It’s been two years since Such Gold released their debut album, ‘Misadventures,’ and a lot has changed. On their follow-up, ‘The New Sidewalk,’ the band has accepted and adapted to change to create an album that truly represents Such Gold.
“Everything feels way more natural in the band now, people are sitting in their roles really well,” says bassist/vocalist Jon Markson.
Markson joined the group just before the release of ‘Misadventures,’ but that only marked the beginning of lineup changes for the band. Such Gold moved from a five piece to a four piece with vocalist Ben Kotin adding guitar to his duties. Later, the members made a shift of drummers, eventually settling on Matt Covey (ex Shai Hulud). Markson says that the lineup change “in and of itself is a huge shift on the surface, but underneath that is definitely a new sort of approach and change in how we think about the band.”
The new approach isn’t only relevant to the band members; Such Gold fans will likely find some audible changes on the album as well. Not to say that ‘The New Sidewalk’ abandons the sound that the band has developed, but the upcoming release has no fear of expanding into new areas.
“Such Gold has always been like a little bit of a black sheep of a band, you know? No one ever really gives Such Gold a cool pass,” Markson explains. “Everyone sort of related to this band as this complete just like gang-chant pizza band.”
If Such Gold has been definable as a pizza band, ‘The New Sidewalk’ certainly changes that. Such Gold no longer fit into the genre so nicely. Perhaps they’ve expanded into a spaghetti band, maybe even hot dogs. Regardless, on their upcoming album, listeners will hear an increase in complex time signatures, varying tempos, and key changes. At times Such Gold even starts to resemble a math-rock band, but a certain element of the band’s signature sound remains present. The first two singles display this trend. The first, “Faced,” starts off with difficult rhythms and quickly noodling guitars. In contrast, the follow-up, “nauseating,” has a steady but unrelenting drive typical of past releases. Returning fans may be shocked by the new album, but Markson promises the shift in style represents the same band and not a premeditated change in direction.
“We didn’t set out to be like ‘okay on this album we’re gonna do this, that, and the other. I think ‘The New Sidewalk’ is just a very good representation of how we all think about music together.” When talking about Such Gold, Markson sounds completely content. “We’re all on the same page to the point that we’re like ‘we’re gonna make [this] exactly what we want to write and how we want to write it and there’s nothing that’s going to stop us from feeling as good as we can about the music that we’re doing.”
As far as fan reactions go, Markson and the rest of the band aren’t too concerned. “We’re not trying to lose fans or whatever, but if you don’t like it and you don’t get it that’s totally cool, and on top of that you not liking it or not getting it is not going to make us write songs to be different.”
In addition to the lineup changes, Such Gold recorded ‘The New Sidewalk’ differently than in the past. For their new album, the band had the opportunity to work with producer Bill Stevenson (Descendents, A Wilhelm Scream, Propagandhi) in The Blasting Room. Both the producer and the album have a hefty reputation in the punk scene and the guys in Such Gold were thrilled with the experience.
“He keeps the pressure on you but he doesn’t keep the pressure on you in any sort of like menacing way,” Markson says. He’s just like ‘man these songs are great.’ He was so excited about it and that was insane for us. We were like ‘dude you gotta stop telling us that you like the songs or else you’re going to go to our heads.’”
‘The New Sidewalk’ represents a land of new opportunities for Such Gold. The band worked with a new lineup, they got the chance to record in a legendary punk studio, and the group created a new sound that ignores others’ expectations. The resulting album has the potential to propel the band into new territory.
When asked if Such Gold is nervous for the release, Markson replies “of course we’re a little nervous, but it’s more so because we’ve had these songs for so long.” “We’re just really excited to release it in the most narcissistic way because we think it’s fucking awesome and we want other people to hear it.”