Hailing from Hull, UK, The Gold Needles are -in their own words- hard to pigeonhole because they wear their eclecticism on their sleeves, fusing powerpop with psych and prog. And they appreciate being compared with The Church, Be Bop Deluxe and The Byrds all rolled in one. It was time for this blog to have a nice chat with keyboards man Mark English.
1) For the viewers of this blog who would not know you, What would you tell about The Gold Needles to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band? Who is playing what instrument nowadays?
We’ve been together since 2015 but we’ve known each other for many years. Simon (vocals) and Mark (keyboards) we’re actually in a band together way back in 1985!The line up is: Simon Dowson - Vocals and rhythm guitar Dave Burbage - Lead and rhythm guitars Mark English - Keyboards Carl Slaughter- Bass and harmony vocals. For the last album we used Will Jones as our drummer. However, our live drummer is Justin Davidson
2) About the latest released full length record 'What's Tomorrow Ever Done for You', what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a "live" in the studio recording or a track by track recording with lots of overdubs?
3) Do you use the nowadays recording technology or do you guys only work with analog machines in analog studios?
We utilise technology the best way we can. We had to given the pandemic! Fortunately we have our own equipment so we record and mix ourselves before having the final mixes mastered in the USA.
4) Is there a main composer in the band or is everybody involved in one way or another?
We all compose. Mark writes a lot of the lyrics but we all contribute in different ways. Simon tends to write fully completed songs and Dave is great at producing riffs and licks. We always seem to have ideas floating round.
5) What is your favorite topic/topic that comes easily when you write a new song?
There’s nothing in particular although the last album has a theme if time running through it. This was coincidental though. We didn’t realize this until the album was nearing completion and we were sequencing the tracks.
6) The Gold Needles are sometimes described as a 60's influenced band. Do you agree with this? Are you proud of it or do you consider there is way more than that?
We understand this but it’s not something we consciously do. We all listen to different stuff and we have eclectic tastes. I think this is evident in the tracks. We all love 60s music so it’s inevitable that this will find its way into tracks. You can hear lots of other influences as well, from glam to electronic to New wave.
7) Do you have a new video on youtube featuring a track from the latest LP??
This is the title track featuring dancing skeletons, falling robots and flying clocks. What’s there not to like?
8) What can concert goers expect at a The Gold Needles gig? Are you playing any famous cover songs during the gig?
When we can get back together properly we are going to overhaul our live set. We haven’t actually gigged any of the new songs yet so it’ll be fun rehearsing them for live shows. As for covers, we’ve tended only to play our own stuff live but we wouldn’t rule it out. Our covers of HEY BULLDOG/COLD TURKEY and NO REPLY may make the cut but until we all get in the same room again and start playing them it’s difficult to say for certain.9) Are there any bands in the UK today you consider yourself close to, musically speaking?
There are bands that we’ve gigged with like Candy Opera and Spygenius that we are good friends with and our music complements each other without us particularly sounding alike.
10) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager? What were your favorite bands as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have an influence on your own work today.
As a band we are fans of The Beatles, David Bowie, The Cars, Cheap Trick and Tom Petty as well as a host of other stuff. We still listen to all this.
11) What are the plans for 2021 as far as The Gold Needles are concerned?
As soon as we can we’re going to start rehearsing our live show and hopefully get some gigs in later in the year. We all love writing and recording and I’m sure we’ll be working on new songs and ideas as well. We just recorded a track for our label but we are sworn to secrecy as to what the project is. Hopefully, all will be revealed later in the year.
12) Anything you wanna add?
On the new album the track I GET THE PRESSURE was remixed by synth maestro Larry Fast. Larry played synth on the first four Peter Gabriel albums and also played in tracks by Kate Bush, Hall and Oates and Bonnie Tyler’s epic smash hit. We were thrilled that he wanted to work on this track.
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