Interview: Margy Joughin of The Goldhearts On New Single Release ‘Be Brave’

Interview by Tracey Moyle

What do you get when you mix beautifully harmonic Indie Rock with an overlay of coastal pop, the chemistry only found with lifelong friendships and a collective 20 years experience in the music industry?    The inspiring sound of The Goldhearts new single Be Brave. Listening to this song, if I close my eyes, I see myself, 20 something again, cruising the Northern NSW beaches with my best friends, soaking in the sunshine and leaving all the crap of life behind. 

The Goldhearts Margy Joughin (Dream Poppies, Fatal Four with Ben Salter, Payments in Gold), Tracey Kick (Dream Poppies), Claire Harris (Razel, Dream Poppies, Godnose, The Shorfall) and Daren Williams (Haba Dudes, Secret Assasins), obviously have the experience and also the passion to awaken our musical senses to something that has been quietly lacking in recent years.   Their new single Be Brave has all the positivity and playfulness you could ever want in a song.  All ex-Brisbane artists, The Goldhearts  have delivered a distinctive 90’s indie/pop rock sound that has been missing from our airwaves for too long.

Tracey Moyle had a chat to Margy Joughin about the new single, the upcoming tour, what The Goldhearts have been up to and what it’s like bringing the band out of hiatus.

Thank you for talking to GC Live and congratulations on the new single.  Is such a breath of positive upbeat fresh air amongst so many songs of struggle we seem to hear all over the airwaves today. 

“Thank you so much.   I like doing stuff that’s infectious and poppy and hope that there is some of that in there.”

To me you’ve captured that real 90’s indie pop/rock sound that I remember from bands like Deadstar, Skulker and the Mavis’s.   Do you think music today is lacking that innocent feel –  that sincerity in not only it’s lyrics but also its musical resonance? 

“I don’t know really, there is so much music around today, it’s so eclectic. But I think you’re right though, there was an innocence about the music back in the 90’s and certainly I think that’s the sort of music we have loved and that’s the sort of music that we attempt to make, so its good that its coming across in a positive uplifting way. 

I’m just amazed at how much music there is out there.  It’s difficult to try and consume it all and to get a take on it.  I feel like there’s a whole lot of music that I am missing out on, its hard to play catch up.   With any genre there’s going to be things that are going to be uplifting and it’s nice to know you’ve put this into ‘uplifting’ because that’s the goal.”  

It does bring back that happy ‘Be Brave’ attitude to the world?

“Thank you that’s great because that is what we are trying to achieve. It’s interesting because I think what Double J has done, they’ve brought in a 90’s Friday night and someone was telling me that one of the local stations has got a 90’s show or something like that.  I think there’s a lot of people who are missing the 90’s because I was listening to the radio and I had a big gap probably after that 90’s era where I didn’t listen to a lot of music but now I’ve been streaming different things I’m much more engaged again. But I think there’s a lot of people who are missing that sort of thing because there’s that sort of electronic music that’s come in and its amazing, it’s fantastic music but it’s a different era.”

After the success of your first album the Rise and Fall of…..   It’s good to hear The Goldhearts back again.  What’s been happening in the bands, three year hiatus,  and was coming back together to do this EP always on the cards or more of a “Hey I miss this lets do it again” situation?

“I think its that everyone’s got day jobs and families is hard to sort of rally the troops really and it’s also if you want to record music it’s expensive. It’s not like we’re out there earning the money, like if you’re a big band and you’re playing live.  It’s like our pocket money I suppose, we save up to do something but I think mainly its peoples commitments to other things and keeping busy but then a gap emerged for Tracey our guitarist she is the captain of the operations in a way and she very busy with all the things that she does but she found a bit of a gap and went “OK, I think we can do the band here”. I was like, ‘OK’ so next thing she’s rallying the troops, doing the planning.

She’s just got one of those planning strategic brains and she’s like, we need to play here, we need to record here, we need to play the gigs here, and so we all just fall into line. Then Claire, our drummer, she’s amazing, she’s pretty much the star of the show but she also has a job that takes her all around Australia.  

In the interim we’ve had a few gigs but everyone has been so busy but Claire was able to commit to these shows and the recording, we were able to get everyone on board.  We just had a window opportunity and so because we did it and that creates its own momentum and then people create more room for it because they can see ‘Oh great it’s all coming together”. So that’s how we did it.”

Where has the band drawn their inspiration from for the new EP?   And can we expect those upbeat 90’s –esque pop/rock undertones we get in Be Brave throughout the music.

“I hope so. (laughs) How I do it is, I write a whole heap of (song) idea’s and stuff like that and then I basically go back and listen to it and rate it and, its interesting, its almost a scientific process in that you can repeat the same exercise and you test it and to test it again and I go through and give everything a rating and it’s usually anything “8.5 to 10 I can work with that”.  But with Be Brave, I went through it and I kept coming back to it and I was, yeah, yeah I can definitely work with that, but it’s like they say; to get ten good songs you have to write a hundred.   But there is a lot of sifting through what we’ve got.   We have four songs coming up and they are all melodic.  I’d say three are up-beat, one is not in that vein, it’s a good song, I was like, oh this is a little bit Ed Sheerin but I say that in terms of this is definitely a keeper.”

It’s good to have variety in your tracks. No body wants to hear the same thing over and over again.

“Yeah that’s right and I think that in our world we’ve got lots of different styles and I said that to our producer Govinda (Doyle), he’s a fantastic producer, he did Angus and Julia Stone’s Big Jet Plane.    He said yeah, you do have indie pop and indie rock and there’s a little bit of country twang in there but he said you’ve still got your own Goldhearts sound.

I say to people we are a functions of our limitations, like if we wanted to be a dance electronic act we wouldn’t really know how.  I thing we are still in the indie rock or the indie pop zone.   I think with Be Brave (EP) we have four songs in the bag and probably will come up with another two.”

You’ve known each other for a long time now and you all have that great advantage of knowing the local music industry ins and outs.  Do you find this brings a common element to the band, are all on the same page or are you still all bringing different perspectives that you piece together to create the music?

“I think that there’s a camaraderie, it’s like going and having a hit of golf with people you’ve played golf with together for life, it’s a really nice feeling to have that cohesion and I guess the other thing is we have some really good players like Darren our bass player, he can play anything, he can play any song,  he’s not limited by his own ability.  And Claire is similar she can probably play anything.  Tracey and I, we’ve been playing together for a long time, neither of us are virtuoso’s but we know what we like and that’s a big factor and we like that similar era bands like we mentioned before.  But if we had to go and do those big guitar solos we couldn’t do that.”

You don’t need to always overcomplicate the songs though and I think what comes out in your music is the sound of a era you were a part of and that  you and a lot of other people loved .

“You want to be able to nail it though.  When you play live and when you are up there it can be nerve wracking but I love the camaraderie and you have when you play live, when that song that comes out of nowhere, that started from a voice message on your phone and it just comes to life, that is the exciting part.  Playing live, that’s exciting.”

We have such a talented local music scene in all cities around Australia.  It seems to be a hard slog for bands to be heard. What do you think needs to happen to get the music out there?  Support from local radio with stations like Rebel FM on the Gold Coast etc, or perhaps bringing back a Homebake style festival?  

“Someone asked me the other day about the Gold Coast music scene and I thought  anything that’s like Blank GC,  about the Gold Coast music scene, anything that brings the community together again, and I did mention your magazine  as well and what your doing is bringing us together.  But I felt like the Gold Coast lacks an independent radio station like (Brisbane’s) 4ZZZ but on the other hand I don’t know what happened to Rabbit Radio. I haven’t listened to Rebel but you are the second person to mention them to me and I think it’s great if local radio can play local bands.   And we need something like a Homebake Festival that used to have all local Australian bands.”

Are the band excited for your upcoming shows in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Lismore?

“We are rehearsing today and tomorrow so by the end of tomorrow (we will be). You have to learn all the structures of the new songs, there’s a lot to remember. But the best thing about it is when everyone locks in and you’re all on the beat and it gives you that sense of being a part of something.”

Will you be taking it to the rest of Australia soon?

“I think we need to, we have this single and we have another single and I think that will be out about August.   I think we will do some sort of tour at the end of the year hopefully.  We’re doing two shows in Sydney in June, and when September comes around hopefully we might be able to do Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne.  If we get to Melbourne, that would be great.  Would also be great if we had some airplay, I mean, that’s in an ideal world, where people would know the songs.”

What can we expect to hear at the upcoming shows?

“We’ll be playing two of the new ones; Be Brave and the other one we’ve recorded we call it Star.  That’s got a groove to its got a pop, like it makes you want to move around so that’s got a good groove so we will be playing both those amongst it.”

Thanks so much, Margy.  All the best with the new single I’m looking forward to seeing you guys at The Bearded Lady on May 2nd and  hearing the new EP when it comes out. Thank you so much for chatting today.  

“The angle of the gig in Brisbane is really good its kind of historic. It’s people from the 90’s bands reinventing themselves.  Not just in new projects but with Adel (Pickvance) and I, we’ve pushed through the glass ceiling, we’ve given ourselves a promotion.  Adel’s only just done it and I did it when The Goldhearts come out a few years ago.   We picked the support for that purpose. So thank you it’s been great talking to you. I’ll see you there.”

It’s definitely worth taking the time to listen to Be Brave .  It leaves me with a smile and the positive feeling that things will be good no matter what life is dishing up.   I can’t wait to hear the upcoming EP due for release.

New single Be Brave out now
iTunes – Apple Music – Spotify – Google Music

Tour dates

May 2 – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane
w/ Adele Pickvance & The Chandeliers, Koko Uzi

May 3 – Vinnie’s Dive Bar, Gold Coast, 
w/ Adele Pickvance & The Chandeliers, Katie Who, Sani Bolton

May 4 – Dusty Attic Music Lounge, Lismore
w/ Adele Pickvance & The Chandeliers, Kazya K

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