Sunday, January 6, 2013


No new band turned our heads more in 2012 than Australia's Gold Fields. The electro inspired rock and roll outfit from the small town of Ballarat made their mark in the U.S. after their appearances at SXSW, CMJ, and touring with Diamond Rings, the band proved they are latest thunder from Down Under. As the band readies a return to the U.S. this winter to support the release of their new album, Black Sun, Gold Fields will shine in more cities and will guaranteed be further embraced by audiences from here to all around the world. Once Black Sun hits shelves and eardrums, it will come as no surprise that anyone who hears the record will understand why this band from such a small town will take the world by storm. We spoke to singer and lyricist, Mark Robert Fuller about their live shows, formation, and their new found acclaim. Take a look at our interview with Fuller below:

This band went from local heroes to now being an international buzz band, how do you explain the whirlwind?

The past year and a bit has definitely been a whirlwind.. I wouldn't say we are local heroes but our shows at home have been lots of fun lately. We got to go to America for a month while SXSW was on and we played a few shows over there that seemed to go really well. I guess now we're just looking forward to getting back over there for a proper tour.. I think that's happening in July. 

Your song “Treehouse,” has been credited for a lot of your success. How did the song come about?

Yeah, it started as an instrumental that Ryan had written and we took the vocal parts from a song I'd written a couple of years ago and it worked.. and then with Vin's guitar and harmonies in there it turned into a song. It was the first song we ever wrote and it was recorded in Vin's bedroom. At the time, we never really knew if we'd show anybody but a few weeks later, it was getting played on alternative radio at home. 

 Hailing from Ballarat, Australia, did you ever think you would be discovered?

Nope. A lot of this stuff that's happening was never in the plan.. We just wanted to write some music we liked and hopefully be able to play it in front of some people for fun. 

The bands sound is so unique and very intense, who are some of your influences?

Well we grew up listening to pop and rock music mainly.. then we started, we wanted to take some percussive ideas from hip hop and try write pop music on top of it. And those two things are still the main influence on our music. I've been getting nostalgic and listening to lots of 90's Disney soundtracks lately.. And even the current American pop chart bullshit is inspiring me a lot at the moment, which is probably a bad thing. 

How did the band form?

Four of us went to school together in Ballarat and have been mates for ten years. Vin and I met Ryan through playing in our old bands with his old band and decided to start this new thing. Luke and Rob were good mates of ours and even though they'd never been in bands before, we asked them to come and jam. We started writing and it just worked. 

Are there gold fields in Ballarat, is that how you got the name?

There are... We weren't trying to be patriotic or anything when we came up with it though. Vin and Luke were just driving back from practice in Melbourne one night and they saw a sign that said "Gold Fields". At that stage, we were calling ourselves 'The Woods' but we'd never played a show and nobody had ever heard of us. We couldn't be called 'The Woods' because that name was taken. And Gold Fields felt right. 

 Your live shows, easily some of our favorites, are just as intense and crazy as the sound you make. Do you ever get off stage and feel like how are you going to do this night after night?

Yep. I think that most nights. A lot of the time my singing has been pretty rough and I've wondered if we'd ever get booked for another show. Getting all our gear around is probably the hardest part. We carry a lot more gear than most bands, with two drum kits, two keys, samplers and guitars and lots of hardware. Playing the show is the fun part.

Playing New York City, SXSW and Los Angeles for the first time earlier this year, must have been a great experience. Tell us about it.

Yeah it was amazing. We'd been to LA before, where we started recording our album, but we didn't really play any proper shows. We played one in a tiny bar and one at a street festival during the day. So it was awesome to go over again and play a few decent shows. We were pretty surprised that anybody actually came to watch us and the response from people over there was pretty mind blowing. That trip has probably been the highlight for me so far... I'm really looking forward to playing more shows over there. 

How do the crowds in LA, Austin and NYC differ from what you are used to back down under?

I think they are more interested because we're from Australia. At home, the crowds are great, but it's like we're playing in front of our mates, which is a good thing in lots of ways. But in America it's different because things a slightly more foreign and there's a little sense of excitement in the unknown. 

What was it like working on your debut?

When we signed our deal to make a record, there was a stack of money put towards a producer and some classy studios in America.. So we went straight from our bedroom studio into all of that. We recorded the bulk of 11 or so songs in LA and then came home and did a few more songs with our mate/Aussie producer extraordinaire, Scott Horscroft. 

But a lot of the sounds we got in the nice big studios just weren't right for us, so funnily enough we are currently back at my house right now, programming and recording new sounds to bring the right vibe to the record. We learned so much from the whole experience and from working with Mickey Petralia, who was awesome and extremely wise. But the reality is we will probably end up re-recording most of it ourselves. 

Did you ever think that any of this would ever happen to you?

Nope, haha... I never really thought anybody would care about anything I wrote.

You guys do a phenomenal cover of Underworld’s “Born Slippy,” how did you decide within in the band to cover a song like that?

We were about to start the Parklife tour, which is a dance music festival tour in Australia and we wanted to do a cover because it was very early on and we knew no-one would know our music. It came on the radio one day and it just clicked.. I knew the guys would be up for it and that we'd be able to make it interesting enough with all our live instruments. That did go down really well, especially in the states. It's a lot of fun to play.