"Apathy, narrow-mindedness and lack of self-reflection, bother us"
We’ve made a conversation with guitarist Thomas Sciarone and singer Milena Eva about their new astonishing album.
Gold have a lot to tell. With their music and their overall stand. We’ve made a really nice talk about all the aspects of "Optimist" and a ton of other things. Optimism, new technology and a hint from the man behind the questions "for god’s sake, bring this fucking great band to Greece".
At first I must say that you’ve put out a record that is extremely hard to listen to only for a single time and then forget about it. And you should know that’s something special.
Thanks a milli!
In which mentality were you in after "No Image" in order to create "Optimist"?
Releasing "No Image" was very exciting for us. The album was such a departure from our debut album "Interbellum" and at the same time a sort of home coming for us, as with "No Image" for the first time we really managed to capture ourselves. We were very curious to see how people would respond to this and were very happy to find out people recognized the honesty and purity of the album. We toured a lot over the last year and were eager to expand on what we had offered with "No Image". Since "No Image" was such a true reflection of who we are as people and artists, the mindset for 'Optimist' wasn't that much different. We were a bit more confident maybe, but not in a way that it would make us lazy. In contrary we're more adventurous than ever.
There is an obvious contrast at the cover of "Optimist". A baby which is grumpy and above it the title itself. What is the message you want to demonstrate?
The baby on the cover is actually our singer Milena, about 30 years ago. This reflects the personal character of this album. Optimism is a mechanism to make some sense out of life. It's not about sunshine, unicorns and rainbows. Optimism is a way to rise above the worst of circumstances and experiences and trying to improve yourself as well as the world you live in. Of course the album title might come across as sarcastic in combination with the album cover and the pitch dark music, but this is not our intention. It's actually a way to say that there's no light without darkness.
And frankly I would like to know what "Optimism" means nowadays?
Optimism is getting out of bed every morning. Optimism is buying ecologically. Optimism is recognizing when you fall short. Optimism is seeing individuals instead of stereotypes. Optimism is everywhere around us.
I’ve read some reviews about your new album and some are saying that elements of Tool, Paradise Lost and even Lana Del Ray, is heard on your music. Is it an assumption that you agree with?
We get compared to so much artists and other things. Recently even to a 'dark and rich fruit cake'. This is all flattering and even amusing, but it doesn't hold much value to us. We hope that what sticks is the emotional depth of our music, rather than similarities to other music.
From album to album you are evolving. From occult and more straight forward rock of the debut to a gloomier and even black metal-ish approach of "No Image". And now gothic and post punk are on the forefront.
We never considered ourselves an occult band. We've been very earthly from the beginning. Obviously we've made a huge step between the first and second album, broadening our sound immensely and managing to express ourselves much better. Honestly we don't think "Optimist" is that far apart from "No Image", although it's important for us to never do anything twice.
At Van Records bandcamp page that someone can hear your music there is this message written: "Gold is a contemporary rock band who’s heavy because of the songs, not because of the sound". Can you give as an insight of what that means.
It means that we focus on expressing ourselves through the actual songwriting and not on the form and image of the music. With the right equipment and technical abilities, it's easy to create something that has direct impact. For us it's much more important that we create something with personality, with a heart.
As far as I’m concerned you have a pretty clear political stand. Especially on your videos. I want to hear your side of the story.
Of course our videos are not just a reflection of our society, but also a reflection of how we perceive it. The thing that bothers us the most is apathy, narrow-mindedness and lack of self-reflection and we like to take these themes on in our visual expressions.
You use a lot of emoticons and other symbols of the "smartphone generation". How can you combine the aura of Joy Division (that comes out of your aesthetics) with a newage like of life and communication. I think you are mocking all these things. Am I completely wrong?
No, it's not really that we mock them. We are modern, connected people, that use digital and mobile tools just as much as any other. However we are aware of how a focus on the online might make people blind for what happens in the offline world. At the same time all these tools make it easier to throw our emotions online, but narrowing complex mind states down to accessible emoji's, is just another recipe for isolation.
Is there any plans to see you in Greece? We have a reputation that we like a lot dark and gloomy bands. You can ask (Beastmilk then) Grave Pleasures.
We would absolutely. Anyone who can make this work for us is invited to reach out to us.