Nov 21, 2013

Known for their unique live show and quirky music videos, the boys of Goldfish are out on a mission to bring the soul back to electronic music. In our exclusive interview conducted at the Amsterdam Dance Event, the dynamic duo discussed the trials behind their new album, the message behind their videos, and living in Cape Town.

Goldfish - Three Second Memory [Universal]
LessThan3: What did you want to accomplish with your Three Second Memory album?
Goldfish: We’re always writing stuff; you never know when inspiration is going to strike. We had hundreds of ideas because we have to record ideas we have very quickly or else we’ll forget them–that’s kind of where the Three Second Memory name came from. The album has been in the works for about two years, with a couple of the songs having been around for even longer. It’s been a long road to get us to break through to the bigger markets. When we signed to EMI a couple of years ago they went through our discography and there was so much music that they wanted to re-release it as an album. That went on our first album, and then we had to wait a year to release another. We talk about the disposability of dance music a lot–most tracks have a four-week life cycle maximum. That’s something we didn’t want to make.

It’s an amazing opportunity to tell a story in an album of songs the way a book tells a story through chapters. If the artists and producers take responsibility with their albums and see it as an opportunity to create a body of work as a playlist that you created for your fans, there’s no better thing you can get if you like an artist. In the past people have been guilty of making albums with one or two good songs on it that caused the whole album to sell, but you can’t really do that anymore since you can buy individual tracks. You have to try a lot harder to make a good album that people want to purchase in its entirety. When we were doing this album we always had this feeling that we were making “traveling music”–an album that you can put in your car and just go on a journey with.

LessThan3: What tracks do you think are going to be the biggest?
Goldfish: Well we’ve had three singles come out already–Take Back Tomorrow, One Million Views, and the title track. Those are the catchiest. Beyond that, Choose Your Own Adventure and Moonwalk Away are probably our favorites, but there isn’t a single track on this album we don’t like. We might not like all of them the same, but we made sure there wasn’t any sh*t in it.
LessThan3: You guys have some pretty unique music videos. What has the strategy been around them?
Goldfish: About four years ago we met a fan in Ibiza when we were doing a residency who lived in a small town outside of Cape Town, South Africa. He said that he’d love to make a video for one of our songs, so he sent us ten seconds of the beginning of our Soundtracks & Comebacks video, and we loved it. You can do anything with animation–you can reference anything, feature anyone, turn anything into a parody. So the first video came out, did really well, and we made more videos based on different themes characters that we were developing. We are allergic to cliché music videos.
LessThan3: For One Million Views, what was the specific message you were trying to get across?
Goldfish: We tried to be respectful of everyone in the video, not using their exact name or likeness. It’s more about having a bit of fun. deadmau5 wrote the blog about pressing play about a year ago, and when we were on tour we wrote One Million Views as kind of a commentary of how calculated getting to the top has become. Is electronic music a popularity contest, or are we trying to make good music here? We don’t want to play by those rules. We don’t want to “juice” like Lance Armstrong. Someone needs to own up eventually that these shady promotion tactics are going on, and that’s what the video was about. Behind every joke is the truth–if you can’t find humor in the video you have something to hide.
LessThan3: How has your relationship with EMI worked to your advantage?
Goldfish: Well of course they got bought out by Universal, so there was a long transitional period when that happened, but honestly, we couldn’t have asked for a better thing to happen to us. If everything had gone as originally planned, we would have forced the album out in February, but with all the changes that went on we had time to really tweak it, get more videos together, do more interviews related to the album, and find an amazing mastering guy in Ibiza. We actually had it mastered twice, then he heard it and wanted to do it again, and we loved what he did. He really added that rock & roll warmth we were looking for.
LessThan3: Do you think the scene is going to adopt more of a “live” sound soon?
Goldfish: We’ve really seen an uptick of interest in live sound in electronic music in a lot of places. France, for one. They had an amazing reaction to our performances there. I think you can see the desire for that even in the types of “non-live” electronic music that are becoming popular–deep house for one. Deep house definitely has more of an organic, acoustic feel to it and can be a lot more driven by vocals than a lot of the other genres. It might even have some chord changes!
LessThan3: You guys performed at Ultra Music Festival this year–what was your impression?
Goldfish: There’s something for everyone at Ultra. They have a huge amount of stages, which kind of saves the day for it. The live stage was phenomenal–Pretty Lights and Boys Noize were amazing. If you want to pig out on EDM, you can just hang out at the mainstage but eventually you hope those people will get a bit fatigued of the same sound and journey to the other stages to discover other sounds.
LessThan3: What’s it like living in Cape Town, South Africa?
Goldfish: It’s an amazing place to live–awesome quality of life, amazing mountains, great food and restaurants, great mountain biking and surfing opportunities. When we’re not making music, we’re surfing. Lots of noisy monkeys too!
LessThan3: If the world were ending in LessThan3 minutes, and you had an iPod with every song ever made on it, what would you listen to?
Goldfish: Probably a Beatles track.
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