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Cinema Gold: Hopeful and Hallucinatory New Sounds

31 May 19 interview: Lily Petkova

Cinema Gold have been intriguing audiences with their psychedelic lo-fi sounds since forming earlier this year. Our Lily sat down with them for a chat about making music, their ambitions for the band, and what might happen in Room 101...

Photo Chloe Lee

How did Cinema Gold come about?
We met at a BBQ in 2013. Fast forward five or six years and Cinema Gold was conceptualised during a trip deep into the Bulgarian mountains. Being away from your routine and your home can really make you dream about what you already have. We contacted our respective banks and informed them of our financially dangerous decision.

Describe your sound in three words.
Hopeful, considered, hallucinatory.

You live together which could be pretty intense when you’re also in a band together. Does it help with the music creation or can it sometimes cause tension?
It only helps; I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think the best music comes out of long musical relationships and a lot of effort and trust goes into that. Working together becomes instinctual and hyper-productive after a while. When you stop and think about how much time and love we’ve blindly invested in each other it becomes something innocently beautiful in my head. I enjoy the childlike chase of the unknown musical Eden. Conversely, we do bitch and moan like any old couple but I feel there is a large amount of mutual respect that stops us falling out. Apart from when Joe kissed Josh’s wife - that got a bit hairy.

Cinema Gold is really different to what you guys used to do with The Shrives. What made you guys want to change the vibe? 
The Shrives was about playing a character and the focus was very much on personality and show. I want Cinema Gold to be refreshingly less about the people and more about the audience feeling something other-worldly. If someone in the audience has thought “where the f**k has this come from”, then I’m happy. That’s what I feel about our music. I can’t for the life of me work out how it came about or what it really sounds like.

Where do you wanna go with Cinema Gold?
Europe! I think there’s an audience for us there.

What do you want to achieve as a band?
We have big dreams of collaboration with many other local artists and friends. Whether it’s a trombone solo from an old friend or a soaring female backing vocal, it would add something that would set us apart and it’s criminal that we haven’t done it yet. Getting a visual artist to create a light show and projections to accompany our entire set would be cool too. I’d also like to write a dance album and perform it live in a big club. To blur the lines between DJing and playing as a band has always fascinated me and I’ve been lucky enough to see Panda Bear and Crazy P do that this year. After the dance phase I’m moving the band to Nashville to pioneer the country electronica scene with Jimi Mack and Huw Costin joining the ranks. These are things I dream about at work.

What sort of musical influences would you say you guys have?
I hear a lot of Tom Waits in Josh. I think a lot of Jack Kerouac and Gorillaz too lyrically. Musically, Josh seems to be entrenched with sounding and being from a forgotten era. Everyone I know is in wonder of Josh’s timelessness and I hold it very dearly to the band and my heart. He has a rare soul that people search their entire lives for. In Joe, I hear Phil Collins and Cocteau Twins. He has a vulfpeck-esque edge too though and plays with a maturity beyond his years. He also probably has the best ear for production and samples and that has really defined our sound. As for me, I think I can never escape sounding like Mark Knopfler guitar-wise, as he was my hero growing up. Luckily I’m not playing guitar in this band and I’ve had to draw inspiration from a lot of new places. To name a few: Huw Costin, Panda Bear, Richard Ashcroft, Plastikman, Aphex Twins, Shackleton, John Thompson and Nactus Kunan.

What do you have planned for the summer and further on in the future?
We played Dot to Dot in May, and we’ve got two shows in London in the next month. We’re also headlining the Chameleon Arts Cafe on the 31st with Emzae and the Honeymoon Suite, two acts that are unapologetically themselves and lovely people. We’re also moving into our long distance relationship phase but I can see an album happening in the not-so-distant future. It’d take us a long time; we’re very ambitious and particular.

Are you releasing any more stuff any time soon?
We feel extremely lucky and humbled to have had two remixes of our first singles done by Simon Paterson of Angels in the Architecture and John Thompson of Brown Fang, Bent and Bad Manners fame. To have talented and experienced musicians take your work and transform it into something else is magical and they are stand alone tracks in their own right. We’ll release them when Lincolnshire next floods under a blood moon.

Why do you hate cheese? Please explain.
Cheese and Pink Floyd seem to be things that the whole world hates me for not liking. Live and let live.

If you had to do a TED talk, what would it be on?
Why not to drink a litre of coffee in downtown New Orleans or why writing a lyric about Jesus doing lines is, in fact, not cool, but actually rather embarrassing.

If you were in Room 101 from 1984, what fear would they use to torture you?
My spine-chilling fear of never meeting Fiona Bruce, and they’d have a Pearl Jam CD playing.

If I dropped you on a desert island, what would you do to survive?
Set up as a promoter and make all the animals on the island bring at least thirty other animals to their own gig. No coconuts allowed.

Have a listen to Cinema Gold on Spotify

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