Than Luu and Eric Ronick - Black Gold
“Dark eyes make you snap up straight – Red hands wash the sleep away” – as the up and coming band Black Gold says in Detroit, their successful iTunes single of the week. And that they did when opening on the first day of sunshine at All Points West this year. The band who’s music feels much like their name, a contrast of light and dark, gave an illustrious performance with a full band to back up Eric Ronick and Than Luu. While this duo from Brooklyn played, golden ladies threw golden beach balls into the crowd, who in return, began bouncing and tossing them all around to the beat. By the time they performed hit songs like “Detroit” and “Plans and Reveries”, many festival goers had already formed a crowd and stuck around until the last note finished resonating. Nevermind the Posers had the chance to ask Black Gold a few questions about their writing styles, musical backgrounds and what’s next for them.
Nevermind the Posers (NVMP)- How did you two come together as a duo?
Eric Ronick (ER)- We were sort of music master-made by our friend Jacob who said ‘yo you gotta check out Than’ and ‘yo you gotta check out Eric’. So we just put it together as folk based first on a tour and then we became friends and started making music well after that.
Than Luu (TL)- Yeah, it was like a match maker style.
NVMP- Were you two on tour together in different bands?
TL- Eric was on tour as the keyboard player for Ambulance LTD and I was like the merch guy, wrangler of the cute girls.
NVMP- How is your debut album Rush doing?
ER- It’s doing well, I think it’s just starting, but you can tell with everyday that goes by. I think more and more people know who we are and are waiting for us. Like today, it was really great to be opening the festival. Not many people were here at the start, but it was great to see people just rushing in on both sides and run right to the stage and they stuck around to check us out, it felt good.
NVMP- What was your favorite part about writing/recording Rush?
ER- To be honest, for me, it was just about hanging out, it was about sitting in the studio all night until the wee small hours of the morning. Than and I just hanging out, chilling, and making music, that was really what it was, it was about a friendship.
TL- Yeah, that’s what our record is about.
ER- It’s like if you guys are just hanging out and you happen to be creating something in the process and it happens to work and be something you really like.
NVMP- What was your creative process or what did you do to stay inspired?
TL- Yeah we get wasted. Haha, well not wasted, but you know, I’ll be drinking a little something, and then sit down at the piano and guitar and write some tunes.
NVMP- Have you seen any big changes “Detroit” was ‘Single of the Week’ on iTunes? Did it have a big impact on your fan-base?
ER- At that point, nobody knew who we were. We hadn’t really released anything. When that got released, within a week around 400,000 people had heard our song and it was just like out of the blue and nobody expected that, but iTunes just decided to do us a favor and it’s been good for us.
NVMP- Would you consider yourselves part of the digital revolution?
Black Gold- We’re such analog guys, so I would say no. We consider ourselves to be part of the digital de-evolution.
NVMP- Why the name Black Gold? Is there a meaning behind it?
TL- Sure. Our music is kind of contrasting between the dark side of things and the shimmering bright side of things. Lyrics are dark, but they can be uplifting as well. And the music can be quarterly dark as well as shiny and bright, we like the contrast.
NVMP- Is there a message are you trying to get across with your music?
ER- It think it’s less about a message and more about a story, about telling a story. It’s real life what we’re talking about. We’re not inventing ideas and stories to talk about, these are the things that have happened to us and have happened to our friends. And it’s about turning that story into music.
NVMP- What’s your favorite kind of venue to perform at, big festivals, small intimate shows, or somewhere in the middle?
TL- I like theatres, especially the ones in Europe, or the ones here that are like really really old and have a lot of flavor to them, that have been around for 100 years or more, that hold anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 people. You really feel the audience when you play places like that and then you look out and there’s so much history in the building, there’s probably some ghosts, I love that. Festivals and all that stuff are cool, clubs are cool, but theatres are my favorite.
NVMP- and how about you Eric, the same?
ER- Yeah, there’s a sweet spot right in the middle of the venue size, anywhere between like 1,000 to 5,000 people, where the audience is still really a part of the show, they’re not thirty feet back from the stage, and the sound is still good, because club shows, it’s just hard, they never really sound right.
NVMP- You two are from Brooklyn, do you have a favorite venue in the NY area?
ER- Our first show every was at a venue called South Paw in Park Slope and I love that place, I have warm memories,
a lot of great shows I’ve seen there and playing there was great, they treated us really well.
NVMP- What albums or CDs defined your childhood?
TL- For me, it was a mixture of The Beatles, that my mom played, French Pop music, and really cheesy, weird Vietnamese Pop music. Specifically, Francoise Hardy on the French tip. I don’t think my mom got into the psychedelic Beatles, I don’t think she understood it very much. I think she was into more early Beatles, and Vietnamese stuff, it’s pretty cheesy, probably like torture for some.
ER- I would say that I pretty much grew up on Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Off The Wall. That was kind of like a staple in my diet growing up.
NVMP- What’s next for Black Gold, what can your fans look forward to?
TL- We have the Black Gold sex tape coming out, and we’re working on it tonight. Haha. No, you know just some more recording, working on our second album already, we’re three songs into it and we’re really excited. We’re going to tour Europe and the US more, so look out for us. And making more videos.
NVMP- Can you give us your definition of a Poser?
TL- Man, you know, we’re surrounded by them. Posers are everywhere. Anyone who’s not fucking real. The reason why I moved to NY; they have the least amount of posers than anywhere in the world that I’ve ever been to, so fuck you if you’re a poser.