NGV Friday Nights: Interview with Gold Class

We interviewed Adam Curley of Gold Class, who will be headlining NGV Friday Night at NGV International on Friday 6 January 2017.

What was your creative motivation behind your first release It’s You?

That album is most of the songs we had up to the point of recording, so I suppose the motivation behind making a record was that we felt we’d found people we liked writing with and had songs that added up to something. It’s nothing more than that, but I also know how rare it is for that to happen. I think we really are lucky to have stumbled onto each other.

If your music was an artwork what would it look like?

It would have to look like the collages Mark, our drummer, has made for our show posters and a few song artworks. He doesn’t think like anyone else I know. There’s an unsettling preciseness to them, but also a dark sense of humour, and they’re a bit sexy, or subversively sexy maybe. I hope our music can sometimes be all of those things.

Do you have a favourite artist/artwork?

I’m embarrassingly lazy when it comes to learning about visual art, but from going to galleries I’ve mostly found myself interested in contemporary art that incorporates photography and installation – artists like Richard Prince, Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie, Zackary Drucker, Australians like Christian Thompson, Gabriella and Silvana Mangano and Jack Mannix. But also bits and pieces from DIY culture like flyers and handmade art books.

What’s your favourite gig you have played to date?

It’s hard to choose. I think I get most excited about playing in interesting venues. In Brussels we played in a round theatre inside Botanique, a stunning old building that was the centre for botanical studies in the 1800s. Though nothing has really topped opening Golden Plains this year, walking out to thousands of people and feeling how ready everyone was for it.

What song do you wish you wrote?

Can I just say Smells Like Teen Spirit? Probably Smells Like Teen Spirit.

What part of making music excites you the most?

Writing with the others is the reason to be in a band at all. We’ve been writing the next record and it’s nearly finished, and I’m already realising how much I’ll miss that process, and all the thinking and indulgent daydreaming that goes into it. But on the other side, recording it will be the next thing, and I want to get it out and show people where we are as a band now.

What is your favourite part of being involved in Friday Nights at NGV?

I think, again, getting the chance to play in a new room, and such a cool room, but also just being part of the tradition of bands infiltrating and being welcomed into galleries. I think it’s good for both and a healthy tension; it forces both into a new light and that can open up new ways of thinking about both music and institutions.

What are you working on now?

We’ve been in writing lockdown at Bakehouse, though to be honest we spend half our time hanging out in the courtyard drinking the port they put out for bands over the summer. They look after us so well. We’re making plans to record in February, and there’s a bit to be worked out yet for that to happen, and then of course thinking about shows, artwork, videos… I’m also personally working on shaking off 2016 and taking some pleasure from the good stuff left in the world.

Viktor&Rolf once said “At the start of our career, the art world showed a lot more interest in our work than the fashion world did…. in museums we were simply making what we imagined in our minds and the response came from the art world”. What is the most surprising response you’ve had to your work?

The guitarist from one of the bands we played with on the last UK tour said to me, “If robots were programmed to write songs, your songs would be the ones they wrote for themselves at home.” So I guess that, though it’s also quite lovely in its way. But also maybe just the ease with which we seem to move between dingy little bars and places like the NGV and festivals and shows with mostly electronic music on the line-up… I never thought we’d be let into so many different worlds.