An Interview With The Canadian Soul-Pop-R&B Band, GOLD COMPLEX!
Posted On 27 Oct 2016
Toronto’s Gold Complex fuses classic soul with pop and R&B into a fresh sound that is all their own. Described by CBC’s Errol Nazareth as ‘smooth, catchy and sexy’, Gold Complex is a dynamic octet that has built a strong fan-base in Canada, headlining renowned venues such as Lee’s Palace, The Rivoli, Mod Club and the Horseshoe Tavern.
Their debut self-titled EP was released in April last year. Their first two singles ‘Tread On Me’ and ‘Backbone’ received regular rotation on radio nationwide and were featured on the Nickelodeon television series, Open Heart, now on Netflix.
Following the national success of their debut EP, Gold Complex is excited to bring their powerful sound to bigger audiences around the globe by releasing a Deluxe Edition with a brand new hand painted album artwork and a psychedelic deep house remix of the R&B hit ‘Tread On Me’. This Soundcloud exclusive re-issue (available for free download) is a showcase of the band’s musical diversity and technical prowess, taking the listener on a journey from groovy dance tracks to soulful slow jams.
To celebrate the new version of their EP, a black & white music video for their signature song ‘Backbone’ is now available to watch on Youtube. Will Bowes, the lead singer of Gold Complex adds ‘Backbone is a sexy, funky tune about conviction – saying what you mean and meaning what you say, especially when it comes to a relationship.’
The band is currently in the the studio recording their debut full length album “New Soul”, set for release in April 2017.
Learn more about Gold Complex in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that we are entering the fall of 2016, what are some words you would use to describe this year? What have been some of the highlights for the band?
Fun, Collaborative and Performative. We did a very small southern Ontario tour and had a blast on the road together. We also stepped off the grid and did a 4 day music recording retreat as a band, which was an incredible experience for us as a group both artistically and personally.
Growing up, did you all always want to be musicians? Can you recall your earliest musical memories?
I think I (Will, Singer) wanted to be a singer before anything else. Actually, first I wanted to be a cartographer for some reason. I was obsessed with maps and used to draw physical maps of everything around me. But then I wanted to be a singer and I was obsessed with Neil Young. An early memory of mine is when my parents took me to see him when I was six years old, and they swear I got a contact high from the clouds of pot in the crowd, ha!
How did Gold Complex first come together? How did you come up with your band name?
It’s a cool story. First, I must mention that our guitarist’s girlfriend, Alli Boddy, is an incredible artist. She painted our EP album cover, available now on iTunes, and she has painted several posters for various shows we’ve played. She’s so talented. But two years ago she was holding a showcase of her art work at Project Gallery in Toronto. She asked Andrew to throw together some musicians to play at the exhibit, so that people could admire the art while listening to a live band. Essentially, the people that he threw together became Gold Complex.
We loved playing together that night and decided to start writing and practising on a regular basis. After adding a couple more players, we curated the sound that now defines us. As for the name, band names are so funny when you start to break them down. I know we all really liked the idea of a color, as colors can so greatly depict mood, style, and tone. Gold works because it speaks to the use of brass and the mo-town influences in our band. Also, its bold, wealthy sounding and sexy. If we collectively make this Gold happen, we are a Gold Complex.
How would you describe your sound to someone that has never heard it before?
The sound is what we like to call soul/pop. It has elements of funk, r&b and hip hop in it as well. It’s a modern appropriation of old school, funky, soulful sounds we love. Artists we grew up listening to like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake play major influences. I think that to an extent, the sound is still evolving and we’re still experimenting, you’ll hear a cool range on the new record when it’s out.
Can you talk about releasing a deluxe edition of your debut self-titled EP. Why did this come about exactly?
Well gearing up for the full album release next year, we wanted to do something exciting for the fall, including releasing a new deep house remix of our song, “Tread On Me” as well as a music video for our song “Backbone.” Beyond this, we wanted to give away the EP for free. Releasing the new deluxe edition for free allows us to get our sound out there, engage new audiences and hopefully further develop our fan base around the globe.
What is the significance behind the new painted EP artwork?
Thematically, we have incorporated imagery of an old ship on a voyage into a lot of our work. For example, Alli painted the album cover of our newly released Deluxe Edition EP and it is an old ship travelling through space. This imagery speaks to the idea that Gold Complex is bringing an archaic sound into a modern, futuristic world. We’re so happy that Alli has created such a beautiful look for our brand! You can check out her stuff at alliboddy.com
What was the inspiration behind this collection of music? How do you all go about writing music?
I know this is a boring answer, but I think love and relationships play a huge role in motivating this EP. As far as the band goes, when one of us comes up with a song, it becomes a great collaborative effort where every instrument puts their stamp on an idea.
I understand that you are in the studio now working on your debut album, “New Soul” which you hope to release this April. How’s that been going? How will this collection be different then your EP? Was the recording process different this time around?
The recording process has been amazing. Like I said earlier, its a great experience for us as a band to spend long hours together in the studio and really let the creativity flow. Whats different? We have a full horn section now (including Sax, Trombone and Trumpet) so those added elements are taking our sound in an incredible direction. And we have an unwavering confidence and understanding of who we are as a band now, so the songs all feel very realized and self assured. I think we’re a bit more experimental on this record too, toying with different sounds and almost melding genre’s in a way that we haven’t before.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music? Who would you still love to work with in the future?
We always reference old and new classics, like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars. Andrew (our guitarist) said this earlier, and I have to echo his thought – we would love to work with Paul McCartney. He is obviously a performing and songwriting legend. I love that he still seems just as passionate today as he did thirty plus years ago. I saw him live a few months ago and it was probably the greatest musical experience of my life.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun? How do you unwind from it all?
We all have various day jobs and hobbies in addition to music, but to be honest music isn’t something we need to unwind from. In fact, its the opposite. When we all get together and rehearse or record at the end of a long week, its very therapeutic.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
We want people to feel message of love, joy, positivity, attitude, sexuality, and empowerment. We want people to move their bodies, dance to our upbeat music and really feel the emotional density on the slower jams.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Thank you guys very much for the feature, please download our new Deluxe EP for free on our SoundCloud and we look forward to everything the future holds!