Indie + alternative music culture depends on dedicated artists who create diversity & drive innovation in all aspects of songwriting, production & performance. We constantly feature new & notable independent acts on the verge of success. Meet this week’s featured artist in an exclusive interview. Introducing You To Your Next Favorite Artist: Gold Complex.
Toronto’s Gold Complex fuses classic soul with pop and R&B into a fresh sound that is all their own. Gold Complex is a dynamic octet that has built a strong fanbase in Canada. 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. The band is currently in the the studio recording their debut full length album “New Soul,” set for release in April 2017.
We recently talked with Will Bowes (lead singer), to get his take on alternative culture. Read on to find out more about your next favorite artist.
Comments From The Curating-Editor
With an infectious smooth jazz instrumentation supporting their alt soul sound, Gold Complex makes feel good music perfect for fall-evening vibes. Will Bowes’ charming vocals atop the stimulating R&B-adjacent lounge music is an interesting combination that somehow reminisces alt-pop in the vein of early Maroon-5 and self-titled era Walk The Moon. One of my favorite tracks of their EP is the silky single Tread On Me. Theres a sense of uneasy ache that pairs well with the sultry longing in the vocals. The track is cinematic with its slight atmospherics, which foreground both the midnight sax sounds and a shaky, shuttering, guiro-sounding audio effect. It’s stunningly encapsulating and I’m heavily into it.
What are your top 3 favorite albums that inspired you to get into music?
For me, it was Neil Young’s Decade, The Beatles’ White Album and Christina Aguilera’s Stripped (I’m not kidding).
What are your fondest musical memories?
My fondest musical memories are just singing in the car with my family as a kid. My parents definitely encouraged my sister and I to express ourselves when we were listening to music, and that mentality has stuck with me today.
Lately what musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener?
I find myself really drawn to classic soul and motown records. I have been listening to Otis Redding’s Greatest Hits lately and I can’t get enough of it.
What is your creative process like? How do you approach the writing process? Is there a particular message or theme central to your creative works?
For me personally, I can just be sitting around at work and hear a catchy melody in my head. As soon as that happens, I immediately grab my phone and record a voice memo of it. If I don’t, I’ll forget it within five minutes and be so mad at myself. 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 think because all of us in the band are experiencing varying degrees of love and romance at this point, a lot of our songs have to do with the ups and downs of falling in love, being in love, or heartbreak, as cliche as that sounds.
We’re a firm believer that the cities that artists are based in helps craft their sound. How would you describe your city’s music scene? How has it inspired you into crafting your sound?
Toronto has an incredibly diverse, and almost overwhelmingly large independent music scene. There is so much to check out if one just does some digging. I think that the diversity of both the people and the music in Toronto has inspired us to try new things and infuse elements of different sounds and styles into our own music.
How would you describe your visual aesthetic, in terms of album artwork, music videos, and artistry? How does the music you create contribute to your visuals? Does this extend to your live show experience?
We are incredibly fortunate to have access to an incredible artist who does a lot of our key art and promotional material. Her name is Alli Boddy and she is our guitarist Andrew’s girlfriend. 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!
As an indie artist in the digital age, social media and streaming are essential tools for marketing and promotion. What do you think about online music sharing, both as a music fan and as a musician? How do you think social media/music streaming services impacts the rising musician?
I feel extremely optimistic about music in the digital age. I know a lot of artists take the position that with streaming vendors like Spotify and Apple Music, artists aren’t making as much money off of individual record sales, but I think the indie artist actually benefits from this model. This is because so many people have access to stream undiscovered artists at no cost to them. I constantly find myself listening to entire albums of artists that I might never have otherwise been turned on to, simply because I’m able to stream them. Streaming gives the listener an incentive to check out new music, and it gives artists the opportunity to be heard.
What is your dream collaboration and why?
Andrew (our guitarist) said this earlier, and I have to echo his thought – 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.
Which songs are you currently obsessed with? What new acts do you recommend to our listeners? What bands do you believe are your best kept secret in the indie community?
I’m a bit late to the party I know but I’ve just gotten in to the Alabama Shakes album “Sound and Color,” and it’s incredible.
What are you currently working on? Any new projects?
We’re currently working on our debut album New Soul, due out in early 2017. We feel so excited by everything we’ve heard thus far and cant wait to share it.