MY tour of the musical world takes me to Cardiff…
and to the feet of the wonderful Safari Gold. I have been speaking with the guys about their latest single, Easy Company; how the band got together; what the music scene is like in Cardiff – and what events/stories inspired their eponymous album (out now).
I ask them about their favourite music and whether there are gigs coming up; whether the media attention they have been afforded gives them confidence; how their album came together (given the fact various members were in different parts of the world before it creation); new talent they recommend we investigate – whether they have any New Year’s resolutions plotted and ready to go…
Hi guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! Great, thanks. It’s been an incredible week if I’m honest. We released our debut album and played a sold-out show in our hometown of Cardiff.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
Well; we’re called Safari Gold and we are four close friends that have been making music together since the age of thirteen. We take influences from all over the place - but we’re, essentially, an Alternative-Pop band.
Pop music for the thinking people…
What is the origin of the name, ‘Safari Gold’? Is there significance behind that moniker?
Unfortunately, not much significance: we like safaris and we like gold. In hindsight; it does sound like something you’d read on a shampoo bottle.
I will ask about your album but, right now; tell me about the track, Easy Company. What is the story behind the song?
It’s about pushing through the fear of change - to live up to your potential.
Your eponymous album is out. Can you distil the stories and ideas that go into the record?
Lyrically, the album is Danny’s baby and it spans a real range of life experiences. Danny’s a great lyricist, though. You need to listen a few times to the tracks to get an idea of what he’s saying.
It gives the album a lasting value.
It seems like you were all in different places and parts of the world before the album came together. Was it a hard record to get together?!
It took us a while, yeah!
The album is probably four years in-the-making. My brother, Lewys (album producer and drummer), was based in India for the better part of a year for work - and I probably spent eight-ten months abroad working during album process. It broke up momentum - but also gave us time to sit on ideas and recordings.
The final product definitely sounds like an album that wasn’t rushed.
Is there a song from the album you each feel defines the band? Which is the one that stands in the mind?
Our lead single, Howl, was released two years ago and it really put us on the map - and got us some attention - so it’s the song that filled us with belief and confidence to go on and make this album.
How did you all get together and form a band? Did you all know one another as children?
Yeah; so, myself and my little brother, Lewys, grew up on a mountain outside the Welsh valleys and our next door neighbour was Sion - so we all started playing instruments through our love of Blink-182 (as young teens).
Danny was in school with us and it all came together pretty quickly.
Not many people talk about Cardiff as a hub for new music! What is it like in terms of sounds and artists coming through?
Cardiff is great for new music. We actually feel a little out of touch with the new wave of bands coming through right now - but that’s because it’s an ever-evolving scene in Cardiff and we’re not teenagers anymore.
Bands like Boy Azooga, right now, are making a real name for themselves. It’s good to see.
It seems a lot of media sources have picked up on your music! How important is it to have their backing and support behind you?
Going back to when we released Howl; Indie Shuffle blogged about it - and then another twenty to thirty blogs posted about it after. It was our first experience of anything like this and, since, people have paid attention. It does reassure bands that they’re onto something good but, either way, we would still make the music regardless of online support…
Who are the new artists you recommend we check out?
They aren’t that new...but The People The Poet are very good friends of ours and they’re incredibly talented - and their new album comes out this year (and it’s an absolute stormer).
Which artists did you all grow up to? Were you raised in musical households?
Yeah. My brother and I grew up in a musical household. Our mum was a member of the first proper Welsh-language girl-group. She got us into music, really. Then; we grew up listening to a lot of Blink-182 and The Offspring.
A lot of American Punk-Rock!
If you had to choose the one album that means the most to you; which would it be and why?
As a band; perhaps Phoenix’s album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, was a huge influence on us. There are just too many though...
The last few years, I’ve listened to so much of The War on Drugs. I’d say they’ve had a big effect on me personally.
Can we see you tour soon? What gigs do you have coming up?
Hopefully! We’re still doing everything on our own schedule but we’d love to get out and tour the album. Since the album launch, we have no gigs arranged. We’ll get it all going soon though.
Any New Year’s resolutions made this year? What do you all hope to achieve, personally, in 2018?
I personally want as many people as possible to enjoy our album. That’s number-one priority for us this year.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Morgan: The War on Drugs – Pain
Danny: Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE
Sion: Blink-182 - Going Away to College
Lewys: Phoenix – Girlfriend
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