Chandler: First I would just like to thank you for taking the time to talk to me today.
GS: Oh, absolutely thanks for having us!
Chandler: First could you please just introduce yourselves and just say what your roll in the band is.
GS: Sure, I'm Liz and I'm the vocalist. I’m Zach, and I play guitar.
Chandler : So, how did this project come about? Have you played together before or is this something completely new?
Zach: Well, for Liz and I, we actually started Gold Steps when we ended another band. Basically, Liz and I founded Gold Steps and acquired Roger along the way, then we got Elias, our other guitar player. Actually, we were lucky enough to get Raz, our bassist, he moved down here from Houston to join the band and he is our newest member.
Liz: Yeah that’s our current lineup. When Zach and I started Gold Steps, it was just us and our previous bassist, David, and the three of us went in and recorded our first EP. We didn’t have a drummer yet, so a friend of ours from a band called Nominee came in and helped us. Then, the lineup has progressed to where it is today.
Chandler: Well, I mean you guys haven’t really been around that long. However, you have a very impressive resume playing over 100 shows with some very well-known artists, you have played "So What Fest" and "SXSW" how has that immense growth in such a short time span been?
Liz: We don’t stop ever, we haven’t stopped since we became a band. Of course, at first, it is slow, but since recording our first EP and getting a full line up, we have really hit the ground running, and our goal was to get out there and play as many shows as we could and meet as many people as we could. It has been very beneficial to us, we became known as a pinch hitter of sorts, where bands would drop, but we were so egger to play shows that we were able to hop on. Since we were able to get a reputation of being reliable, promoters that we work with know that we are always down to help out, we are always down to sell tickets and promote shows. It really made us a good reputation with not only our fans but for promoters and venues as well.
Chandler: Having a good sound is a major part of the band but having a good reputation in the community will almost take you farther than your sound.
Liz: Yeah, we are big supporters of all the bands in our scene, a lot of these bands have been around for years and we have all played with each other. We share a fan-base, so we collaborate together when we have big releases, we always support each other at release shows and hold benefits for people who might be struggling. Like our friend, Devin, who does a lot of music videos for people in Austin, he is graduating high school and doesn’t have a camera of his own. The scene got together to raise funds, so he could get a camera and continue the work that he has been doing. We are really a big family, and we are always trying to help each other out. Like sometimes it is hard for us to get shows in Dallas, but we can offer promoters spots in Austin. We can help bands on tour who are coming through town and are looking for bands and promoters and help get them in the right direction. You never know, maybe one day you will be coming through their town and they can return the favor.
Chandler: So, I know we were talking about local venues a little bit, do you have a favorite local venue that is really near and dear to your heart to either play a show at or see another band play?
Zach: Well, that’s actually the Sidewinder right near downtown. It seems to be the venue that everyone plays at and you could say we hold near to our hearts.
Liz: The other venue that we know that is really supportive of the pop punk scene is Come and Take It, they host a lot of shows. So, I would say that Sidewinder is where you see all the bands playing at, but Come and Take It is a close second.
Chandler: So, on the other hand I know you have played a lot of big festivals, do you have any experiences from those that you might like to share?
Zach: I think our best experience has to be So What Fest, we got access to the VIP area and we got to be in the same room as the guys from Four Year Strong and Set Your Goals. That to me was definitely a bucket list moment to be able to play with those guys.
Liz: That is actually where we met the people from Heart Support, the nonprofit that we have been doing a lot with. I really hold that close to my heart because they focus on reducing the stigma around mental health disorders, substance use disorders and self-harm and provide really good online support and community for people to go to. There is a forum that people can go to when they are struggling with things and a lot of users on the site will provide support and well wishes. Right now, we have been working with them on our latest single "As Luck Would Have It', we filmed a documentary and a music video, in partnership with Heart Support to keep focusing on our message that if you have problems with mental health that you have a place to go. So, meeting Heart Support way back then really helped set the direction that the band would go in.
Chandler: One of the things that I thought really attributed to your bands success was your raw lyrics, revolving around mental health. I think it is something that people can connect to very easily. I know that you have a new album coming out very soon, and I was wondering how you continued that theme of mental health on this new record?
Liz: So, this new EP is a departure from our first EP. On our first EP, we didn’t have a lot of leads on the record it was a lot of rhythm, we also didn’t really have any harmonies. So, we have grown a lot in our arrangements, lyrically I didn’t intend to write an entire EP around mental health or my anxiety, but it ended coming out that way. Obviously for anyone struggling with a mental health problem, they know how pervasive it is, it really finds a way into every part of your life. From relationships to work to school, it really isn’t something that you can turn off. The more I was writing lyrics for this EP, the more I realized what I could do with the lyrics and I can create a story around it to show what it is like to have good days with your anxiety and bad days. That is really what I wanted to capture when we started the writing process. There are some very empowering songs that can be interpreted as when you’re in a manic state, then there are some songs when you are just full of self-doubt and sadness. So, for me my mental health isn’t consistent, it ebbs and it flows, some days are really great, some weeks are even great. Then there are sometimes you get into a slump, and that is why I wanted to leave the record on an ambiguous note. With mental health, you never know what each day is going to bring, you could start off on the right foot, and then your anxiety can trigger a panic attack and sometimes it feels like you are back at square one. So that is why I wanted to leave the closing track on the uncertain note.
Chandler: Considering all the experience that you have gained through multiple record releases and your ever-growing fan-base, how do you think you are going to promote this release compared to other releases in the past.
Zach: I feel like we have put everything into this already, like we already have a music video that is going to be released in mid-May. Before, we never thought to think ahead to do music videos as single releases, we have taken the time to create a plan about how we want this release to go and have taken the time to execute it.
Liz: We thought ahead this time, the first time we were just so excited to get music out that as soon as we were done recording we were like "Let’s get copies printed, let’s get a release show booked," and we did that. Then, after we did that people, were expecting a music video and we weren’t even thinking about that. Then we had our single "Toughen Up" that we planned ahead and made a music video for and released all as one go. This time around, after we recorded the songs and felt really strong about them, we decided to put all the chips on the table and really go for it. We wanted to make sure that we had the best videos and connected with our fans in the best new way and we really focused on the message that our EP is supposed to bring. I think with "Louder than Words" each song had its each message but there wasn’t one cohesive message. However, with "Incandescence" it truly is a piece that has a complete message with it, and I think we have done a pretty good job so far executing our master plan.
Chandler: Do you think that with this album you might find yourself touring deeper into the country?
Liz: Oh yeah, we will be announcing a tour for July and June that will go up through the Midwest up to the East Coast and then down back towards Texas. It is our first big tour for the year, we actually aren’t doing any dates in Texas at all. We did this on purpose because we wanted to reach some of our fans who have been following us for a while, but who are farther away. We felt that Texas as big as it is, we could cover it in a weekend and we wanted to put every effort we could into reaching fans from the farthest corners of the U.S. So, following our summer tour we are planning on heading west in the fall and hopefully this time we will get out to California and do a few dates there and then Washington then come down through Utah and Colorado to touch on some areas we have missed in the past.
Chandler: I can really see how much effort you guys are putting in and you are all just so genuine I really wish the best for you!
Liz: Aw Thanks! What the band always talks about and especially for me personally, when we get those messages from people saying how our video meant a lot to them. I had this girl who reached out to me yesterday and I was talking to her and she said how she saw the video and she loved the message and wanted us to go far, if you ever come to Mexico I’ll be the first in line. That really meant a lot to me for someone who has never met us in person to say something like that it made my whole week, I wanted to cry, it was so nice for someone to go out of their way to say that it was amazing. Sure, you can like a video or a post but when you really take the time to respond to it that means so much to us. It means that all we put into this is really worth it because people are responding to the message, and that’s what it is all about. It is the best when everything comes full circle.
Chandler: So, besides the upcoming release of your new album is there anything else that your fans can be looking out for?
Liz: Well, you can look for "Incandescence" and the preorder packages with that, and the tour dates for this summer. In the fall, you can look out for an acoustic EP that we will be recording.
Zach: Also, we just finished recording a special cover from a band that has been around for a long time. Man, y'all are going to freak out when you hear it. It’s a little bit different than our usual genre but I think it was executed well.
Liz: Yeah, we have a lot of stuff in the vaults that will be coming out soon.
Chandler: Alright thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today!
Liz: Oh, absolutely Chandler anytime! Chandler is also my favorite Friends character for anyone who is keeping track of trivia.
Chandler: Thank you so much! Make sure to look out for Gold Steps new album and I will see you next time.