The Sassy Intellectualism of My Gold Mask

My Gold Mask photo 2

My Gold Mask are many of my favorite things: cold, dark, quite sexy, but, conventionally speaking, also quite scary.  My Gold Mask is vocalist Gretta Rochelle and guitarist Jack Armondo. Their Leave Me Midnight comes out next Tuesday, February 19th.  The album is hauntingly dripping with eroticism.  It bolsters tribal beats, coupled with the echoes of a post-industrial wasted metropolis.  They would seem to be sassy intellectuals and a bit like a post-punk cabaret.  I could keep making relatively ambiguous allusions but, fortunately, I had a chance to talk to Gretta and Jack recently and get their take on just what’s currently going on with My Gold Mask.

My Gold Mask photo 1

Izzy Cihak: How would you characterize the sounds of Leave Me Midnight, possibly compared to your previous releases?

Gretta Rochelle: We got to know our tones a lot more for this release. We experimented to try and make Jack’s guitar sound almost synth-like in places, and once we found that sweet spot, we were able to hone in on some of the darker tones that we’ve flirted with in the past. Overall, LMM is a darker album than what we’ve put out before, both lyrically and sonically.

Jack Armondo: The sounds are bigger, for sure. We wanted it to sound expansive and almost epic at times. We had all kinds of room mics on my guitar amps.  It’s a little more electronic-sounding than our previous releases, too… We used electronic drum pads. I think Sanford Parker mixed it heavier and fuller than some of our other stuff.  Gretta really fine-tuned her vocal delivery on this recording.

IC: What inspired the album’s title?

JA:  To us, it sounds, simultaneously, inviting, yet distancing. We think it fits the theme of conflicting emotions that threads throughout the album.

GR: The album cover actually helped inspire the title as well.

IC: Is there one track which you feel best captures the current state of My Gold Mask?  I think “Lost in My Head” may currently be my favorite song of 2013.

GR: “Lost in My Head” was one of the last songs written for the album, so it actually plays a little closer to our current state of mind than some of the others, and I’m always feeling kinda “Lost In My Head.”  But, honestly, the album was written a year ago, and we have been writing a lot since then.

JA: I think it changes all the time. But, for me currently, I would say “In Our Babylon”, “Lost In My Head” or “I, Animal”.

IC: What are the album’s biggest inspirations, whether musical or otherwise? I understand you’re quite influenced by film.

GR:  Yeah, we are definitely influenced by film and imagery. For this album it was a lot of 70’s Giall, not only soundtrack-wise, but visually as well. We love the look and mood that a lot of those films had.

JA: I feel like the songs are like little movies sometimes. We do get inspired by lots of different types of music, too. But, to us, there is a difference between being inspired and being influenced by something, as we try to focus on creating something unique. I can tell you at one point during the record I was listening to Black Celebration on repeat. But really our greatest inspiration is the emotions we are trying to capture. What motivates us the most is trying to conjure a feeling and the satisfaction that comes when you manage to make that a reality.

IC: What are your plans and hopes for 2013?  Any touring in the works?  If so, what can be expected of the live experience?

GR: We will definitely be doing some touring in 2013 and we are really excited to welcome our live drummer, James Andrew, on board. He is filling out the sound nicely.

JA: We are just concentrating on honing our live set at the moment. Look for us this spring and summer for sure!

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.