If you have never contemplated the idea of an indie pop band playing the soundtrack to The Lion King, do yourself a favor and check out Fool’s Gold, your ears will not be disappointed.
The afro-pop quartet, based out of LA, took the stage at the legendary Troubadour this past Thursday in support of their latest LP – Flying Lessons. The crowd was chatty and subdued during the setup, but it was easy to feel the shift in the atmosphere as the first note hit. This band makes you want to dance! Tired though I was, my body couldn’t help but move. My legs had a mind of their own from the first beat of Poseidon to the last beat of Wildflower.
Funky guitar, walking bass, and catchy lyrics are an amazing combination in any genre – but with Fool’s Gold’s version of afro-pop, the drums are the icing on the cake. The two man percussion unit not only forms the backbone of the music, but live they get you up off your butt and visually are on point. Its kind of like watching this guy, only with purpose.
I was able to catch up with one of Fool’s Gold’s founding members (and insanely talented) Lewis Pesacov to talk about the now foursome’s journey, check out the interview below:
PPLA: Fans have been waiting four years for a new album and in that time several changes have occurred (members, labels, etc). How are you guys feeling about where you are now as a band?
LP: After releasing our second album Leave No Trace we jumped directly into a heavy international touring schedule, culminating in an amazing 12 show arena tour supporting the Red Hot Chili Peppers across the UK. Coming off the touring cycle we took some time off to reflect, live life and write new material. We made Leave No Trace so quickly, we really wanted to slow down the process for our third record, thus we took our time jamming out the new songs before taking them into the studio. After the album was finished, it took a little longer than desired to set-up a release plan.
In the interim I was lucky enough to get married and spend a couple months traveling around India… Oh, and I wrote an opera- so we definitely kept ourselves busy! As for the band members- remember, the only constant is change! This is very true for FG. Since our inception our band-cum-collective has always been in a state of flux- starting out with anywhere from 12-15 people on stage, it’s only naturally to shed members along the way. We’re feeling great about being a 4-piece now- we’re a very tight nit family!
PPLA: Do you have a favorite song on the new album? What elements makes this your favorite?
LP: It’s hard to play favorites with all of your children- but…since you asked, I do love my guitar solo at the end of “Devotion”! It’s just one of those magical moments captured live in the studio. Beyond that, I think the drum sound and overall groove on “Lady Of The Lake” is pretty deep! It’s got a really 1970s Los Angeles chicano rock vibe, reminiscent of the band War.
PPLA: What is your favorite venue to play in Los Angeles?
LP: Playing the Monday night residency at the Echo in 2008 was a fundamental building block in our career, not to mention an incredible experience! We’ve played the Echo many times since, we all live near by- it just feels like home.
PPLA: Can we expect more local shows in support of this release?
LP: We spend most of time touring Europe, so local shows actually end up being quite rare. But yes, we’re always happy to play for our hometown fans.
PPLA: How are you liking your new home at ORG Music?
LP: We’re thrilled with our new record label, ORG Music, we’ve never had such cool label mates before! Sun Ra, John Coltrane, the Grateful Dead. More importantly, the label manager Andrew Rossiter is awesome and a pleasure to work with.
PPLA: What are you most excited about with the launch of Flying Lessons?
LP: We’re very excited to finally put these songs out into the world and get on stage to play them for our fans. We’ve been playing music together for 7+ years and the release of this album is such a huge deal for us! It’s a culmination of all the experiences we’ve shared together both musically and emotionally over the course of this journey.
LP: The Astro Burger on Santa Monica Blvd has been a go-to post-show at the Troubadour for years! They cook up a delicious garden burger.
PPLA: Can we expect any of the art in the “I’m In Love” video to be album artwork?
LP: Yup, the majority of the characters in the video are from the album cover. We drew all the characters while making the album. Some are just weirdo characters, whereas some embody the lyrics from the songs. It started out as an extension of the creativity of the studio and at the time we didn’t realize that we were actually making the cover.
When we finished recording the tracks, we had this crazy collection of drawings taped all over the control room wall in the studio. Director Sally Tran and New York production company Ghost Robot put it all together for the video. The longer you look at the cover, the more you’ll notice something new- there’s all sorts of little things going on that you may not have caught at first glance.
If you haven’t heard this album, I’ll make you a mixed tape – it just might be LA’s album of the summer.
Written by:Tara Schroetter and Craig Sherwood