah, we’ve gone twice.

KP: How was that?

Luke: Amazing.

Brad: It was great. Last year was great and then this year was like, just more. We were playing some really amazing shows. It was really, really fun.

KP: There’s a lot of people here who went to SXSW who are coming just because they saw you at SXSW and they liked you guys.

Brad: Oh, wow. What’s the writer from here that I’ve never met? Deville? Chris Deville?

KP: Yeah.

Brad: Writes for the Alive?

KP: Yes.

Brad: Someone had sent me something and we were one of his favorite bands from that. That was really nice, I didn’t even know the guy. Yeah that was really, really fun. And we got to meet Bill Murray.

KP: Yeah I heard he was just hanging around! Being kinda weird.

Brad: He did like a little half dance to our set.

KP: Really?

Brad: Mmhmm.

Luke: We were all in shock on stage. One by one, all going and turning gray and noticing him in the audience.

KP: Did you talk to him at all?

Luke: I didn’t.

Brad: I didn’t really. I was there with two bands. I was there with my other LA band, Jail Weddings, and somehow my band mates just became his buddy. They were just rolling with him for like all four days that we were there. He had this private sprinter van with a bar on it. They’re the reason that he came to our show.

KP: Wow, that’s awesome. I heard he’s really elusive and he doesn’t like to do interviews. I just read one in GQ where he just up and left in the middle.

Brad: That’s funny.

KP: Let’s see, what’s been the most challenging aspect of touring, especially with so many people, I know you said that six is the standard, with members from other high-profile bands that have other touring schedules?

Luke: I think at this point everyone in Fool’s Gold basically is in Fool’s Gold.

KP: Really?

Brad: Yeah. There’s only a little bit of conflict with Foreign Born, but that was last year. Our lead guitarist has another band that’s not very active, so we do a lot more touring. Other than that, there hasn’t been too much conflict.

KP: That’s good.

Luke: Like I said, it’s becoming more of a regular lineup with that number six spot being a little wonky.

Brad: We’ll get him to quit his job eventually.

Luke: More or less, he’s the only one holding out with a job. That’s why he’s not here. He’ll be touring with us through the end of the year.

Brad: It’s more like general life things that get in the way rather than specific other band conflicts. It’s just like, “Well, do I give up this apartment?” or “I hope work lets me go” or “Maybe I’ll just let that job go.” It’s kind of just general life things that musicians in LA or any other city deal with once you really want to start to travel.

KP: That’s understandable. Were you surprised at how quickly your band became recognized? It seemed to blow up pretty fast.

Brad: It did?

Luke: That’s interesting… (laughs) I don’t know. I mean we’ve been a band for about four years and for me it seems very naturally paced. It didn’t seem like a shocking jump or anything.

KP: You started out playing for friends parties and stuff right?

Luke: Yeah. The whole first year we were doing that kind of thing. Obviously, it was very gradual. But at the beginning we didn’t realize this was gonna be a band that has albums and tours and does all that. So it’s been a long path, that we’re still on. It feels pretty gradual. But, that being said, the response has been incredible since our record came out. More than I imagined for music that’s slightly strange. That aspect of it’s amazing. The fact that people are accepting us in any way is pretty amazing.

Brad: And just looking back at the last year, how much we’ve gotten to travel.

Luke: We’ve had hundreds of shows this year, as opposed to when we started it was like, one or two shows a month.

KP: What’s your creative process like when you sit down and write?

Luke: I guess lately Lewis and I have been meeting three times a week and working on demos together. And then we flush something out, and then the band gets together, which we’re still kind of wanting to do.

Brad: We love all of the songs that we play, but we’re all desperately wanting some new material.

Luke: We have a lot of stuff, we have a lot of ideas. Playing in a band and touring just kind of excels your approach to music writing altogether.

Brad: Now it’s kind of being written for the lineup that we have now. It’s not like writing shaker parts for everybody. We know that we’re not gonna let everybody do whatever the hell they want on every song. It’s like, alright we know that we have this keyboard and this saxophone and different guitars or whatever. Maybe it’s more focused to what we know we’re gonna tour with.

Luke: I think being on the road so much and everything has really increased our grasp of what it is we’re doing. So I think the next record’s gonna be so much better. We’ve been working on stuff when we have time and it already sounds incredible. I think the idea is we’re gonna do some tours on new stuff and then go to the studio. Maybe at the beginning of next year.

KP: I can’t believe how fast this year’s gone.

Luke: Yeah, I know. At this end of this summer our record will be out a year, in September. Kinda nuts.

KP: That is crazy. What’s your favorite city to visit? Or what has been your favorite city?

Brad: On tour? Or as a tourist?

KP: As a tourist or on tour, whichever you prefer.

Brad: On tour, New York. Paris. I love Austin, Texas.

Luke: It’s funny, we see so many cities through the windows of a van so our impressions of a city are through the people that come to the shows. It’s a really interesting way to get a feeling for a place. Paris has been really good to us, and we have a week in between tours. Some of us are gonna go try to travel a little bit. I’m going to Paris and Brad’s going to Portugal.

Brad: After coming through exotic Columbus, Ohio again.

Luke: I think I wanna have a better feel for Paris.

Brad: It’s difficult seeing cities. We were in Europe for all of April this year and France for two weeks of it and probably in a dozen cities, and really saw maybe two of them. So frustrating. It’s really beautiful countryside and the people are amazing, but it’s the worst way to see a city.

Luke: But also, on the flip side, it’s awesome to see. You really get a sense of the character of a city by the people that come out. In certain cities you’re blown away by what people are bringing to the table, and some cities are just really sleepy. New York, Chicago.

Brad: It’s really only the places where like, places like New York and Paris and Austin where there was a festival or you might have more than one show. Those are the places that you really get to know, “Oh, I really like this place, I might come back here.”

Luke: There’s quite a few. There’s maybe a dozen cities that feel like Fool’s Gold home. London, Chicago, Vancouver.

Brad: Yeah Vancouver’s really good to us. And Quebec City, I had to go back there again.

KP: So you’ve been on tour since September? Any insane stories?

Luke:There’s a lot of stories. (laughs) Yeah, there’s a lot of stories. It goes with the territory I guess.

Brad: McDonald’s at three in the morning. Taking naps.

Luke: It’s cool cause everyone in the band, it does feel like a family. It definitely feels like a functional family.

Brad: No one’s gotten arrested. Nothing really crazy has happened. Other than like, I can’t believe how many people were at that show. And how amazing this city was we’ve never been to before. Those are kind of the most extraordinary things
that have happened on the road. We’ve been really lucky. No tragedies or crazy management situations have reared their heads. [knocks on wood] Cause it’s happened to all of us I’m sure in other bands.

Fool’s Gold self-titled album is available through IAMSOUND records.

Mad props to my Autumn intern JANE BRUCE for transcribing this interview for me!