The concept for Goldrush's Ozona was birthed when the Oxford band found themselves broken down in Ozona, Texas—a peculiar stretch of no-man's-land desert. Making the best of a bad situation, the band befriended the town, shot some guns with the locals, and later dedicated an album to the little Texas town that sheltered them. The album Ozona is a wonderful slice of Neil Young slow-burners and such sweet harmonies that haven't been done as well since Teenage Fanclub's Bandwagonesque. Currently touring as the opening and backing band for former Ride frontman Mark Gardener, Goldrush singer Robin Bennett takes the time to talk about Texas and our new boss, Courtney Taylor-Taylor.
Goldrush performs on Thurs Dec 15 at Dante's.
For a band from Oxford, UK, there is a real Americana feel to Ozona. Was this from your time spent in the States, or was it just a natural progression for the band?
Ozona was the first record we made when Hamish joined the band, bringing with him a deep love of American rock of all stripes. He actually went to school in Chicago for a while. His predecessor in the band, Jef, was more of an Eno-style synth obsessive, so things were different right away. Many of the songs were written during a year of on-off low-budget tours of the US, which gave me some new things to write about. I couldn't write about Oxford as I hadn't been there much, though I didn't want to fall into the "second-album songs about being on tour" trap either. Luckily, what we were doing was more like being hobos than regular touring musicians, and our lives became (still are) like a lost Jack Kerouac book.
On this current tour, any chance you'll make the trip back out to Ozona, Texas once again?
We actually went there again in October and said "Hi" to our old friends. I sang a couple of songs on a miniature guitar, accepted a proposal of marriage, and of course we left a copy of our record for the jukebox. A man named "Wolf" invited us to come to a party at his house but we had to decline.
Courtney Taylor-Taylor, the chiseled-jawed, deeply handsome lead singer for the Dandy Warhols, now owns this paper and is my boss. I'm pretty confident he'll fire me unless you say something nice about him and his band, so for the sake of my job, can you explain why Goldrush is not as good of a band as the Dandy Warhols? I'm very sorry to ask that, but I need to feed my family.
Well, I don't know where to start. I only have one surname. There are frequent points on our record when you can hear that human beings have played the instruments, which is so 20th century. And if you look at our photo, you'll see that our hair does not stick up in exotic geometric shapes, another oversight. Funnily enough, we live near a village called Sutton Courtney, which he must own as well, so perhaps when we go home he will enslave us.