Local Spotlight: Gold and Shadow

Awesome Photo by Sarah Packwood

Gold & Shadow is a local independent band that started in 2008. They’ve released three albums: “Castles Will Burn,” (2008) “A Blazing Fire, Darkness, Gloom, and a Tempest,” (2010) and “Onero” (2011). Their numbers have grown and swelled over the years as members came and went, but their current members are Dane Letourneau, Ray Gourlay, Jesse Janzen and Brandon Clarke. Their home base and favourite venues are all located in Nanaimo.

How would you describe your musical style?

Art rock is the ‘genre’ we like to associate ourselves with (as many of our favorite bands like Broken Social Scene and Radiohead loosely use that label) but in practical terms we approach everything from alt-country to post-rock with a focus on melody and an appreciation of ambience and grandeur. We love a lot of varied musical styles and I think that comes through in our live show. You’ll find a mix of the gentle and the heavy, but always with melodies and harmonies anchoring the compositions.

Who are your influences?

We were heavily influenced by local Nanaimo band “Open, Parachute!” when first starting out, and have always loved groups like Radiohead, Bon Iver, Explosions in the Sky, Grizzly Bear, Jeff Buckley, Thrice, Wilco. We settle naturally into what sounds good for us, regardless of what’s brought in initially song-wise.

Where have you performed and who have you shared a stage with?
We’re proud to say we’ve shared stage with Open, Parachute! at one of their last shows ever (New Year’s Eve at the Palace..!). One of our favorite artists to perform with is the magnificent Christopher Arruda and we’ve been privileged to play shows with Canadian indie up-and-comers such as Paper Lions, Lauren Mann & the Fairly Odd Folk, Zerbin, and others. One of our favorite venues is the marvelous Duncan Garage Showroom, a tiny theatre-like room in Duncan that sounds unbelievable and contains more curios than you can shake a drumstick at.

When is your next all ages show?

Keep an eye out for us at venues like Headliners in Nanaimo and Fort St Cafe in Victoria for all-ages shows. By the time this is published we will have just played the 2012 Canada Day celebration in Parksville… so I hope you were there!

Why do you do what you do?

Well ‘doing’ music is as instinctive as breathing for me; it doesn’t feel like I’m choosing to pursue music, rather it is relentlessly pursuing me. It is all I can do sometimes to focus on other important subjects like chemistry or my university degree in science. I love to compose, arrange, record, and perform original music – and regardless of whether I make a single cent doing it, I won’t stop. The same goes for the other members of G&S: Ray, Jesse, and Brandon. Straight up, it’s what we love to be doing!

What inspires you as a band?

Gold & Shadow was very much originally inspired by the majesty of creation – the natural world – God’s handiwork at its finest. The music was an attempt to respond to and imperfectly encapsulate that beauty. Obviously it has since grown to incorporate many other pieces of living – relationships are the glue of this whole life-thing anyhow. I think the band has a collective love of musical grandeur as a way of expressing intense emotional responses to the world and communicating what God is doing through us in our lives. We love making things sound ‘big,’ singing in harmony, and giving all our energy and effort to creating a wonderful musical experience.

By Robin Zemek.