Gold Complex is an 8 piece soul/pop band from Toronto, Canada.
Following their self-debut EP released in 2015, the Canadian band is now offering their debut album entitled “New Soul”. Inspired by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding and Michael Jackson, the 9-track record delivers a soulful and dynamic record displaying the band’s strong musicality along with catchy melodies and stunning vocals.
“By recording most of the album live-off-the-floor, and through meticulous production, we've achieved our goal of creating an ultra-polished studio record with all of the explosive energy of our live show,” expresses Andrew Dawson.
The debut album includes the single “Homegirl”, released on February 8th.
“Homegirl” is a song about the exciting early stages of a new relationship — when you first introduce that special someone to your friends, and find out if they can kick it…” explains the band.
“New Soul” is now available worldwide.
Introduce the band - where are you from?
Andrew Dawson: Gold Complex is an 8-piece soul/pop band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
What's the band's story?
Will Bowes: It’s a cool story! Andrew Dawson, our producer and guitarist’s girlfriend Alli Boddy, is an incredible artist. She painted our EP album cover and she has painted several posters for various shows we’ve played. She’s so talented. But two years ago she was holding a showcase of her art work at Project Gallery in Toronto. She asked Andrew to throw together some musicians to play at the exhibit, so that people could admire the art while listening to a live band. Essentially, the people that he threw together became Gold Complex. We loved playing together that night and decided to start writing and practising on a regular basis. After adding a couple more players, we curated the sound that now defines us. We then spent three years working on our debut album, New Soul, due out Friday, February 22nd.
At what point did you know you had to form a band?
Andrew Dawson: After the first time playing together at what we thought was a one-off gig, we all knew that we had to continue making music together. The vibes between us on stage, and the reaction of the crowd to our (one) original song really cemented that realization. Once we began writing more of our own songs, we couldn't stop!
How would you define Gold Complex, the band?
Andrew Dawson: Gold Complex is a powerhouse band, both on stage and in the studio, comprised of some of the best musicians in Toronto. We now perform live with 10 people (including a 3 piece horn section and 2 fantastic female backup singers) so there's a striking visual aesthetic on stage to match the size of our sound. Really we just look like a classic R&B band, but our music pushes boundaries and bends genres in many directions. Not trying to toot any horns here but we like making music that is easy to listen and dance to, but is really hard to play.
Do you remember the first song you've ever played live together?
Andrew Dawson: The first original song we played live was “Tread on Me”, at our first show before we were "officially" a band. The reaction of the crowd was mesmerizing -- watching people mouth along to words they had never heard before was the icing on the cake.
You've just released your new single "Homegirl". What's the story behind this song?
Will Bowes: “Homegirl” is the third single and opening track from our forthcoming debut album, New Soul, out Friday, February 22nd. We like to think of Homegirl as a progressive pop track with a sexy, energetic blend of lush vocal harmonies, pumping horns and a tight groove. “Homegirl” is a song about the exciting early stages of a new relationship — when you first introduce that special someone to your friends, and find out if they can kick it…
Andrew Dawson: At the time of writing the lyrics, I had recently begun a new romantic relationship (thankfully the "introducing to friends" stage went very well) and was elated about the fact that my girlfriend was just as comfortable with my friends as I was.
Could you describe us the songwriting/production process behind the song?
Andrew Dawson: The music came first, as it usually does when I write, and arguably inspired the lyrics as much as the real-life scenario I was referencing did. I made a demo with all the parts more or less laid out, presented it to the band and we brought it to life together. From there we solidified everything and wrote/arranged 3-part vocal harmonies and the 3-piece horn parts. By the time we got into the studio to record this song, we'd already been playing it live for a couple of years so the band was incredibly tight. Thus we were able to record the rhythm section (drums, bass, keys, guitar) live-off-the-floor, preserving the natural energy and dynamics of a live performance. All the vocals, horn parts and percussion were overdubbed in subsequent sessions.
What can you tell us about your debut album “New Soul”?
Will Bowes: The album’s sound is defined by rich vocal harmonies, a smooth 3 piece horn section, irresistibly catchy melodies and a relentlessly tight groove. By recording most of the album live-off-the-floor, and through meticulous production, we have created an ultra-polished studio record with all of the explosive energy of the live show.
Andrew Dawson: New Soul is very special to us, and we hope it becomes something special for people of all walks of life. We spent 3 years in the studio creating this album, our piece de resistance as it were, and certainly my best work as a producer. The album has a distinct sound defined by rich vocal harmonies, a smooth 3 piece horn section, irresistibly catchy melodies and a relentlessly tight groove. By recording most of the album live-off-the-floor, and through meticulous production, we've achieved our goal of creating an ultra-polished studio record with all of the explosive energy of our live show.
What are the different topics you are talking on about on this project?
Will Bowes: This album tells a story of the progression of multiple romantic relationships from different perspectives along the way. There are ups and downs, abstract questions and definitive answers. In other words, New Soul is about love, lyrically and musically, in all of its shapes and sizes. The main songwriters, Andrew Dawson (guitar, producer), Will Bowes (lead vocals) and Blake Day (keyboard) all have a distinct writing style, complementing each other well and each telling a “different side of the story.”
What was the hardest part about making the album? And what was the best part?
Will Bowes: It’s hard to pinpoint the hardest part, but it's certainly challenging to record and balance all of the instruments that we use in our band. It takes a lot of time and of course, money to get it right. It was challenging for me personally to be able to make notes on the songs objectively after listening to them all hundreds of times. You start to lose your grasp on what makes a song good anymore...
Andrew Dawson: The hardest part was probably letting go -- finally deciding that it's done, nothing left to add or change...confidently saying that no stone has been left unturned. It probably took me two days to write that 1 sentence email saying "It's done, send those final mixes" because I neurotically needed to quadruple check everything. All that being said, editing the horns was also pretty brutal haha! We spent around 75 hours recording and editing the horns on this record. I do not wish this fate on anyone! Ironically the best part was also letting go and sending that 1 sentence email. The feeling of knowing that the album is done and sounding exactly how I want it to sound, is incredible. Of course from time to time, I still wake up in a cold sweat having nightmares about a hi-hat out of place or a weird breath somewhere, but after frantically queuing up the song my perfectionistic anxieties are relieved.
What makes a good band? How do you guys complete each other?
Will Bowes: I think we all have a great deal of respect for each other, and that lays the foundation for real productivity. It's like being in a polyamorous relationship sometimes.
Andrew Dawson: First and foremost, a good band is a tight band. Being able to read and play off of each other, and to be able to communicate with nothing more than a glance. Like any relationship, chemistry is key!
What's the number one goal for Gold Complex?
Will Bowes : Right now, we’re just focused on getting the album out and getting it heard by as many people as possible. After that, we would love to build a tour of some kind to support it.
Andrew Dawson: If our music and lyrics make a difference in even one person's life, that will bring us so much satisfaction. We are very passionate about performing our music, so above all we want the opportunity to share that with as many people around the world as possible.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Will Bowes: I think all of us are in our twenties and experiencing the ups and downs of love and relationships, so those things usually provide great materials for writing music!
Andrew Dawson: We draw inspiration from a wide and eclectic range of influences. Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding and Michael Jackson are at the top of the list, but on the album you'll hear our love of classic rock, electronic music and modern prog bands like Snarky Puppy and Between the Buried and Me.
What message do you want to convey through your music?
Will Bowes: I think our music is very fun and danceable for sure. Love, positivity, and optimism are themes of course, but the album also has moments of realism, true to life scenario’s and truths about the harsh realities of life.
Andrew Dawson: I think our music is as much about the feeling it gives you, as it is about the message. All of the songs on this album are about the many sides of love, and musically they convey the same emotions: joy, sadness, bliss, tension, excitement, angst and serenity.
What advice(s) to anyone who'd like to be in a band?
Will Bowes: I think just keep playing live. Keep playing live shows, build your confidence, build your understanding and awareness of how everything works around you. The more you play, the better you’ll get.
Andrew Dawson: Don't have 8+ people in your band! Of course I'm half-joking. But if we were a 3-piece band we probably would have toured a lot more by now... Then again if we were a 3-piece we would also have a very different sound and wouldn't be able to do these songs justice on stage.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Will Bowes: More public funding for independent artists?
Andrew Dawson: I feel like the cliche answer would be "more good music." But the honest truth is that there is SO MUCH good music out there and yet the world keeps getting worse every day. Aside from locking up all the crooked politicians and anti-environment corporate overlords, if there's one thing that could make the world a better place, it's surfing. I'm no psychologist but I think if every person in the world was able to surf every day, everyone would be much happier, more relaxed and in tune with nature, which would do a significant amount of good for the world.
What biggest lessons have your learned as a band?
Will Bowes: Keep practicing when you’re starting out, it’s the only thing that will make you great. And you’ll get so much better at whatever instrument you play, including your voice. Thanks very much for chatting with us!
Andrew Dawson: Creating this album has taught us all a thing or two about patience, hard work and commitment. Making a record is no walk in the park, and it takes quite a bit of mental, physical and emotional stamina. The journey isn't over yet -- really it's just the beginning and there will be many more lessons to learn in the years to come.
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