I’m here with the South African duo Goldfish currently cruising the Boston Harbor on the Boat Cruise Summer Series. It’s around 8:30pm, perfect timing to settle in, have a drink and take in the view. I got the chance to snag some time with Dom and Dave to discuss their recent move to San Diego, recent travels and ninja-esque super powers.
Ashley Feldman: What’s up guys — how are you feeling tonight?
Goldfish: We’re good, we’re on a boat *laughs*, there’s music behind us, a beautiful sunset, we’re in Boston! The last time we were here it was frigid, so it’s a nice change!
AF: So where were you guys before this, where did you just come from?
GF: We were in San Diego, we’ve actually just moved there. We’re from Cape Town, South Africa, but we’ve decided to base ourselves in CA for a little so we can concentrate on touring the states and finishing off our album. Last weekend we were in Toronto, Vancouver and Whistler.
AF: What made you want to move to SD?
GF: SD is actually very similar to Cape Town; the climate, the surfing and relaxed “outdoors-based lifestyle…” We wanted to get closer to the action while feeling at home. We are really excited about what’s happening in North America right now. There’s a real response to what we’re doing…combining dance music with live elements. Especially for the audiences who are looking for something more. I think we fit that bill.
AF: You know, these days I feel like festivals have been dominated by bass/bass house and trap bangers. Does that kind of exception pose a threat to you and if so, do you feel the need to work that much harder to step up your game?
GF: That’s always a challenge, I think it also depends on the programming. There’s probably nothing worse than being in the slot after Bassnectar haha. But the whole tropical and melodic house movement has really taken off in America, we do that sound and we offer the live experience as well. I think a lot of the time we are giving something to people they didn’t know they wanted, which is always the best kind of surprise really.
AF: So why Goldfish? What has been your experience and/or inspiration with infiltrating a jazz flare into electronic music?
GF: We were studying Jazz at The University of Cape Town, so we were just instrumentalists playing in bands. I think we just wanted more, to create a musical experience that we were really dreaming of. That was definitely one of the main reasons behind it. Once we produced a few tracks we were like “Okay, what do we do now?” Our instinct was to play live because that’s what we always did. But this time, there were only two of us so we needed a couple of machines to do different things. We create a lot of music in the moment and I think there’s a draw to that when you are able to feed off of the crowd’s energy and receive their feedback in real time. Sometimes it works well and others not so much. But when it does, it’s exceptional.
AF: So why dance music in the first place?
GF: Jazz music was the original dance music, I mean that’s what our grandparents were listening to. We had this revelation in our studies like “Oh my god, there’s so much good stuff here,” it just needs updating. St. Germain, Fatboy slim, Moby, you know they were sampling a lot of that old stuff and that’s exactly what we are going for. We kind of found a way to combine the best of old school and the best of new school. The rest is history.
AF: So being on the scene for about 10 years now and having traveled all over the world, what differences have you seen in fans across borders?
GF: People are so vastly differently. I mean America is so huge that every state and town has its own personality, just like other places in the world- Brazil, Amsterdam, Dubai for example. Interestingly enough, Boston is one of the craziest places we play. I think it’s because of the massive student population, they’re super enthusiastic. We had a couple of gigs at the Paradise Rock Club and I swear people go mad, it’s mental. As far as we’re concerned the crazier, the better.
AF: Traveling as much as you do what are three things you can’t live without on tour?
GF: Well off the top of my head I’m gonna say our gear haha, after that our headphones, MacBook Pro’s since we’re always making music on the road, a proper neck cushion with memory foam (none of those crappy inflatable ones, those things are a waste of time)… and probably a toothbrush.
AF: Speaking about making music, being a duo, how do you go about putting the production together?
GF: This is going to sound cliche, but it’s different every time. Sometimes Dave will come up with something he’s working on, or we’ll start jamming at a soundcheck and record it. About 2 or 3 of the tracks on our upcoming EP have been produced on the road or in odd places. It’s almost like being a fisherman, you don’t know when those ideas are going to pop up and it’s up to you to catch them or not. We’re like ninjas.
AF: So what’s next on the roster, any cool shows or other projects in the works?
GF: We started a side project recently called Deep Fish, which is kind of like an after party vibe. It’s a set where we just kind of fuck around more. But people are loving it, this stuff is more bass and groove intended, different from our usual. Still within our flavor, it allows us to explore other sounds that wouldn’t necessarily fit into the traditional Goldfish set.
AF: I’m loving the fish metaphors guys, haha, sounds exciting. Thanks for a great sit down and looking forward to hearing you perform on this beautiful summer night in the Boston Harbor, Cheers!