INTERVIEW: The Golden Age Of Nothing | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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When a band claim to have been inspired by Tom Waits and David Lynch while making their latest video, you pretty much know what to expect. And for the most part, you’d be right – The Golden Age of Nothing’s video for Everything Is On Fire is a menacing prospect; disorientating fuzzy stabs of guitar and screeches of noise play over unnerving black and white flashes of disjointed images centring around the protagonist’s increasingly vivid visions – old-fashioned record players, close-ups of eyeballs, that kinda thing – but the band’s sound is wholly their own, and they strive to remain individual, as bassist Doyle Anderson proclaims: “Cult cinema, past experiences and restless nights are what inspire me most. We never set out to sound like anybody else – a fact we take pride in.”

The Stockton-based trio’s beginnings took an entirely different approach from their current dark psych rock; guitarist and vocalist Graeme Wilkinson invited violinist Graham Seaman to join the band as a drummer initially. “My career as a drummer was somewhat short lived. I was dreadful!” Seaman admits. Moving from drums to electric violin, and making what Wilkinson describes as “weird noises” as he eschewed the piano for guitar, their sound finally took shape.

The band’s music could quite easily soundtrack a Lynchian fever dream, and they admit their songs are inspired by a relatively dark gamut of emotions. “We were actually going to call the album Life And Death And Love And Death, and that pretty much sums up the wider view of the tracks.”

The band’s music could quite easily soundtrack a Lynchian fever dream

From songs about abandoned Soviet cosmonauts to battery farmed chickens, George Orwell and ghostly shipwrecks, Ghosts Destroy Us has an eerie feel. Opening with a confusion of found sounds and clashing synths, Cosmonauts’ vocals are fittingly spacey; an insistent guitar line and ponderous beat flickers under delicious stabs of noise echoing in the spaces in between. Strange Maps’ faster pace is accentuated by splashes of cymbals and a Bowie-esque baritone vocal offering a creepy feel, while the psychedelic swirls of Only The Bruises Remain and the insistent fuzz and static of closer The Ends of The Earth bring the album around full circle.

Many of the songs have an epic quality, gravitating towards darker psych-infused styles; it seems that “making noise” is one of Wilkinson’s aims. “We’re all miserable so and so’s. We weren’t as epic to begin with but one day we just decided to make more of a noise. To kind of stop self-deprecating and almost apologising for ourselves. Then we got a lot more confident and a lot noisier.”

On record the band may sound like a fully formed machine, but live it’s obvious there’s something missing – namely, a drummer. Programmed drums run through a Macbook which enable Graham Seaman’s shrieking stabs of violin to take centre stage amidst Wilkinson’s otherworldly guitar and Anderson’s rumbling bass, and it’s in the live arena that the band seem to have found an increasing confidence. “We get people coming up after gigs and saying we’re ‘niche’ and ‘a bit different’, I never quite know how to take that!” Wilkinson admits. “We’re sometimes a bit more shambolic, but I like that…the idea that it can all fall apart at any moment.”

The Golden Age of Nothing release Ghosts Destroy Us on 7th August. The band play The Green Room, Stockton on Saturday 15th August.

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