Goldroom brings SoCal sound to chilly Chicago



Goldroom is embarking on their “Waiting to Ignite Tour,” which includes an Oct. 28 stop in Chicago

By Arts & Culture Reporter

Southern California-based electronic band Goldroom is bracing to heat up Chicago with its beachy, dance-oriented sounds. Following the release of its new single, “Waiting to Ignite,” and a set during Mamby on the Beach this summer, the band is scheduled to perform Oct. 28 at Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. Having begun as a solo project through producer and multi-instrumentalist Josh Legg, Goldroom has since blossomed to include a full live band. The band has toured the world, collaborated with Snapchat on a short film and been featured on MTV. The Chronicle spoke with Legg about his musical progression, Goldroom’s formation and the band’s upcoming Chicago performance.

THE CHRONICLE: What led you to create electronic music?

JOSH LEGG: I grew up playing the cello, and—not long after—[I] started to fall in love with rock ‘n’ roll. The first cassettes I bought, which sort of dates me a little bit, were Nirvana’s Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten. I wasn’t really interested in electronic music at all. I actually found my way into electronic music sort of backwards. I was recording my own music, and eventually, by the time I got to college, I was given a copy of Apple’s [music recording software] Logic. I became interested in using keyboards to see what I could do using electronic sounds. Because I started using electronic sounds in my own productions to accent the guitar work I was doing, [I became] interested to seek out electronic music. That’s when I found some of the more accessible “poppy” electronic acts.

 How did Goldroom come to be?

The first and only band that I was in before Goldroom that saw any sort of success was this band called NightWaves. I wrote a lot of the demos that would become the first Goldroom songs. There came a time where we were going to record an album. I wrote a lot of songs that the band didn’t feel fit that project, and perhaps they were a little more club-friendly. I went through a period where I was sort of depressed because I had all of this music that had no home. That’s what led to Goldroom. I think the thing that was kind of interesting about the progression with Goldroom was that I started it as a way for me to DJ around [Los Angeles] and be able to release more dance-friendly music, but as time has passed, I’ve become more and more interested in incorporating live instrumentation and transitioning from being a DJ to a full band.

Has living in California influenced your music?  How so?

It’s impossible to say that Southern California hasn’t influenced my music. It has really drastically influenced the type of music I make. Music was always an escapist thing for me, and I was always really drawn to tropical motifs and anything that sort of brought out or evoked the ocean. It’s not surprising those are things people hear in [my] music, and I probably would be making music that brought those things out whether I had moved to California or stayed in Boston.

Are you ready to deal with late-October Chicago weather?

I did grow up in Boston, so I understand the winter. I’m ready for it. Southern California is so nice all the time, so in short bursts, I love to see other places. Two of the people in the band are Southern California natives, and I’m not sure if they are ready for it. My bassist grew up in Michigan, so he’s very ready.