Goldroom needs little introduction. Members Josh Legg, Mereki Beach and Nick Sandler form the triple threat behind the moniker Goldroom, combining tropical soothing rhythms with dance-able beats. It’s like a daquari in the sun for your ears. We had the chance to sit down with all three members during their last visit to Vancouver in 2013. We thought that re-releasing the interview just before their NYE show would be all kinds of appropriate. If you don’t have your tickets already we suggest you grab them ASAP. Please visit the event page HERE.
Betty: You’ve made MASSIVE waves in a very short time span. You’re self produced, unsigned, and you’ve been promoted by the biggest music blogs on earth: Ear Milk, The Fader, and of course Hype Machine, as well as been featured in Pitchfork Magazine. Your music clearly resonates with a large population. When you released your first EP did you ever think that your music was going to expand to such a large audience?
Josh: In the grand scheme of things Goldroom is pretty small but I’m very lucky to get to play shows outside of LA let alone for a group of cool people. I’m pretty excited that I can be in Vancouver playing a show for hundreds of people. That’s a pretty cool thing. I guess to answer your question, No I didn’t think that when I started Goldroom that I’d necessarily be playing for large audiences. I’m very happy to be where we are at.
Kora: How did you find these amazing people to collaborate with and when did you decide to make that transition from riding solo as a DJ to adding live elements to your show.
Josh: I think when it happened there were two steps in the process. The first EP was just me writing everything solo and singing vocals. I sometimes collaborated with people that I had already worked with in LA. I think at that point I was interested in continuing to pursue writing but the purpose of Goldroom was to try and bring in other people. I started reaching out to people and for instance, Mereki had only been in bands and had worked with a whole bunch of people that I was friends with so that’s how we got put together to do that song and a couple others that you guys haven’t heard yet.
From day one I was imagining playing songs live in an ideal world. I knew that if things went really well at some point it would turn into a band but I didn’t know when or how. It just kind of fell into place in 2013.
Betty: I tried to do a little bit of digging as to why your called Goldroom and what we came up with is that the Goldroom is a bar in LA that you really enjoy and that is where you and Mereki actually met. Oscar Wild wrote a poem in 1881 called “In the Goldroom”. The entire poem describes a musical bond between a man and a woman. Did that have anything to do with your name?
Josh: I wish! It was all inspired by this bar in LA, it really was. I’m not from Los Angeles but I’ve lived there for a long time. It’s always been my sort of muse. When I started to create music, I knew that a lot of my writing was going to be LA influenced. I wanted to incorporate something like a street name or a neighborhood or a bar or something like that that would tie back into the city a little bit. I just always liked the Goldroom.
Kora: Mereki, tell us about the band you used to play in called “Peacocks” back in Australia.
Mereki: Wow you guys really did your research! “Peacocks” was a really good time. We were kind of a party band back in Melbourne. The two other founding members of “Peacocks” Aaron Shanahan and Josh Moriarty are now members of “Miami Horror”.
They asked me to join the band after it was up and running and it was a very… well I used to wear full on leotards on stage and Josh Moriarty would wear feather boas and roller skates. I’m pretty sure our last show that we ever played was at this festival called “Stereo Sonic” and I’m pretty sure all Josh wore was roller skates and nothing else. That was the sort of band it was. I ended up moving to the sates and those boys ended up joining Miami Horror but they’re still two of my best friends and live just down the road from me now.
Betty: What are your musical influences, what did you listen to growing up and what inspires you now.
Mereki: Prince, Madonna, Gwen Stephanie and indie bands like Destroyer and Twin Shadow.
Nick: Growing up it was Jazz and R&B. Now I’m all over the map, I don’t have like one particular genre per say that interests me. I listen to everything and I think it’s important to pull from different places.
Josh: I think we all pull from different places which is cool. When we’re on the road you’ll find us listening to Drake and then we’re listening to Ryan Adams and then we’re listening to Prince. That’s petty standard for us. I think the Chronic and Nevermind were the first two CD’s I ever bought in my life so that sort of sums that up. I liked more poppy but accessible alternative music I guess. I cross with Nick in a lot of places like I was a huge Miles Davis fan my whole childhood and I cross with Mereki in a lot of places as well.
Betty: If you guys could collaborate with one musician, who would it be?
Josh: Ryan Adams, to me he’s my favorite songwriter who’s alive. Well maybe except for Bob Dylan or Petty. Anyway, Ryan Adams, he’s younger and his songs could work in any genre, I think he’s very honest and bad ass and I would love to write a song with him.
Nick: Mine would vary I guess. I think I come from a different perspective because I’m not necessarily a songwriter per say. I’m a drummer but I have a very deep appreciation for song crafting so… Jeff Tweedy from Wilco. His lyrics are really important and they have always meant a lot to me. Then from a melodic place, Miles Davis. He went way outside the box but was able to keep in the box at the same time.
Mereki: I’m going to have to go with a classic, Prince. I just found out recently that he wrote a “Bangles” song Manic Monday under the alias “Christopher” because he’s Prince of course. I just love everything Prince has done so far. Even Michael Jackson didn’t write everything himself. I say this all the time: “Who is better than Prince… Who?!” I actually said it to my boyfriend the other day and he was like “Why are you yelling?!”
Josh: Somebody has to be the best… Lennon and McCartney would give those guys a round. I think they’re the true battle to that realm.
Nick: I was just thinking that. I don’t know if it’s taboo not to say it?
Kora: We’ve heard reference that your music has been deemed very tropical pool partyesque. “One foot in the pool and one foot on the dance floor.” If you were a floaty toy at a pool party which floaty toy would you be?
Mereki: I do like the noodles….
Josh: The Brontosaurus floaty tube with a cup holder of course.
Nick: Have you seen the blow up sharks? They’re really hard to sit on and they have handles. You’re suppose to be able to ride them but you can’t! The wiggling on it is so absurd but those are so great!