Featured Artist: Rose Gold

Welcome, everyone, to another artist feature! I’m super excited about this one as I talk to this awesome band called Rose Gold from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to perform with them yet, but hopefully that will change soon, because these guys are super talented. They just released their newest EP The Beginning Is Near, and it’s incredible. If you do anything after reading this, listen to that EP. With some touring experience in their pockets (and more planned) and this new EP, this band is only going to keep growing and getting better.

Keeping up with the tradition of past artist features, tell me about the beginnings of the band, how you guys started, and where the name Rose Gold came from.

Rose Gold came directly from a band called Paper Planets that had just had too many member and sound changes after a year and a half of complacency. We were asked to come record an EP in California and we sprung at the chance. While we were there, we talked about changing the name because the sound was so far from where we were before. We actually threw around names for a couple of months while we patiently waited to get our mixes back.

We had some names that we were alright with, yet at least one of us vetoed the top picks, but it wasn’t till I brought up Rose Gold that we were finally all starting to agree on it. I was listening to “Body Work” by Pusha T from his album Fear of God II: Let Us Pray and heard the lyrics “…rose gold on my wrist, this Rolex is like devil’s piss…”. Rose Gold stuck out because it’s a unique type of metal and the combination of “rose” and “gold” to describe something just sounds really cool and interesting. I brought it to the guys, we put it to a vote with the other contending names and Rose Gold came out the victor.

Now that I think about though I should have suggested Devil’s Piss…that would’ve been tight.

You guys wrapped up your first tour of 2017 with avoid. at the end of January…what was your guys’ experience like on that tour? Did that tour have any special meaning to the band?

The tour with avoid. was very successful for us. We hadn’t toured as Rose Gold yet, so that was the band’s first tour. Meeting avoid. was kind of awkward at first because we had never met them before this tour so we didn’t know what kind of people they were. Needless to say we bonded immediately with them and became best friends. We’ll never hear the words “dude, hell yeah.” the same again.

The shows were all great. Every show we at least sold one piece of merch or had one person who was stoked on our set…that was at the least. The rest of the shows went even better, we moved a lot of merch and had tons of fun playing. That tour was special because it showed us that touring is definitely something we should focus on due to the reaction at the shows. Being a newer band, touring seemed a little unnecessary because we’re still trying to garner a solid local following. We still get people asking us to come back to their town every now and then. After a first tour, that’s a great message to receive.

I noticed that you guys made a Facebook post about using a fill in bass player for a number of shows, which you said allowed for the band to remain a four-piece band but have the sound of a five-piece band. What’s the reasoning for wanting to stay a four-piece band? Are there plans to add a fifth member in the future?

So, the four piece thing came from our experience with the last member we let go. We learned that the four of us were on the same page and one of our members was really holding us back in a lot of ways. Once we became a four piece, we did take the time to try a few people out to be our permanent bassist but no one was feeling naturally right. After we finished the try outs, we started focusing less and less on filling the spot and more on the fact that we were making great writing progress between the four of us.

Anytime we got together after that was just reaffirming that we didn’t need anyone else to move on. We were just concentrated on making our new music the best it can be. Austin and I switch between rhythm and lead all the time so writing bass parts wasn’t difficult with the work being bifurcated. He and I have a very mutual aim for what our sound (guitar-wise) needs to be and we refuse to give up that harmony for something we can do ourselves. At some point, we do want to have a full-time bassist so we can tour and play shows without having to worry about a fill-in but for now, we’re crafting our signature sound.

Since your second EP The Beginning Is Near has been out for almost four months, let’s talk about that. What has the response been like so far?

The response has been very great. We had a lot to prove on this EP after our folly on the self-titled EP and this was us fighting for our identity and sound. I think the greatest response we’ve had from The Beginning Is Near is our own. We’re finally happy with a project and it sounds like we wanted it to sound and we’re proud to show people and say “this is us.” Locally, the reception was cool because we had played two new songs live and people were very impressed at how much we stepped it up from the last recordings we put out. That’s when we knew we were headed in the right direction. The praise was very confirming not only because of our last EP but because of the band we were even before that.

Where did the title of the EP come from? Does it hold a special meaning to anyone in the band specifically or the band as a whole and how?

The Beginning Is Near is the last line in the last song on the EP called “Shadowboxing”. The song is about realization. It’s about realizing that you cannot change people, you can only change yourself and hope that other people see your positive transformation and take initiative themselves to become a better person. That was a huge epiphany in my life in every aspect. After I grasped that idea, my whole world changed and it was like a new beginning. Thus, The Beginning Is Near, was a new beginning for us after we absorbed all the knowledge from the lessons we learned, the mistakes we made. It’s a statement on what we can really do after realizing who we are.

Your first self-titled EP was great, but the new EP feels like a more overall cohesive process and I can feel that when I listen to it. How did the writing process differ from the self-titled to TBIN, if any?

The self-titled was not written with the intention to put out an EP. It wasn’t until we had an offer to record that we scrambled to tie up the loose ends of song ideas we had. It had probably been two years since we released any music and we were coming to practice to rehearse our set even when we didn’t have shows coming up. We were being ignorant of what we needed to do. So when song ideas came up, we would somewhat explore the option and then go right back to practicing our old songs. I think we were just in a really bad place as a team that we were avoiding writing so that we didn’t have confrontation. This was a big part as to why we are disappointed in that self-titled release. It was aimless, careless and we were only putting out music because we thought going to a good producer would be enough to take us to the next level.

Afterwards, we slimmed down to a four piece and had a good talk that put us all back on the same page. With confidence in each other we started crafting what would eventually become TBIN. This time we focused on honing our sound to still be diverse as we explored some new sonic territories. A majority of the songs we were pumping out started to surprise us by how natural and easy they were to write. Once the music was polished, I began putting some lyrics to each song. Typically what I do is swing back and forth between personal songs and external songs. By that I mean that the self-titled’s lyrics were inspired by things outside me. The self-titled lyrically was about my learning about people’s various mental illnesses that I had not known of till I was 21. It was another one of those realization moments where I had to change my life because depression, stress, and anxiety were such a deep factors ingrained in my friends. On TBIN, I went the opposite way; I went really personal. I wrote about my relationship with my father, ungrateful, spoiled friends, and self-motivation. The songs had individual moods to them so lyrically I really wanted to match that vibe.

The end result is a product of the four of us being completely happy and comfortable with what we were doing. When we focused on how we got along as friends, the songs just came with easy. That’s why you hear a cohesive product that doesn’t sound forced.

Scaling it back a bit, I saw that you guys just celebrated being a band for one year in February. What has the overall experience been like for you guys so far? What is your overall perspective of the last year as a whole?

To be honest, it kind of snuck up on us. I think Max was the one that mentioned it and we were all stumped by how fast it went by. We released two EP’s, did a weekend run, played a very successful headlining show in our hometown, and toured the Midwest in that year. We were still caught up in the work that we didn’t sit down to celebrate what was a very good year. We hope to keep that same trajectory.

Looking ahead, what does the future, and more specifically 2017, look like for the band? New tours, any plans for new music or anything?

2017 is going to look even better for us. Without spoiling anything, we have a couple new songs ready to record for a short concept EP and a separate few songs we’re saving to record after that. We’re definitely looking at bigger and better shows and of course we’ll have to take advantage of this summer for another tour. We have a lot up our sleeves but we prefer to do rather than say so just make sure to keep a close eye on us.

We also want to say thank you to everyone who supports us, we’ll never get tired of thanking you guys for letting us do what we do. Thank you to all the new friends we met on our tour with avoid.

Please follow us on Spotify. That really helps us achieve much more on that platform that most people know. Follow us on our social media platforms by searching “RoseGoldOK” to make sure you’re up to date with new music, shows, and merch.

Shouts to Tamia and Brianna for shipping me my luggage after I forgot it in Iowa.

Rose Gold is (from left to right):  Max Genzer (drums), Joseph Banuelos (guitar), Austin Elkins (guitar), Giovanni Pineda (vocals)

Check out my favorite track from their The Beginning Is Near, “Cascade” (buy it here):

Rose Gold released The Beginning Is Near on December 30, 2016.

Thanks for reading!

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