Louder with Gold Bloom
For any band, your first show is always the cause for a major case of the heebie-jeebies! It is your chance to make your mark and stamp out your mission statement onto the first group of impressionable minds and hearts who encounter you outside of the practice room, and in an age when music fans are arguably more fickle than ever, first impressions matter all the more. One band who appear to be taking their inaugural public appearance entirely in their stride, however, are Liverpool pop punk quintet Gold Bloom. We caught up with the entire band ahead of their first live appearance, in support of Edinburgh’s Woes, at Liverpool’s Zanzibar Club, to discuss the night ahead, their debut EP release- and then to witness them almost break them up before they’ve barely even begun over a certain 00s girl group…
Firstly, congratulations on your first ever show! How are you feeling ahead of tonight?
Shaun (guitarist): Psyched! I’ve only thrown up like once so far!
Sam (vocalist): It’s not nervous, we’ve been waiting for this for so long, we’re just excited to do it now! It’s been a long time coming now hasn’t it?
JohnJo (bassist): There’s been great vibes! (a chorus of disdained sighs)
Sam: It’s almost a relief to actually be doing it!
You guys have recently released your debut EP ‘At Long Last’- how have you found the response to that record so far?
Sam: Suspiciously good!
Shaun: It’s almost like someone’s sorting this for us!
Sam: It’s not that it’s not great receiving compliments from friends, but you sort of expect your friends to say that your stuff is great
David (guitarist): It’s when strangers have come up to us saying it’s great that has been the strange thing. We’ve had people saying things like ‘Come to New York!’, and we have to be like ‘We can’t!’
Shaun: We’ve had people on the pop punk Reddit saying it’s their album of the year
George (drummer): A notoriously hard market to crack!
The record has a really uplifting, effervescent feel to it- was that something you were conscious of trying to create during the recording process?
Shaun: We didn’t set out to make it that way, we never wanted to take anything too seriously
George: The music is too down, it’s never too hard on yourself- we’ll never sit there and go ‘okay, let’s fade it out now for 30 seconds of ambient guitar noises’
Shaun: Lyrically as well, we never want to do anything too heavy
Sam: Although the lyrics can be quite sad at times, actually!
Shaun: I mean, we’re a pop punk band, so there’s going to be some songs about girls and stuff on there! We try to keep it as ‘us’ as possible though- we get asked about our influences and we don’t know what to say!
Sam: Everyone has influences, but we never went into it in the mindset of ‘well, we like this band, so let’s try and sound like them’, we just let what we wanted to say flow into the record- with some really sad lyrics!
The UK pop punk scene, particularly in Liverpool, is incredibly strong at the moment- does coming from such a packed scene make it harder to get your voices heard, or is having a community to back you an advantage in your view?
Sam: It’s a mixed barrel I think
Shaun: I don’t think we’ve had an issue with getting ourselves heard, I think currently everyone is very supportive of each other, especially in Liverpool (although people could be saying shit behind our backs, we don’t know!). Even [vocalist DJ] from Woes commented on Reddit saying he liked our stuff, so I think everyone in the UK pop punk scene as a whole is very supportive of each other.
Sam: I think people are missing a trick though, because as much as everyone is very supportive of each other, people also seem to be afraid of a bit of competition! Looking at a band doing well can be a motivator for you to do better than them! If you look at the pop world or the hip hop world, there’s all these collaborations and people working with each other, and I feel that is missing in the rock scene, people working together to help build up the scene. In Liverpool it’s so strong though, there’s some great sounds coming out lately. Features as well- nobody does features in rock music!
So are there any bands from the Liverpool or pop punk scenes that you are loving right now and would want to do that kind of feature with?
George: I love the new Woes album!
Shaun: They’re not massively new, but I’m really into Between You & Me at the moment
Sam: It’s strange because often you don’t see bands that are coming up in the scene around you until a big spike happens with them, so there might be 100 bands coming up at the minute at the same level as us that we haven’t heard of yet, because we ourselves aren’t a big band yet, so we might encounter these new bands along the way playing shows and tours that we have no idea about yet!
Shaun: If any of those bands do see this, slide into the DMs, hit us up!
With festival season approaching, what would be your most important festival essential that people often forget to bring with them?
JohnJo: The last festival I went to was Slam Dunk North, and I took absolutely nothing! I had an early-bird ticket to Leeds once too, and I didn’t even take a tent- I slept on a deckchair one night!
George: Just live by the land- plant your own potatoes in the field before festival season!
David: Portable charger, definitely!
Shaun: And a friend!
That’s actually the one thing I did forget at Slam Dunk this year, I was alone all day!
Sam: You should have been with [JohnJo], he was walking around naked apparently! [following only mildly convincing protests] They based the film ‘The Martian’ on you!
Finally, the question that has nearly split up many a band - who’s your favourite Spice Girl?
David: Ginger Spice! She was my first crush, she was on the Walkers crisp packets when I was about 4, and she was my first love!
Shaun: I also have to go with Ginger Spice, for obvious reasons! [gesturing to his own mop of ginger hair]
Sam: The worst one is definitely Victoria Beckham- she might be doing the best, but when everyone else in the Spice Girls says ‘shall we do another show?’, how can you be the one to turn around and be like ‘nah!’
[following an incoherent chorus of protests and arguments, getting steadily more heated and less jovial]
David:… wait, what was the question again?
As the conversation dissolved into a maelstrom of passionate debate, there was no doubt left (if there was any to begin with!) that Gold Bloom are among the most personable and unapologetically vocal of the young bands in the pop punk sphere. There is no room for frills or egotism here- this is raw, skyward-thinking music from a young band who are already making some very big waves. Stay tuned, this won’t be the last time these outspoken Scousers will be making themselves heard!
'At Long Last' is out now as a self-release.
Check out the record's lead single, 'Crosshairs', below:
Gold Bloom have recently been announced as the local support when hometown boys WSTR return to Liverpool in September- details can be found below and tickets are available here: