Los Angeles based outfit Fool’s Gold blend African, Middle Eastern, and Western influences into one sparkling sound. The members backgrounds are equally diverse, hailing from all corners of the globe. You’ll even hear Israeli born lead-vocalist Luke Top singing in Hebrew and English.
The band’s latest effort, Flying Lessons, exudes tropical ebullience and coaxes time spent outdoors. Enjoy it on a porch/balcony while watching the sunset, on a bike ride with the breeze in your hair, on a picnic with friends, anything you fancy, and soak in the sunny sounds.
Fool’s Gold spoke with Sound Dessert about the inspiration behind Flying Lessons, falling in love at the Catacombs and their favorite Pantone colors.
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Sound Dessert: How did Flying Lessons morph over the time it took to create it?
Fool’s Gold: The whole process of making it took about one year, even though there is a bit of a gap between this and our last one, Leave No Trace. This is because we did a bunch of touring for “Leave No Trace” and also took a little time off afterwards to recalibrate.
SD: What were some of the most memorable moments during the writing process when creativity sparked?
FG: We decided to rent a writing room for a month and play music everyday. We had some great moments where we would explore a musical idea for hours at a time and not ever look at the clock.
SD: You blend everything from jazz, tropical, pop to African rhythms in your music – who are some of your biggest influences?
FG: Mahmoud Ahmed, Lord Shorty, The Four Brothers, Thomas Mapfumo, Tom Tom Club, SE Rogie, Caetano Veloso, Jorge Ben, Kanda Bongo Man, Tinariwen, and lots lots more!
SD: What’s one of the best things you got to do while touring in Europe?
FG: Last time we were in Paris we all went down into the Catacombs under the city. Lots of jokes were made that day. One guy almost met the love of his life.
SD: Who designed the album art? What was the inspiration behind the concept?
FG: We drew all if it! We set up poster boards in the control room during the making of the album. We’d bust out the markers when the mood struck, and apparently it struck often. Our boy Trevor collaged all of our drawings into one piece in the end.
SD: How many instruments do you play combined? Any others you’d like to add to your arsenal?
FG: That is really hard to answer without breaking out a spreadsheet. We rented a baliphone for this album which was something new and special to have around. You can hear it featured on “I’m in Love”, “Lady of the Lake” and “Run with Me”.
SD: Name the last thing you heard, saw, read.
FG: Song: Antonio Carlos Jobim: “Tereza My Love”
Film: Love and Mercy
Magazine: Tape Op
Podcast: Topics with Michael Ian Black & Michael Showalter
SD: What’s in your Netflix queue?
FG: I’ve been pretty into the movie selection on HBO Go lately. They have some key late 80’s/early 90’s staples on there like “Throw Momma From the Train”, “Opportunity Knocks”, and “Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot”.
SD: Can you name the Pantone color of the year?
FG: Fool’s Gold.
SD: What would be Fool’s Gold’s color of the year?
FG: Lady of the Lemon.
Fool’s Gold’s Flying Lessons is out now. Enter for a chance to win a vinyl copy by following Sound Dessert on Instagram and leaving a comment under the Fool’s Gold photo. Winner selected July 4th, 2015. Open to US residents only.
Photo credit: Angelika Sjostrom