If you’ve ever perused the Hype Machine you’ll have surely come across the name Goldroom, the alias of California’s multi-instrumentalist Josh Legg. Over the last 12 months the LA native has built a impressive sound, and following, based around the sunny climate of his beloved Southern California.
For those of you who’ve been following the blogs for a while you’ll probably already know about Goldroom and his work with Binary Entertainment – a label and blog that he setup to champion up-and-coming talent far and wide.
We managed to grab 10 minutes with Josh to talk about his new live show, how he plans to evolve it in the future, his thoughts on current EDM trend sweeping the US, and what he would save from his studio if it was was on fire.
HBF: First off, tell us a little bit about this live show you’ve recently been playing out. It looks fantastic from the youtube videos I’ve seen. How do you plan to advance this show? More electronic elements or less?
Its been so fun to start playing the music live! I love being able to play slightly different versions every night. I think its just so cool to look back and think “man Morgan’s Bay kind of sucked tonight, but we killed Only You Can Show Me.” You don’t get moments like that when you’re DJing. As for the instrumentation, I think the song’s are written and produced a certain way, and I really believe in trying to stay true to that vision. We’ve got guitar, keyboards, and drums right now. I’m definitely hoping to add bass guitar, more synthesizers, and some more hand percussion too. Moving forward I just want to give us even more opportunity to do exciting things on stage.
HBF: I noticed you’re taking part in some of the vocals! Is this a new thing for you or have you always been a vocalist?
I’ve always been a vocalist for sure. I have two albums of music that I wrote and record thats just me and guitar actually haha. In NightWaves I sang all of the harmonies and backing vocals as well. Once Goldroom started I knew it was time to challenge myself to sing a bit more lead. Thats me on the recordings of Morgan’s Bay, City Girls, Nights In Nantes, and Angeles. I’m sure I’ll be on the record a bunch too. I love working with other singers too though… its great to do both!
HBF: Do you see the live show becoming the main focus for the Goldroom in the future? Are you wasted performing as DJ when you could easily play live?
Well, first of all, its not a situation where its ‘easy’ to play live. Our show is definitely something that takes a lot of time effort and money to pull off. We wanted it to be really special.
Moving forward I’d love to continue to do both as much as possible. I absolutely love DJing, and I think its a great way to get Goldroom to a city that might not be ready to bring the whole band there yet, or to a special night that just needs a DJ. I definitely don’t think its wasting me to see me DJ. Its so different and I love doing both… They’re both very different experiences and I think both are super special in their own way. (I feel like Im describing my children)
HBF: On the topic of DJing. With music that is so perfect for the sunshine, do you have a preference for DJing day or night events? If so, why?
It’d be easy to say day events, but realistically, 90% of the best events I’ve DJd at have been at night. Dance music is made for dancing and partying, so thats the crowd I want in front of me! I guess the BEST situation is a great party, perhaps at night, on a beach. This happened in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and it was one of the best DJ sets I’ve ever had.
HBF: Do you think living in Los Angeles, or Southern California in general has influenced you music? If so, how?
Absolutely it has. A lot of the Goldroom material itself in some ways is a giant homage to the time I’ve spent here. I love Southern California and I think I’m inspired by it every day. Its the landscapes, the architecture, the food, the weather, and the people. I grew up in Boston, so moving here was a very big lifestyle change. Its changed my daily outlook in a huge way.
HBF: You’ve really been one of the forerunners of this “discowave” style of music that seems to be becoming increasingly popular, especially here in Southern California. How do you see this sound evolving over the next couple of years, both in production and live performance?
My sound or vibe isn’t something that I consciously think about. I try and start an idea, listen for melodies, and then go where the song wants me to go. Anytime I try and force things in a certain direction it always ends up failing. To be honest I try pretty hard not to think about micro-trends like that either. There’s a small group of kids that like this stuff right now, and thats awesome, but cool kids always find something cooler to like… If you’re trying to cater to that crowd, you’ll never be able to keep up. The only thing that lasts and works are good songs. If you can write good songs, the musical style won’t matter.
HBF: On which of your social media accounts do you feel like your most able to connect with your fans? Do you think the age of fan engagement and super fans is really important for success in the music
Is this a trick question? I feel like instagram was made for me. I love taking pictures, and I think the intimacy of sharing them immediately is so cool.
On the whole I think being able to interact on a 1 on 1 level with people that are interested in you is great for the industry. I get why some people don’t enjoy it, but to me its all a big positive.
HBF: If your studio was on fire and you could go in a save one thing what would it be and why?
Definitely my Martin acoustic guitar. Its been there for me for 10 years, and I know it’ll be there for me in 50 more. I’ve written most of the songs I’ve ever written on that thing.
HBF: What’s your take on EDM, especially as you’re on the front line in America – should us Europeans be wasting our time worrying about it?
I’m not sure what there is to worry about. Who cares if some musicians are getting influenced by the underground and then taking those sounds and making them super accessible for the masses? Most music that EVERYONE likes sucks… it doesn’t change the fact that the underground scene is still cooler. I just think its dumb to worry about it or complain that its ruining dance music. Stop paying attention to it. I doubt Bob Dylan thought Dashboard Confessional was ruining singer songwriters when he came out. He just didn’t even care. Its a different world. If anything everyone should just be happy that there’s a huge group of music fans out there that are open to the concept of electronically based music at all. 10 years ago most teenagers would’ve recoiled at anything with a synthesizer in it.
HBF: Lastly, where does the name “Goldroom” come from?
It’s my favorite little bar in Echo Park here in LA. Its also kind of Los Angeles on the whole… one big warm golden room.