Meant to Dance: An Interview with Gold Complex

by - April 04, 2019

Photo courtesy of Lane Dorsey
A few years ago, Alli Boddy was holding a showcase of her artwork at Project Gallery in Toronto. She asked Andrew Dawson to throw together a group of live musicians to play in the background during the showcase. Alongside Dawson on guitar, he booked what is now Dan Minchom on bass, Henry Wynberg on drums, Max Forster on trumpet, Nebyu Yohannes on trombone, Graeme Wallace on saxophone, Blake Day on keys and Will Bowes on vocals. This was the beginning of Gold Complex.

After finalizing the current lineup, they took the time to curate their sound and ultimately spent three years working on their recently released album, New Soul.

“We feel that our sound is defined by rich vocal harmonies, a smooth three-piece horn section, irresistibly catchy melodies and a relentlessly tight groove,” Bowes said. “If that’s your style, you will probably dig this record.”

Their self-titled EP was released in 2015 and the band used that opportunity to really learn and understand one another. The writing and recording process is not as complicated as it might look, according to Bowes. Bowes and Dawson are the primary songwriters while their recording sessions are live-off-the-floor. Through meticulous production, Bowes said that they created what they all agreed was an ultra-polished studio record that captures the essence of their live performances.

It can be a challenge to make sure that everyone is happy with the final product and that there are healthy relationships with one another, but the amount of respect that everyone in Gold Complex has for each other is what makes them work.

“It’s easier to then have discussions where there may be differing matters of opinion,” Bowes said. “We all weigh in on the various mixes throughout the process and make sure everyone’s happy before delivering a final product.”

The final product this time around, New Soul, captures both their want to have their audience dance along and the natural chemistry between them as musicians. They’ve learned a lot during the creation process of their EP and LP, and those experiences have helped them grow as a band. For Bowes, his biggest takeaway has been learning how to tone down his inner perfectionist.

“Especially vocally, where a lot of the takes we choose are ultimately subjective to the listeners taste and preferences, there’s a part of my brain that used to say ‘you could probably sing that much better’,” he said. “Throughout the recording process, I learned to ignore that voice and just be satisfied with whatever was captured in that moment in time, without overanalyzing it.”

Gold Complex spent three years creating a debut full-length that was the best representation of each of their styles. As an 8-piece mix of soul and pop, their sound is a spectacular new approach to any genre.

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