Goldroom Talks Debut Album and Fall Tour
LA-based producer Goldroom AKA Josh Legg is in the middle of his fall tour supporting his debut album. West of the West, with Chicago natives Autograf, and these two groups have been feeding off each other’s positive vibes and dance floor energy since the tour began. After playing an intimate show at Liquid in Madison, WI, with his live band, we had a chat over the phone with Josh Legg to talk about the tour, his debut album, and collaborating with his band.
Sensible Reason: What did you think of last night’s show? It was pretty small.
Josh Legg: Yeah, it was definitely the smallest show of the tour so far, and I’ve never played in Madison. But, like I had said last night [at the show], I don’t care if we’re playing for 20 people or 20,000. I care more about having people there that are excited to be there. We were able to take musical chances we wouldn’t be able to do with a huge show. I never feel disappointed, I think about what if i was in the audience, we still have to give it our all.
You’ve been releasing music for upwards of 6 years. Why are you only coming out with a full length album now?
Josh: When I started, I didn’t have aspirations of being an album artist. I just wanted to have the chance to make music and DJ, but once people connected with my music I finally thought about doing so. So, I only started thinking about it in 2013. The early demos are from 2014, so two and a half years. I made around 50 tracks, and 6 of the 50 made it on demos, so it was a constant source of work.
Wow, that’s a lot of songs! You played two of those unreleased tracks last night, are you planning on releasing those?
J: There were a handful of songs that were close to making the record, but I wanted the album to be a story — a whole cohesive unit and those didn’t exactly fit. “Spread Love,” one of the songs we played, is a song and title that we really need to hear these days. I think it deserved to live out in the ether.
You said you wanted the album to be a cohesive unit, is there a theme to the album?
J: It’s not a concept album, and I don’t really like that term to describe it, but a lot of the songs do carry similar influences. I wanted to set up the tracks to be a conversation between myself and Ruby, a back and forth between her tracks and mine. A lot of the songs I wrote on the road so they’re reminiscent of a lonely traveler missing home, and of course, the Pacific Ocean and Los Angeles.
You’ve been touring with a live band, are there any creative challenges taking things from the studio to the road?
J: Even when I’m in the studio, I’m always collaborating with other people. Sometimes it’s hard making sure my vision is completed, but when we play live there are three human beings on stage with different personalities coming together and I love how Nick, Mike and Nikki are on stage. It’s different from the record and each person brings a lot to the table. It’s different from a lot of live EDM which is strictly from the record sometimes.
Do you prefer to play with a live band or DJ?
J: I love doing live and DJ equally. DJing is easier and I respect it as an art form, it’s what I started out doing. I also love that when I play live I have the chance to play the songs I wrote with my guitar singing with other people on stage with me.
How did you find your band?
J: Through a long process of friends, and friends of friends, and acquaintances of friends. I’ve had our drummer Nick with me pretty much the whole time and Mike and Nikki for about 2 years. But yeah, I found them mostly through friends of friends.
How do you find the vocalists on your studio tracks?
J: Being a grinder and really digging, finding new artists and reaching out to other. I prefer working with smaller over bigger names, but you just got to dig like anyone else looking for new music.
How did you end up touring with Autograf?
J: We played a few festivals with Autograf over the summer and I really respect what they do. We know some of the same agents and it was actually them that suggested it. I wish I could say it was our idea, but it wasn’t, so it’s not as cool as it seems.
The two of you on the same ticket is still pretty perfect. What are you most excited for the rest of the tour?
J: I’m excited to work our way West. Something feels right about being West. Our last stop is back home in LA so there will be a ton of family and friends there, I’m really excited for that. But as cliche as it sounds, I’m excited for the whole tour. Even though the album just came out I’m noticing everywhere we go that there are still people in the crowd that know every word to some of the new tracks and that’s great to see.
What’s so special about the Pacific?
J: I feel a certain way about every ocean. The Pacific seems angrier, there aren’t that many harbors. The East Coast is full of harbors and places to sail and explore the ocean. West is full of long stretches of beaches and rocks, not that many places to explore and sit. It’s a big, giant angry piece of nature and we’re at the mercy of nature.
Thank you so much for talking with me, you really have no idea how excited I am to be speaking to you right now.
J: Thank you! We put our heart and soul into this. I hope you get a chance to see a bigger show later in the tour and see what’s different versus what we played last night.
Goldroom truly did put their heart and soul into Wednesday’s show. It was intimate and small, but everyone who walked through the doors of the venue came looking for something specific, and they got exactly what they were looking for with a lot of extras that you can’t get from anyone else.