Passion and Brilliance: An Interview with Gold Steps

When Liz Mauritz and Zach Duarte create music together, they are the epitome of the yin and the yang. The skeletons of songs for their band, Gold Steps, start with each of them before bringing it to the rest of their band which consists of Elias Perez, Erasmo "Raz" Garcia and Roger Steadman.

The skeleton of their latest EP, Incandescent, began in January of 2017 when the song “As Luck Would Have It” was written. It was immediately added to their set list but the idea of creating another EP was set to the side until June. They had also written a song called “Vacancies” which ended up being completely restructured later in the year.

“Last year, we decided to do something a little bit different and we went out and bought ourselves a MacBook and set up a little home studio so we could start demoing ourselves,” Mauritz said. “We wanted to keep this project a little bit close to our chests and really focus on growing ourselves as songwriters without having any outsider input, which was scary and liberating and a wonderful challenge that helped us grow a lot as a team.”

From there, they had written another song, “Suckerpunch”, but still hadn’t honed in on the direction or shape that it was taking. It wasn’t until one morning when Duarte woke up with an idea of a riff – which would end up being the opening track and first single, “Firestarter”. Mauritz took out lyrics she had written on her phone and worked it into the riff; it was the moment that they really felt like they had something special.

“Exit the Apologist” came to them in August, followed by “Bright Side”. It became the most romantic track on the album as it was written for Duarte.

“It was right before we had gotten married, and I really wanted to write a song that had a positive spin on it,” Mauritz said. “It really came out beautifully about having that person who helps you see the good side of things; the glass half full mentality was really hard for me to wrap my head around because I generally, despite my demeanor, have a negative outlook on things and talk myself down and Zack has helped me become a more positive person.”

Mauritz subconsciously interwove references of light, fire, brightness and sparks into each track, which she noticed after writing “Firestarter”. By the time October came around, which was when they were meant to start recording, they knew they needed one more track to round out the theme. As Duarte played a riff over and over, Mauritz recognized the theme of the other tracks and brought them together to create a medley that’s heard in the final track, “Manic to Panic”.

One month later the recording process was finished and a few months after that they were holding the final version of Incandescent.

“It refers to passion and brilliance and this EP is a measure of the passion and brilliance that we have inside of us for this journey that we’re on in Gold Steps and it also plays on all those literal references to light and fire,” Mauritz said of the EP title.

From beginning to end, the brightness inside each track brings out the best in each member. Gold Steps has grown individually and as a team, and their spark is far from fading.