US-based indie band Goldspot Release New Album, To Shoot Crowdsourced Video in India
Frontman Siddhartha Khosla tells us why Goldspot’s third new album ‘Aerogramme’ needed to be more dancey
It’s 2 am in New Jersey, but Goldspot vocalist Siddhartha Khosla gamely assures us that he could chat for another hour. The first thing on our mind is his last show in Mumbai. When Goldspot played a mid-week gig in India less than a year ago, we were stumped by the number of teenagers who filled up the Mumbai venue, Blue Frog. Khosla understates in his reply: “I was pleasantly surprised. The guys at Blue Frog told me that they’d never had such a crowd on a Tuesday night.” So when his Indian label, Day 1 (Sony Music Independent) hit upon the idea of creating a crowdsourced music video for the first track “Abyss” from his latest album Aerogramme, Khosla agreed immediately. He adds, “A lot of young people have caught onto our music and there’s so much love from India, so this seemed like the best thing to do.” The video will include fan photos of music festivals in the country, which will be chosen by Goldspot, starting with the Bacardi NH7 Festival in Pune this weekend.
Aerogramme, Goldspot’s new album is his most personal yet, says Khosla. Goldspot’s music has been described as miserabilist, but Khosla hopes to change this with this album. While the studio version of Aerogramme is typically Goldspot, with warm guitar lines and Khosla’s clean vocals sinking in almost instantly, it is not a dance album by a stretch. Here are edited excerpts from the interview:
What was on your mind when you were working on Aerogramme?
I’m deeply connected to this album. It’s autobiographical in nature and speaks about my parents, my family and us moving to the US in the Seventies. I was two when my parents moved to America. Both my parents were struggling and couldn’t afford to keep me there with them. My mum was doing her residency in a hospital and my dad and she saved up enough to send me back to Delhi to live with my dadaji and dadiji.
My dad wrote a lot of letters to my chachaji on paper napkins but never sent them because he didn’t want his family to know that he was struggling. A lot of these letters had stories that inspired some of the songs on my album.
You have a track named “Evergreen Cassette” on your album. Much like your music, which has a classic charm to it, your references too seem to look at the past for inspiration.
Yeah, you can only imagine how difficult it was for my mum to send me away to India. Calls costed $24 a minute those days and we couldn’t afford to talk, so my mum would record what she had to say and sing old Hindi songs for me on that tape and mail it to me. We would record over and over on that tape I remember. The drums that you hear on the track were recorded on cassette tapes.
When was the last time you played a tape? We’d imagine you have tapes of Sixties film music.
One of the writing tools for this album was a cassette recorder. So the last time I played a tape was a few weeks ago.
What were you listening to during the making of Aerogramme?
I’ve been listening to David Byrne. A lot of Talking Heads, The Clash, Geeta Dutt, Kishore Kumar and Sufjan Stevens. In fact, “Resident Alien,” is something I can imagine David Byrne singing.
You mentioned in interviews last year that you wanted to make your next album more dancey.
Yeah, it’s a lot more upbeat. The live show will be completely different from the album. When performed live, the track “Resident Alien” will sound kind of dancey. The video for “The Border Line” is based on people from different generations dancing. It’s been directed by Nick Collett.
Watch the video for “The Border Line” below
Is this because you think audiences relate to dance music a lot more now?
Yeah, it was a conscious decision to make it more upbeat and aggressive. I wanted it to be the most epic album ever, the grandest thing I’d ever made.
Have you heard Skrillex or deadmau5?
No, I haven’t, but I want to.
When do you head to perform in India next?
Maybe early next year. I want to perform in other cities. I usually cover Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and Bombay, but I’d like to get out to other cities. I want to perform in India atleast once a year.
Aerogramme is now out on iTunes
Goldspot fans, who want their photos to make it to “Abyss,” can tweet pictures of their journey to their favourite music festivals this season using the hashtag #GoldspotGrallo