It could be said that Ballarat boys Gold Fields are riding the crest of a rather impressive wave. Having only hit the live circuit last October, they can already tick some impressive support slots including The Naked and Famous and Miami Horror off their list, and they'br just been announced as one of the many impressive acts on the lineup for this year's Parklife festival. Whilst it may be big news to their rapidly growing fan base, Vin Andanar reveals his relief at the announcement finally allowed to be made public, "We are super excited. We found out about it around December and it has been hard trying to not tell our friends. So as soon as it was announced it was a huge relief that our friends could find out what secret we were holding from them."
Though they may be breathing a massive sigh of relief that they no longer have to bite their tongues, they must surely be reeling in the excitement of landing on the fast track to success? Surely they must be finding their whirlwind rise to acclaim hard to fully fathom? Seemingly, on the inside success is hard to consider, when your priority is keeping the momentum going. "Since October, when we started playing shows, it has gone super quick. I think it is one of the fastest years to have gone by for me. We always seem to be playing shows, in the studio or writing. It is really good. It keeps us on our toes. We are kind of happy just where we are at the moment. We are just really lucky to be offered all these amazing shows, but I don't think our expectations have gotten higher, we just focus on trying to play as many shows as we can, so we can become better musicians and provide a better performance for people to see."
While many may get lost in dreams of superstardom and global domination, Andanar is seemingly modest about the attention they receive. Noting that at the base level they are just five friends exploring a shared passion. However, after further probing, he concedes that although the music came first, the quintet soon plotted out a planned path, "We wanted to make Gold Fields a bit different to the other bands we had sort of started. We wanted to approach it, rather than writing a couple of songs then playing a few pubs then record, we thought lets record good quality songs first. Then we had to get people interested in them, to get a manager and some heat behind us, then start playing shows to get better shows. That is the way we looked at it and it is working so far I guess. We concentrated on trying to write the best songs we could and made it a focus that if we wouldn't listen to the song then we would scrap it. We have been lucky so far that every song we have written we would listen to. That is how judge our music."
With a solid friendship at their base, the boys felt creatively free to express honestly their opinions of their own creations. "I guess that is what our manager and our booking agent do; they are always giving us advice." Yet, they have always been aware that making music for their own pleasure does not necessarily equate to a crowd pleasing set. For this very reason they sought management before hitting the road and getting set in their ways. "We are obviously a really young band, two of the members have never been in a band till Gold Fields."
Rather refreshingly, Andanar lacks an ego that might have been born out of the rapid rise from nothing to buzz band. Noting that they are just at the very start of a very long road, he is seemingly unafraid to call upon others and ask for their input. "We also get a lot of advice from bands we are touring with, from bands like The Holidays and Miami Horror, which is really good. It is great to get first hand experiences from touring bands, so it is such a good thing."
With their former tour mates and friends only too happy to throw in their ten cents, Andanar reveals that when it comes to performing they try to remain consistent regardless of their venue and audience size. "I think we just try and put on a performance. Something that hopefully the crowd will enjoy."
However, having experienced audiences intimate and extensive during the band's infancy, he does note that there are obvious distinctions, "Venue wise festivals often have a bigger PA system and better sound on stage for us but the general vibe is similar. At festivals the majority of the crowd are a bit more willing to party as they are in the festival mood, whereas sometimes at a 'normal' venue, a lot of the audience are just there to watch and in a way judge our performance, if that makes sense?"
While there may be obvious distinctions between performance spaces, the boys also got a taste of non Australian audiences when they supported The Naked and Famous in the UK. Though there were no major audience distinctions, Andanar concedes their appetite was wet for global success. He admits, "We have been working pretty hard here in Australia and we have been lucky enough to jump on some good shows. We have Pnau next week, which hopefully should be good for us. We just try to play as many shows as possible just so we can improve our music live and put on an entertaining performance. We really want to build overseas as well because we want to be a band that tours the world, because Australia does get a bit limited. We've only started playing shows since October but we've seen the East Coast a lot. We've driven to Sydney probably 20 times already, driven to Brisbane and played Perth a couple of times and Hobart. So, unless we start going to Western and more central Australia, the Outback or whatever, it is a little bit limited in Australia."
Gold Fields [AUS] play Parklife alongside Duck Sauce [USA], Digitalism [GER], The Gossip [USA] and more on Saturday September 24 at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.