Dutch band Gold unleashed a new video (which you can view below) with “timing” of great joy as we enjoy the true spirit of the festive season – BUY! BUY! BUY!
They said: “‘And I Know Now’ is a key song on [new album] ‘No Image’. Like no other song it unites post-black metal, doom, hardcore punk, despair, humanity and reflection. Such a powerful song deserves a video with a powerful message. The message is to buy our album. Buy it again. Buy more copies of it. Buy it when it’s cheap. Buy it when you think it’s cheap. Buy it when you’re told it’s cheap. Why not buy it? Buy it like other people do. Buy it first. Buy it online. Buy it offline. Buy it now. Buy it and show with it. Buy away that void with it. Buy it and shelve it. Why wouldn’t you buy it? It is fun to have it. It is cool to have it. It is necessary to have it. To have it is better than to not have it. Our album is your album. Buy it and not miss it. Buy it.”
After departing The Devil’s Blood in 2011 (which you can read about in an interview Louise did for Noisey), guitarist Thomas Sciarone formed Gold with his partner, Milena Eva.
Channelling the darkest strains of pop and classic rock right through to outsider music such as anarcho punk and industrial noise, Gold, at first, may not seem a band that fit into the Iron Fist world. But with a defiant spirit and roots that sprout from the core of the Fist family tree, explain how they’re primed to take on our world and beyond…
Your new album ‘No Image’ (Van Records, released in October) is so dark and yet so driving. It’s almost like you’re casting a shadow of gothic rock, noise rock and pop with elements of some of 4AD’s early roster. It’s furious but without being frenzied. How did the music of Gold come to you?
Milena: “I’ve been playing cello since I was five years old. It’s super depressing, it’s like an old man telling you that the world is bad. My parents were really trying to make us be involved in music and decided we could choose an instrument. I somehow chose the cello, so maybe a little bit of a melodramatic start.
“I always listened to a lot of genres. I was really into soul, pop music, and metal, although the time when I grew up, metal was embarrassingly stupid. Korn was the biggest metal band in the world, so metal happened a little bit later.
“But I’ve always listened to a lot of dark music. I listened to Portishead when I was around 13 or 14. I still do and I think the connection there is really emotional. I can’t really listen to regular pop music, I really like the emotional parts and I think also a little bit of the melancholy.”
Thomas: “For me, I grew up with a father who listened to a lot of different music. So, when I was young I was listening to a lot of the obvious stuff like Neil Young but also to modern composers that just a few kids grow up listening to. When I was young, around eight-years-old, Guns N Roses was happening, so that was the first music I got into myself.
“Then Metallica and Megadeth and then when I was 14 I discovered Darkthrone, they’d just released ‘Under A Funeral Moon’ and that really struck me. so I experienced that whole second wave of black metal thing.
“I grew totally bored with it in 1996 and that’s when I discovered hardcore punk, the metallic stuff like Integrity, which I really liked back then, but also all cheesy bands like Morning Again (ed – oi!), but they were important. Especially Earth Crisis were very important for me back then.”
Even so, bands like Integrity, Morning Again, Length Of Time – they had a real, dark, nihilistic thread running through them compared to the more positive hardcore punk of the time. So it would make sense that if you were going to listen to hardcore, that’s the hardcore you would choose.
Thomas: “Yes. Very dark and aggressive. I’m 36 now, that was in my 20s and a lot has happened in between. I just opened up and I listened to jazz, I listened to a lot of electronic music, modern composers again, it’s all this different stuff that has informed Gold.”
There is a definite thread that reminds the listener of some of the darker British sounds, from the 4AD showgaze/indie scene to bands like Throbbing Gristle or Godflesh. Did you listen to much of that growing up?
Thomas: “The funny thing is, of course I’ve listened to Throbbing Gristle but in that scene, if you would call it a scene, the band that has inspired me the most and not even on a music-making level, but just in what music could be, is Whitehouse. They are so nihilistic, as well as probably the best show I’ve ever seen.
“It must have been ten years ago, they played in this old church in Amsterdam, The Paradiso, with Coil and that was such an amazing experience. Whitehouse was so mind-blowing, the audience were insane. It really was the scum of the earth flowing together to witness this Jesus-like business man stepping onstage casting out this darkness over us.
“I would be lying if I said Whitehouse is the kind of band I listen to every week, even though I’ve had those periods but if there was one band from that artsy dark ’80s British scene that really moved me it would be Whitehouse more than Throbbing Gristle or Psychic TV. Somehow Whitehouse changed my DNA a little bit.
“There’s really no music as dark and aggressive and cynical because that what makes Whitehouse be Whitehouse. It’s pure cynicism and Watain or The Devil’s Blood and a lot of black metal really lacks humour and cynicism. A band that is very aggressive but then tells you why you never became a dancer, that’s so evil. If Erik from Watain would go on stage telling me why I would never become a dancer, that would be the end, but I don’t see that happening.”
Tell me about your live shows, we’ve yet to witness Gold in the UK, do you think you’ve taken anything performance-wise from that Whitehouse gig?
Thomas: “I think, live we’re very intuitive, there’s not too much thought behind it. We want to be an honest band. We don’t like to be too theatrical. It’s just six people and of course the atmosphere is important. We don’t want to wear clothes that would be distracting or would interfere with the atmosphere that we want to create, but it’s not like a band like Ghost who are so over the top and are just there to entertain.”
Milena: “For me it was a struggle because I’ve played in a lot of bands but always as backing vocals or playing cello, never in front of everybody. The first few gigs were horrible and I decided I needed to be drunk on stage, which helped a lot, but it didn’t really help with the singing. I don’t really need it anymore, but it took me a while to get used to being on stage.
“I don’t really like to talk to the audience. I do like to have interaction but I don’t like talking. I think it interrupts the whole vibe. What we really like to do is play the set like it’s one story. We don’t like to pause between songs and we like to play them all, every song on the album.”
You play the album in its entirety? In the same order as the LP?
Milena: “No, but we do play all the songs, it’s not in the same order but it is the same vibe, the same story. It’s just a different way of telling it.”
Thomas: “Somehow the order of the songs on the album doesn’t work in that way live, so we changed it a little bit. We’re very sober live band. It’s more like a punk thing, six people giving their energy and emotion and not too much extra. But then there was this guy in Prague last month who described our set as a gothic dark musical.”
Milena: “Oh god, don’t write that (laughs).”
Thomas: “I hate musicals. For me they are the opposite of emotions. But I think there’s something storytelling to what we do.”
Milena: “And there is definitely something storytelling about the way I sing it because I’m always in the same spot and I like to try and make people understand what I’m singing. The way I sing on this album, it’s impossible for me to jump up and down so it’s good to just tell the story and I think that’s the musical part that the guy in Prague was talking about.”
Do you have future plans to tour?
Thomas: “With my day job I’m restricted so we know which periods we can go out as they are the periods I can take my leave. We are looking at touring in late February and again April or May but there’s too little to say about that right now. And I really hope to make the UK happen, even if just a couple of shows. It has to make sense and we need to find the right people to put us on.”
When you left The Devil’s Blood in 2011 you were riding high as there was no need to explain to promoters what you were about. Show offers were flooding in and you toured often, are you worried that with Gold you are starting from scratch?
Thomas: “The hard thing for a band like Gold is we’re not committed to a scene or a genre, which is good because a lot of people find something that touches them in this band, but it’s more difficult to hop on festivals. Even with The Devil’s Blood, who were a very original band, but with the whole imagery and the whole…
Milena: “Sorry to interrupt but the name of the album [‘No Image’] is a joke like that in a way, we don’t have an image so it’s hard to put us somewhere.”
Thomas: “It’s funny because I was surprised that Iron Fist would take on a band like Gold because Iron Fist has a very clear notion of the kind of people that they would target, spiritually, musically, looking back on the old days of heavy metal, like the true heavy metal core. With Gold, we somehow try to go against that. The whole keep it true vibe, that die-hard mentality, but on the other hand, and I think it’s really cool that this is where Iron Fist and Gold managed to connect, is that there is an honest core of darkness in Gold.”
Absolutely. People are forever asking ‘What is an Iron Fist band?’. We’ll say we don’t cover death metal, but then love Degial and Vorum. It’s a spirit and when you know, you just know.
Thomas: “Yes, and when you talk about Degial and Vorum, even if those are a little bit more obsessed with imagery than Gold is, there’s this deep darkness within, more so than a band like Prostitute Disfigurement. What are they even about? Is it just this funny violence? We are definitely much more related to Degial than we are to bands who would musically fit more in our range, but spiritually don’t. Or thematically don’t.
“Gold could be the kind of band that no one pays attention to because they don’t fit within their range, or within their scope. But we’re not catering to fit in. We depend on those people who look beyond. Who look at the emotions we convey.
“I think it’s boring to be a band that only tries to reach those close to you. Of course I could have started something which was much more direct and easy to fit in but there’s no adventure in there and the struggle that a band like Gold brings is very adventurous and hopefully also gives us more a lifespan and a longer reach.”
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