Mar 04, 2012 12:00AM

Interview: Gold Fields

We talk to the best band from Ballarat ahead of their US tour.

There's quite a bit of buzz around Ballarat-band Gold Fields at the moment. With the backing of Triple J, they've started to hit the big-time and are close to finishing their debut album (which will be out in the second half of the year), along with recently announcing a US tour to coincide with an appearance at SXSW this year. On their return they'll be playing Groovin' The Moo all over Australia, and are expected to announce a national tour once the album is released. We talked to frontman Mark Robert Fuller about Valentine's Day, losing the feeling in your face and being homesick.

Alanna Bromley: With the help of some light stalking it's been discovered you guys spent Valentine's Day in a house full of men on a hill in a rainforest. What was that like? Indulge in any Whitney Houston sing-alongs? Or did you just cosy up on the couch with The Notebook?
Mark Robert Fuller: Yeah, we did all of that. It was a fairly romantic evening. We had a nice dinner and shared some bottles of red wine and then all laid down in front of the open fire place together. All seven of us.

With all this touring, have you been missing Ballarat at all? What would you tell someone if they asked you what it's like there?
It's a very typical in-land regional Australian town. It's old so there's lots of nice big buildings and old cottages and there's a big lake that everybody walks around for exercise. There's lots of pubs and footy ovals and fish 'n' chip shops and Westies lap the main street in commodores at night time. There's about a hundred thousand people so it's not particularly small but it's a long way from being a city. And yeah, we do miss it when we're away for a while. I especially miss just going down to the Karova Lounge on any given night to watch some music and we miss the people. It's always good when we've got a couple of weeks back home.

How autobiographical are your lyrics? How do you almost 'wind up' in Mexico or Tokyo for example? And how come you couldn't feel your face in the ambulance?
I couldn't feel my face after I got beaten pretty bad by a bunch of fellas, walking home one night in Ballarat a few years ago. At the time that we wrote that song, I thought I was sort of just making them up out of nowhere but I think it was my subconscious dealing with that whole thing. That's the most stupid song, lyrically. All of the songs I guess are very autobiographical but not very literal. I am always definitely writing about something in particular and usually it's about something that's gone on... But I've never really been too close to the Mexico that you're talking about. I don't think I could ever write the way somebody like Mike Skinner does.

Let's play Scattergories! You're going to make a new video clip and it has to have one of each: animal, city, food, occupation, appliance, TV character. Your letter is G, you have sixty seconds.
Goldfish, Gordon, Grapes, Gardener, Grill, Gilligan.

What was the best night out you've ever had?
I think it would be one of the nights spent at Meredith – and it would probably be the year it poured rain. I just remember big mud fights and watching bands like Regurgitator in a torrential downpour. If it wasn't that night then I'm not sure. I think we've all had plenty of good nights.

The first instrument you used was... Morgan the Organ... and it was... this little hand held robot with the letters of the alphabet on his belly and when you pressed each one, he made a different bleep noise.

Have a listen to their track 'Holy No' below, and expect to see the video soon:

www.goldfields.bandcamp.com
goldfields.tumblr.com

Alanna Bromley

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