The band Pacific Gold offers up unique music that pulls on old hymns for the inspiration for their songs set against a wide array of musical styles. I recently was contacted by BC Music, an artist-friendly, music co-operative that was started by Matt & Toby of the band Emery about the band and possibly interviewing them.
Pacific Gold Members:
Torry Anderson-Vocals, Keys
Brian Hibbard- Vocals, Lead Guitar
Dan Koch- Lead Vocals, Guitar
John Raines- Bass
David Stuart- Drums
The interview below is with Brian Hibbard, guitarist from the band Pacific Gold.
(CW)- 1. Is there any special meaning behind the band’s name Pacific Gold?
(CW)- 2. Your band has a interesting way of coming up with your songs. As you put it in your press material that you use, “repurposed hymns & spiritual songs.” Will you share with me a little bit about how that process works?
(Brian)- Dan generally combs through a bunch of hymn texts, through a few different sources, and singles out ones that he likes for whatever reason: usually it is primarily the poetic imagery in the song, but it could be other reasons as well. He writes a basic structure of a song, with all new music and melodies, and then we all go to work on creating a final product. In the end, we have these re-written hymns that are unique in that they are not primarily intended for church use.
(CW)- 3. Seattle has a reputation as being a breeding ground for good music. How has living there affected your
(Brian)- There’s an incredible support system in Seattle within the music scene, and I’ve noticed that the generosity of well established bands and solo acts are often a huge factor in whether a newer band does well. Everything from writing collaboration, endorsing and attending shows, or more established bands letting the less-established new band open for them, we have some really good people on our side that have graciously given us a huge boost on several occasions. Because Seattle is a relatively small city, most everyone knows everyone within the wide indie-rock (a very general use of the word) umbrella, or at least someone in your circle can connect you to nearly anyone. It’s a great feeling, the camaraderie that forms between bands is special and often extends beyond music into friendship, going to each others weddings, parties, backyard BBQ, Seattle is an excellent place to play music and meet fellow musicians.
(CW)- 4. What artist/ band’s have had an influence on your music?
(Brian)- When we were first throwing out ideas and released The River, we were very connected to the Fleet Foxes’ beautiful acoustic tone and melodies, the harmonies and song structure of the Beach Boys, with a little bit of My Morning Jacket coming out here and there. As we all have grown and expanded our musical palettes, band practice often includes a large amount of time sitting in the studio showing each other music. “Listen to what Glasvegas does with their drum fill in this section of Geraldine! Wouldn’t something similar fit well with XYZ?” Often it’s helpful, and sometimes we just get going on long tangents of what we’re currently listening to. Regardless, it’s a good time.
Personally, l am heavily inspired by everything that Vetiver has released, and his new record slated for March is getting me quite excited. He brings incredibly simplistic yet gorgeous guitar melodies and tone that always land in the perfect spot. You know those moments that everything clicks in song because of a one chord, or a small guitar riff? That’s my groove right now. Simple, yet elegant; using my instrument to enhance what’s going on with the rest of the song instead of being a focal point.
(CW)- 5. What do you feel is the main purpose of your music?
(Brian)- We hope to emphasize and showcase beautiful lyrics that spread a certain artistic beauty to those who resonate with sacred texts. Whether this resonation is spiritual, religious, or is simply out of respect for an author who expressed his or her faith through the means of thoughtful lyrics, our music exists to bring these lyrics into a new surrounding sound where we as artists connect musically and believe many listeners connect. This is why our music has been changing sonically pretty significantly, and takes on new life in every release, and why theologically no one could specifically nail down one particular ethos for Pacific Gold.
(CW)- 6. You used a crowd funding campaign to raise the needed funds to record your upcoming album, “Sing My Welcome Home,” (March 2015). Why did you decide to go that route to raise the money?
(Brian)- When we released The River, it was a free download as we were new, completely experimental, and simply wanted people to listen. We did have a t-shirt, poster, and vinyl that was available, so we made some money off of that; additionally several people ended up paying for the EP, which was very kind, and that helped us cut back on production costs and overhead for the merchandise. We have the huge privilege of Dan being a commercial composer, which means we have access to excellent gear and an excellent engineer, cutting down on the costs significantly. When “Sing My Welcome Home” was starting to be a thing, we had a decent number of fans and knew, in a way, that we had to jump in head first if we wanted to go anywhere. Part of that meant going “all in” both financially and qualitatively, which meant having some money in the bank ahead of time. BIG shout out to our Kickstarter backers – they’ve been incredibly patient and supportive through this whole thing, we owe them a great deal!
(CW)- 7. Your now connected with BC Music a label owned and operated by Matt & Toby of the band Emery how has that helped the band out?
(Brian)- BC Music is a group of great people who have the knowledge and experience of all things band life. They offer some serious wisdom while being smart, witty, and responsible humans who know how to manage and make sure things get done. They offer additional support for many little aspects of the behind the scenes work, as well as providing a voice and vision for large ideas, timelines, design, etc.
(CW)- 8. Do you have any touring plans in support of your new album?
(Brian)- There have been mumbles and brief conversations, nothing set in stone. We do expect to do something short in our neighboring states, and generally we hope to spend more time touring at some point.
(CW)- 9. What is the best piece of advice you ever got from someone related to music or life in general?
(Brian)- A friend once told me – “you spend the most time with yourself, you’re constantly around your own actions, decisions, work ethic, and know the internal workings of yourself better than anyone else. You’re like your own best friend. So why are you your own harshest critic? If your close friend came to you in a time of need, you wouldn’t be harsh, hurtful, or judgmental. You would be collected, kind, and helpful. Thus, when you look in the mirror, or read to your writing, or reflect on an earlier moment, be gracious with yourself.”
Another – ‘Be kind, work hard, and amazing things will happen.’ Well that was Conan O’Brien, and I saw that on YouTube. But really, along those same lines, I’ve heard from many good people to find what you absolutely love to do and do it to the best of your abilities. My mother is a piano teacher, I don’t know many people who work as hard or put in as many hours as she does in her craft, yet she’s continually positive and loves what she does. That model is continually an inspiration.
(CW)- 10. Anything we missed that you want to let the readers know about the band?
(Brian)- We’re ecstatic about this record. Everyone says that, I suppose, but really it’s been a very long process- we’ve put in a lot of time, especially Dan our lead singer/ songwriter/ producer. We’re thankful for the patience and kindness we’ve received from fans, friends, and family. It’s FINALLY happening, and we’re thrilled to share it with you. Additionally, our self-titled EP, released 2013, is available as a free download in celebration of the announcement for ‘Sing My Welcome Home.’ Head over to http://pacificgold.bandcamp.com to download it.