John Gold and the Search for Clarity

In Interview on March 26, 2012 at 6:15 am

Audio: Child of Light – John Gold

               During the week I was putting the exhibition of The Say Anything Project together, I gave John a call to see if he could make it to the show. He was preparing for a month-long tour and working in his hometown, Land O’ Lakes. He asked if I would want to interview him again sometime. I said,’Of course.’ Two days later we talked over tea. After the short interview, he asked if I had time to hear a song. We sat in the van he’d bought for the tour and asked if I’d like to hear a song that would make me happy or a song that would change my life. First, he played me happiness, and then he changed my life. It was beyond wonderful to see him play after so long. His new material is great. I can’t wait to make some promo. material for him. But, without further ado– here is John Gold Part Two.

Okay, this should be fine. I wrote a couple questions down yesterday–

Waaait a second.


Um.. Full name: Johnathan Russell Gold. Date: March 14th, 2012. Please, your full name.

Gina Rose Moccio.

Date is.. the 14th of 2012? Affirmative?

Indeed. That it is.

Anything I say that could be incriminating in any way, or uh, tarnish my good record, will be uh, off the record. And stated in any written terms very vaguely in a way that nobody will be able to understand it. Is that, uh, possible? [Laughs]

Yeah, that’s fine.

Incriminating? Like, you know what I’m sayin’? Crazy bad to hear about. You know what I’m saying?

I’m not sure I do know what you’re saying.


I mean, we don’t even have to post this interview.

Oh, no. I would like– it would be cool. [Laughs]

The thing about the way that I do interviews now, is that I don’t turn them into articles. I just transcribe them as they are and post the words.

Oh, really?

Yeah. That’s like, a new Vessel additive. I mean, in the future I’d also like to post the actual recording. Not this one because it’s on my phone, but in the future–

Okay. Can it start now? [Laughs]


Alright. Definitely.

Catch me up on your life in one sentence.

One sentence? [Long pause] One sentence.. I don’t know if that’s possible. [Shorter, long pause] How about: disappearing and reappearing, changing lives like clothes.

Sounds pretty possible to meee.


So, that process of coming up with that sentence. What was going on up here? Were you just like, skimming, or what was going on?

Well, I wanted– I tried to view my, uh, my last four years as a whole and come up with a– compose a statement that would reflect that. That whole.

Yeah. And you turned it into a lyric.

Mm. Thank you.


Humility will be my downfall.

[Clears throat] Um..


Just clearing my throat. No worries.


Uh, I still occasionally listen to ‘Safe, Steady, Slow’ and ‘Air in My Lungs’. How do you feel about the then and now of your music?

My cousin always used to tell me that a song was like a snapshot. And it reflected the place and time that you were, uh, in when you wrote or recorded it. I feel that way now, but it’s more like the people that I once was. It’s more like a living being than a snapshot. Is that okay?

It’s amazing. Yeah.


Is this the cousin– remember when I last spoke to you in the interview, that one of your influences was this cousin of yours that was a musician?

Oh, yes.

This is that one? [Clears throat]


What kind of music does he do again?

Oh, well now he does instrumental noise music.

Yeah? Was it folk at first?

Uh, he did country.

Country? Okay.

I don’t know, I never figured out whether we change, uh, knowing the changes that are taking place in each other’s lives or whether it’s just kind of a subconscious thing, because we’re bound together by blood. And possibly Astrology. Alright, definitely Astrology.

Scratch that.


Tell me… about the last great idea you had.

Oh, man. I don’t know if I can put that into, uh, something linear. I mean I’ve been like, they’re all kind of just in there.


This motion. [Laughs] There’s like, uh, meandering? That’s not it. That’s a new word that my friend introduced me to that I never quite understood until recently. Um…

It makes sense. The you in the past maybe didn’t have a use for it, but the you now does.

Ohh! It’s like, alright, so they’re all in there. But I don’t really know when exactly– (My phone cut off a little chunk in the center of the interview)

Is it still recording? It is. I just wanted to make sure.

Oh. Okay, good.


I just really firmly found a conclusion that.. what were we talking about?

I don’t know, but if you were an animal, you’d be a giraffe. That’s what I think.


You’re welcome.

What were we talking about, though?

I don’t remember. Something about– we were talking about what it feels like when an idea pops into your head, and–


Yeah. You vomit up a puzzle…

Oh, such a gross and ungraceful thing–

And then–

–to relate an idea to.

Then you mop it up.

Ohh, my gosh. I would never wanna mop it up. Just let it ferment and be the fertilizer for the next round of ideas. But um.. Oh, man. I wish I could remember what it is that I was trying to say.

Tell me about what it takes to be working on your music. What it takes to be doing your thing.

Right now? Or…

However you want to answer it.

When I have a support squad– like, when I have somebody supporting me– some kind of somebody– it’s uh, it’s beautiful. I spend a lot of time working on it. And a lot of time making the ideas come to life. But right now, I don’t have a support squad. So, it’s kind of just like, high-highs and low-lows. Stumbling onto.. moments of perfection. And having to shrug through moments of complete and utter dissonance. You know? Just like, horrible, horrible moments in the creative process. Just like, nothing clicks, nothing clicks, and then one day for four hours, I’ll be in the perfect state of mind to make, like, one or two things fall into line.




Is that okay?

Yeah. I’m just thinking about if I wanna ask anything about that.

Oh, okay.

It’s taking me a minute to.. sift through it. Hmm. your support squad. Do you mean– this, this can take on different forms?

Oh, yeah. Definitely. But, the most effective support squad is a single individual.


Yeah. For sure. Somebody who has figured out who you are. And is willing to place everything that they can beneath you to keep you somewhere.

Hmm. That person can play many roles.

Or run after you. And be faster than you.


Or pierce you with something more powerful than your defenses are. That– ugh…

[Laughs] [Clears throat] Um, will you tell me about your tour?


I mean– are you going with a band and..? What’s going on with that?

Um, well, I got a band together because I was on tour with this band called Drake and Sofia. They asked me last minute to, uh, well.. [Laughs] Let me start at the very beginning.


So, I feel like… all that is necessary in order to go where you want to go in the– in the life that you’re– that you’ve been granted is just a little bit of a, like asking a question. Asking for it. You have to ask the right for it. You have to– you have to– uh, compose the right request. You know? You have to, you have to ask the bassist if he’d be willing to book a tour for me. So, long story short, we spent the whole tour together and it was a magnificent experience. And I grew very close to the drummer and bassist of that band. By the end of the tour they decided they should help me out. We got that band together and played a show. I adopted another band member from a band called Friends of Giants, and, and… That’s it. That’s it. Uh, the bassist became my manager. Aaand.. he said, ‘We’re sending you out in March.’ And I said, ‘Okay.’ And then I lost a lot of things, and then I said, ‘Okay, so now I have nothing else that I have, I’m just– gonna just do this. And I’m gonna do this for a long time. And I’m gonna keep doing this until I can’t do this anymore.’ And that’s the reason why.. And what’s the reason to go on tour? Oh, to make people feel better. That’s the reason. I mean, you’re not gonna make money. But, I mean, music always made me feel better. And I wanna make people feel better. For sure. Rolling a die. See what comes up. The odds are in your favor.

Yeah? 11.

Out of 12.

I never thought of it that way. That’s high.

What do you mean?

11 out of 12, that’s good. As opposed to 2 out of 12.

I knew this kid that had a dice in his pocket and he would roll it every time he made a life decision. And I was like, ‘Can I actually adopt that?’ I carry I dice with me so I can make decisions.


Not really. Only for stupid things. I just keep it as a good luck charm. I don’t really do that. I’m a bit indecisive at times. So, I use it on things I can’t decide between. Not important things, but..

Sometimes, you know, if you’re asking someone, ‘Okay, ‘should I do ‘this’ or ‘that’,’ and someone says you should do ‘x’– once they say what they think you should do, you’ll either agree, or it’ll be revealed what you really want. So, that’s kind of helpful.

Yeah. When the dice is in the air, you usually know what you want.

Yeah. Hmm. It kinda forces you to come out with it.

Absolutely. Making a decision to make a decision.

What’s a short-term goal you’ve got? Um, it can be about your tour, it can be about your music, it can be about anything.

[Pause] Stop wanting to do bad things.


I just want to be a good person. I mean, I don’t do anything really bad. I mean, I don’t do anything bad. Except for smoke cigarettes.

Yup. Why does–

I just–

Why does that haunt you?

I just wanna be good. I don’t want to do anything that bad. I don’t wanna think about doing anything bad. That’s a short-term goal I have, is to just be like, a lot more selfless and giving. And remember that I make music for other people and not for myself. So, that thing that person said to you, that’s okay. But that’s not the way that I see it, I just wanna make people happy. I mean, that’s a whole lot more important to me than some selfish self-gratification.

That sounds like a long-term goal, John. That sounds like an everyday thing.

Okay. So, a short term goal.


Uhh… [Laughs] Oh, man. Have a really good time. [Laughs] On the tour.


That’s a short-term goal. Um, how about.. meet new people? No.. I don’t know. Record a new album.

Another one?

Yeah. Hell yeah. Oh, man. I’ve got it all in my mind what I wanna do. I just don’t know whether I want to go into a studio or just do it by myself again. I’ve been having a lot of trouble getting stuff down. I’d really like to do another album. Okay, another short-term goal. Let’s see. Should I get a lip ring? I’ve been thinking about it. Maybe I asked you that last time.

I don’t think so.

It would be cool. I mean, the only reason is to say, ‘I was young and I did that one time.’ Not really, though. There are other reasons.


Things in un-visually appealing packages will always appeal. I don’t know about that either. I’m getting into an ‘I don’t know’ moment. I don’t know a lot of things at the moment.*

*The interview is not supposed to end here. The Blackberry Storm I recorded it on cuts off the last chunk of my interviews. I forgot it did that. Figures. The AT&T employee that helped me switch said when he worked for Verizon, that phone had an 80% return rate when it came out. Anyways.. it should end with John talking about not being sure where you’re headed. But you see a mountain. And you should walk up the mountain because you might find what you’re looking for along the way– or the mountain will have a great view at the top and you’ll be able to see where you should be headed. It’s scary heading towards something you’re not sure about, “but it sure beats camping out in the fields your whole life.”

John’s Current Tour:

Tues. March 27 – Neutral Grounds – New Orleans, LA
Wed. March 28 – The Mink – Houston, TX
Thurs. March 29 – Boneshakers – San Antonio, TX
Fri. March 30 – 2826 Arnetic – Dallas, TX
Sat. March 31 – Lolas – Ft. Worth, TX
Wed. April 11 – Crystal Pistol Saloon – Tulsa, OK
Thurs. April 12 – Blackthorn Pizza and Pub – Joplin, MO
Fri. April 13 – Maxine’s – Hot Springs National Park, AR
Sat. April 21 – Preservation Pub – Knoxville, TN

John Gold Part One

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