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The Inca Gold Interview: With The Price Of Gold Rising We Recommend Investing In This Band Before You Get Priced Out Of The Market...Or, There Is Still Gold To Be Discovered In SF, You Just have To Go To London To Find It?

The men of London's Inca Gold
Here at "What Duvet Said..." we like nothing better than discovering a new band before anyone else. With London's Inca Gold, we think we have a real gem on our hands and want to get the word out to our loyal, dear readers. The quartet of Ezequiel Claverie (Vocals, Guitar, Keys), Ben Chatwin (Guitar), Chris Howarth (Bass), and Alex Lewis (Drums) formed in late 2010. They have been hard at work recording a series of three EPs chronicling their first year together. The music has been described as "Psychedelic-Drone Pop", with a decidedly different take on the British "shoegaze" epoch. Their sound is reminiscent of Radiohead's more "jazzy" experiments and is delivered with a refreshing polish. These are creative and inventive musicians, who we are sure will be making some noise this year and won't stay our secret for much longer. Below is my interview with Inca Gold, ENJOY! 

WDS - So I was lucky enough to come across your music and I am really blown away by the sound Inca Gold is putting out into the world. Could you give my readers a bit of an overview of how this band came together?
Inca Gold - We were (and still are) all involved in various bands and music projects in London and were aware of what each other was doing, after many discussions and frustrations at other projects we decided to collaborate on a new band that would mix all of the different styles and strengths of each individual into a cohesive whole. Thus Inca Gold was born.
WDS - Your sound has been described as “Psychedelic-Drone Pop”, who were some of the influences that went into developing the band’s sound or serve as an inspiration for what you guys are doing? (I hear a bit of Radiohead and Beta Band)

Inca Gold – It’s hard to nail down particular influences that have influenced our sound as there are four of us and we all listen to different music. I think what each individual member brings to the band serves our overall sound. We never discussed a particular sound or individual bands when we formed Inca Gold, we just played and let the sound grow naturally. I think our sound is still growing and will change over the coming year. Once the 3 EP’s are finished and out we will have arrived at a place where we can confidently call what we are writing and playing live “our sound”. Currently, between us, we’re listening to a load of Turkish Psych, Knxwledge, The Impressions, Tim Hecker, Hauschka and the latest Gruff Rhys album.
Ezequiel Claverie & Chris Howarth
WDS – Tell me more about the idea of releasing a series of three EPs over the course of 2011 (the first Inca Gold 1 came out on 2/14/11 available on your Bandcamp site for free here) to “showcase what changes a band goes through over the course of a year.” I love this idea, why this approach and what “changes” do you expect will occur?
Inca Gold – We wanted to document what Inca Gold was about and what we could do so we thought 3 EP’s throughout our first year together was the best way to do this. We have to be pretty productive to keep things rolling. For example, currently we are putting the finishing touches to ‘Inca Gold II’, writing tracks for ‘Inca Gold III’ and playing live around London pretty regularly. It’s a bit of a juggling act but I think it keeps things interesting for us. We like all aspects of writing, recording and performing and don’t want one to take a back seat just so we can play more shows for example.
WDS - Let’s talk a bit about the recording of the first EP. Who did you record it with and where? How are the songs written? There are some interesting time signatures in some of these songs and so many different textures (especially with the guitars)…I’m curious as to how long this EP took to record and the bands approach to the studio?
The First EP
Inca Gold – The first EP actually took quite longer to record and put together, mainly because it happened at the same time as we were forming the band. Most of the stuff in there was recorded in our home studios. We all play a number of different instruments and are into electronics, synths and production and want that to be a part of the band. However, when we play live we keep it simple and play to our strengths. There was a gap of 6 months since the initial recordings were made to the final mixes completed. This was when Inca Gold was in its infancy and the project started with two of us and by the final mixes there were four. That EP was really us forming into what we are now. So expect a different sound on EP II.
WDS - It sounds amazing and really BIG! In a music climate that seems to be championing “bedroom recordings” and “lo-fi”, was this a conscious choice to do something more “produced”?
Inca Gold – Funnily enough it is bedroom produced. Much of the lo-fi music that is around doesn’t make the songwriting any better. A good song is a good song if it’s recorded well or badly. We would rather create a sound we want than follow current trends. We wanted to make music that is well written, well produced, well-mixed etc. We want to give our songs the best possible sound environment to exist in. Lo-fi was never a consideration for us. We wanted a sense of space in our recordings.
WDS - I would imagine that the British music scene is very crowded and competitive, how does a relatively new band like Inca Gold go about making its name? 

Inca Gold – We just plan to write and record a lot of music, hopefully people will respond and our fanbase grows with each new release we put out. With the internet its so much easier to reach people all around the world so in a way it feels more like we are part of a bigger scene, bigger than London or the UK. 

WDS - I see that you are offering your first three EP’s for free. Could you talk to me about that strategy and how you view the current music business climate? Do you have a release date in mind for the second EP?
Inca Gold – As we are a fairly new band, it is important to slowly build a fanbase. Releasing 3 EPs gives us a chance to grow as band and at the same time increase our audience with each release. We could’ve release a song here and there, but that doesn’t let you explore music and songwriting, and in a way feels less special. On the other hand we could’ve released a full-length album to no one and fall into oblivion very quickly. So the EP’s are like spoon-feeding a hungry monster. Our second EP, ‘Inca Gold II’, is out mid June and ‘Inca Gold III’ towards the end of 2011. As for the music industry – it’s a tricky time to be a musician right now – it’s become difficult to stand out from the droves of people all trying to get their music heard, for us we try not to think about it - we just want to make some good music.
WDS - What are the bands touring plans for 2011? Are you playing the “festival circuit”, coming to America, touring with anyone in particular?
Inca Gold – Currently, we’re playing a lot in London then looking to start going out on the road to other parts of the UK later on in the year. 2012 we’re planning to hit the festival circuit, and would love to come to US and play.
WDS - What would you want American audiences to know about Inca Gold specifically and British music more generally? Do you feel like building an audience in the States is an important concern for British bands these days?
Inca Gold – Just that we’re here and there’s a lot of people making a lot of great music in the UK. We’d love to build a fanbase in America...we find that a lot of our fans online come from all around the world, which is nice as I guess our appeal is geography specific.

WDS - I always like to know what musicians are listening to, what are some of your favorite releases to come out so far this year? Besides Inca Gold, of course, who should be on our radar coming out of England?
Inca Gold – We’re really looking forward to the new Wild Beasts album coming out.
 Colourmusic are great, their bassist Nick is from the UK, does that count?
 A band who are playing with us at our EP launch Flamingods in June are worth looking out for. 

Ridiculous But Necessary Questions

What is your favorite cheese?
Inca Gold – It’s a really close call between Camembert and Beaufort. The rhythm section like Camembert but guitars and vocals swear by Beaufort. Do you get Laughing Cow cheese triangles in the US?
Mersey Beat or Madchester?
Inca Gold – Alex’s hometown is Manchester so no contest really.
English Countryside or Swingin’ London?
Inca Gold – Swingin’ London... until we get dizzy and retreat to the countryside.
Banksy or Francis Bacon?
Inca Gold – Francis Bacon 

A month in the van with anyone (completely open)?
Inca Gold – Charlie Sheen…I bet he’s a better drug dealer than our manager.

It's Happening Again by Inca Gold

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