Ballarat’s GOLD FIELDS played at the Wollongong Unibar last week, supporting The Holidays on their ‘Seven Million Mornings’ tour (read Radar’s review of the show). Mark and Vin were kind enough to give RADAR a few minutes of their time before the gig.

RADAR: Can you tell us how the band got started?
Mark Fuller
: Four of us went to school together; we all played music through school and in other bands. Then we met Ryan through a band that me and him and Vin played in, and we thought we should start something different. So we started Gold Fields, and we got Luke and Rob to join; they were our mates and hadn’t really played music before, but we got them to play for a bit of fun.
Vin Andanar: They’d never been in a band, but they knew music. Our first rehearsal was January last year, but we didn’t start writing until about this time last year. Then we started recording, and took it from there.

RADAR:  You guys travelled to the United Kingdom very early in your careers, after only a few shows I believe. What was behind that decision?
: The UK record label Young & Lost Club somehow heard our song ‘Treehouse’ and wanted to release it as a single, which we were stoked about. They said there was the option of playing a few shows to support the release; the shows we were offered were decent shows, so we thought that it was worth it to get there. We took out a loan to get there, which we’re still paying off!
Vin: We went over there, got some more shows, and the opportunity to support good bands, and met people in the industry; it’s different over there, but well worth it.

RADAR: You’ve been featured heavily by Triple J, JMag, FBI Radio and a lot of publications are tipping you as ‘artists to watch’ in 2011. Is it weird to get so much hype so early in your careers?
: It’s definitely strange hearing yourself on the radio and reading reviews of people blogging about you. I’m definitely not used to it, and no one else in the band is either. But we’ve kept busy, so you don’t really take notice of it so much. But when friends and family tell us about it, it’s weird.
Mark: Especially when we were writing ‘Treehouse,’ we were thinking “oh imagine if Triple J played this,” we would have been so happy… even if they only played it once!

RADAR: In the current age of sites like Pitchfork, all these blogs and sites that really focus on uncovering the ‘hot new thing.’ A lot of these bands get really built up then fade away; are you conscious of trying to outlive the initial hype?
: For us, it’s about getting on the road, touring, building a solid foundation and getting people to listen to us; not just putting out a release and not having toured. I think that’s a problem with bands that get hyped up, they don’t seem to tour often and don’t put in the hard work. But we’re the opposite; we’d rather hold off on the record and do what every band does, start at the bottom
Mark: As well, we’ve sort of built up a bank of songs that we’re confident with and that we like. Knowing we have those, it’s like positive reinforcement. It gives us confidence.

RADAR: You’ve just got the one single out, ‘Treehouse’. Is there any new records coming up?
: Our next single ‘The Woods’ comes out in a few weeks, it’s getting mixed at the moment.
Vin: We want to get more music out there. We don’t want to just be known for one song
Mark: That’s the annoying thing, it’s shit playing a show and the crowd only knows one song. But we can’t really complain about that, seeing as we’ve only played forty shows or something. We’re still working it out, but probably an EP is coming up. We’re not rushing it, because we want our album to be as good as it can be. There’s still a shitload of people who have never heard of us, so if we do an EP and keep building up, that’s probably the way to go.

RADAR:  You’re from Ballarat, which is producing a bunch of great, diverse bands lately, like Hunting Grounds and Yacht Club DJs. What about the area is making it such a good music scene?
: Well, there’s two main things; you either play sport, or do music. The other is Karova Lounge, which is a pub that really supports local music and bands, and gives them a go. They put local bands on big tours coming through, they’re really supportive
Mark: If you look at schoolkids, there’s no beach, nothing really out there to do, except play footy or play music. So people who don’t play footy, they play music; and people who don’t play music, they play footy. The Karova too, it’s an awesome place; the pub opened 5 years ago, and since then, the Ballarat music scene seems to have blown up
Vin: With Yacht Club and Hunting Grounds, people are starting to take notice of Ballarat as a place for good music. Triple J have really supported that. Another band is Tessa and the Typecast, who Triple J have started playing. We had Epicure back in the day, the Mavis’. Everyone in the scene supports each other.

RADAR: Gold Fields supported Crystal Castles on their Australian tour in January; your styles are incredibly different, so what was that combination like?
: Before we went on stage, in our green room backstage, we were sort of shitting ourselves a little bit because we’re thinking ‘what will people in the crowd think, when we go on and play our little rock-pop?’
Vin: We were really looking forward to playing, and couldn’t believe we were playing with Crystal Castles, at the Enmore Theatre. But as soon as we went on stage, it was amazing. We got an awesome response. Exactly the opposite of what we thought was going to happen. It was one of the shows we got the most feedback from, people at the show emailing us or talking to us on Facebook
Mark: It was the biggest crowd we’d played, apart from Falls Festival [Gold Fields won a Triple J Unearthed competition to play at the festival]; it was a massive mosh right at the front. Crystal Castles themselves were amazing, they had this huge energy. It was the most intense show.

RADAR: Gold Fields have also supported Bleeding Knees Club, and you’re hitting the road with Miami Horror soon; do you feel comfortable playing mixed bills, alongside bands that don’t necessarily sound similar to you?
: We don’t wanna be pushed into a  genre or category or anything, any scene. So playing with different sorts of bands has been awesome. I’m fine playing with those bands.
Vin: it makes us better musicians too, being able to hone our live show.
Mark: And changing the set up for what type of show it is. Also changing up  the set depending on the venue, on what the crowd will like.

RADAR: Just one last one; what’s next for Gold Fields?
: More touring, more writing, more demoing. We’re going to hit the road, hopefully jump on good festivals. And we’d love to get back overseas soon
Mark: immediately, our next song ‘The Woods’ is coming out in a few weeks. So hopefully that opens some more doors, and helps us out a little bit more.


Gold Fields are currently on tour with The Holidays. Check the band out on Facebook and Soundcloud, and listen out for their next single ‘The Woods’ to be released in coming weeks.


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