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Interview with A Sea of Gold and Burgundy
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Aaron: The title track of our new EP ‘Ghosts In These Walls’ is particularly meaningful to us because it attempts to make beauty and connection from a place of pain and suffering. When we sing this song together there is some strange kind of alchemy that can move through us where we are fused together and able to tap into a bigger and more powerful collective spirit.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
We are based out of Niagara Falls. There's alot of song fire here, between the sublime of the natural wonder and the absurd, sort of carnival atmosphere that surrounds. We've played around with both extremes in our music, the tension and release and we're grateful to be connected to a community of musicians and songwriters who are active here. There's alot of opportunity to play for a smaller city, and we've recieved alot of support, and Niagara Falls has its own place in the cultural imagination. The older generations have taught us an appreciation of rock and roll and blues and we've learned from the Anishiinabe and Haudenausonee traditions that are vibrant here.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Connectedness, personal and collective healing, music as a politic of peace, a safe place to seek, redemption, friendship, longing, praise, and celebration.
We don’t really have an agenda with our music, that being said,we want people to feel something, to connect to our music. We have experiences of a sort of connectedness when we play and we want to share that with people. Sometimes the songs themselves are from painful places and move towards transformation — attempts to make beauty/meaning from pain and suffering — and we hope that the songs might find people in the places where they might relate in that way. We’d like for our songs to work towards healing/wholeness.
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
CD: I'd wanted to play guitar for a long time and I got a hand me down guitar the same year I injured my shoulder and couldn't play baseball. When I was learning guitar I immediately started writing songs, I grew up surrounded by books and reading alot, and writing came naturally. I had to learn how to play music to support the songs I was writing. I might be selling used books or doing something with geology if not for music (if anyone needs used books, let me know).
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Nathanial: When I'm not playing music I like to build things with my hands. I am into carpentry and interior design/home renovations. I think this helps me stay creative and I find I use the same strategies with building as I do with creating music and art! Between thinking out structure, game planning and building something from nothing helps with all art forms.
How long has your band been around?
Our band was a New Year’s baby in 2009, that’s when Nathanial had the name unveiling, draped across the Toronto skyline, and we've been playing together longer - but in some ways we feel like we’ve been traveling together for an eternity, like author Kurt Vonnegut has the concept of a “Karass”, souls that travel with one another.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Cd and are were going back and forth on different names for the band as bands do :) and we had a few names going around but nothing was really sticking! I wanted a name that would encompass the "artsy" vibe of the band and also something that might have to do with being a Canadian band as well. So one night I was sitting at my house racking my brain once again for a name that would mean something more than just a "band name" and I started putting the three songwriters names from the band together and was playing with our last names and decided to turn the last names into colours Goold to Gold, Berger to Burgundy and decided to put Carl David's nick name "C" as the word Sea and when I put it all together I said to myself A Sea of Gold and Burgundy? Hey that has a nice ring to it! After saying it I thought A sea of Gold and Burgundy could also represent the Golden Canadian prairies and loved the imagery that it evoked as well! That week we had a new years party at my brothers house and CD came out and I remember being on the deck outside and said to him ``What do you think about 'A Sea of Gold and Burgundy' " and he looked back at me and said.."that's it!" and the rest is history.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
CD: a show that is seared in my memory is an early one that I ended up laying in the middle of the dance floor dancing by myself (yes, laying down). There wasn't a large crowd and when we started playing "Hit the Dance Floor" no one hit the dance floor. We'd just played an amazing show with an audience of dancers, so it was disappointing. Aaron turned to me and said "CD, you've gotta get people dancing". I jumped off the stage, like a good soldier, and was faced with the fact that most of the crowd there was either in my ex-girlfriend's band or were family or friends. We'd just broken up. I ended up laying flat on my back dancing with myself.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Our favorites are Camp Cataract and Local in Niagara Falls and the Warehouse in St. Catharines, Tranzac
There are soooooo many venues that we want to play, that we haven’t — we want to play where there are good audiences, good people and good food wouldn’t hurt 🙂
If we’re dreaming big - Massey Hall, Art Park Amphitheatre ( along the Niagara River, is where I want to play, it's a beautiful venue in a beautiful setting
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Maybe a festival setting with Matt Mays, Kathleen Edwards, Gillian Welch, Avett Brothers, Blue Rodeo, Milk Carton Kids
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
If you can, be around players who are better than you, it’ll help you to improve and do it as much as you can, dedicate yourself, you’ve only got one life. Value the people who appreciate your music, those relationships are your Gold.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Keep focused on the fun of it, the simple enjoyment and pace yourself, it’s a long road. Art doesn’t owe you anything - and often, it’s a reward unto itself.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’ve got a video coming down the chute and we’ll be in the studio this winter. We plan to ride the wings of the songs in the spring. We’ve got momentum west to the mountains and coast and east to the Ottawa valley and St. Lawrence seaway.
We’re facilitating a songwriting workshop at our home court venue, Camp Cataract, Niagara Falls December 15, 7 pm
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?