Goldhouse: Life of the Dance Party

Photo Credit: Ken Morton

Photo Credit: Ken Morton

With an appearance of the collective known as Goldhouse – the dance party has commenced and there is nothing to stop this musical celebration! Goldhouse is one of the bands touring all across the country on this year’s edition of the Vans Warped Tour. The mastermind behind Goldhouse is Grant Harris, who also toured Warped a few years ago as the entity known as Breathe Electric. One of the hardest working musicians on the Chicago music scene, Grant Harris continues his sonic journey with Goldhouse, recently unleashing a brand new EP entitled Back To Life. We caught up with Grant on the San Diego date of Warped Tour, day three into the madness at hand, to discuss life on the road, the transition from Breathe Electric to Goldhouse, a scary encounter at a remote hotel in Ohio, and other topics of interest. Read on…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Goldhouse, and how long the project has been in existence.
Goldhouse is really just me – it’s a solo project. Obviously I play with a live band, but it’s more less just me. I write all the music. And actually the newest EP I just came out with, I produced all myself – wrote and produced it all myself. And Goldhouse has been around for about a year and a half.

What made you decide to make the transition from Breathe Electric to Goldhouse?
I started Breathe Electric when I was real young – many years ago. I started out just writing music for fun – I mean I still write music for fun – but I really didn’t plan on pursuing music full time when I first started it. At some point – it was about fall in 2011 – and I started to just kind of feel like I have a bunch of songs that we were not playing live that fans were asking for – and I found that I just didn’t want to play them. I didn’t feel like that summed me up anymore. And so I wanted to create Goldhouse. It was a name change for me – but really it was just a new project. Still the same kind of direction where I ended with Breathe Electric, but with a clearer focus and more polished sound. I really enjoyed it – the fans have been really supportive of it – and it’s been great.

They’ve all seemed to come over to the new project…
They really have! There’s really been no drop off. You’re always kind of worried about that when you’ve had a name that’s been around a while and you have a fan base – there’s really been no drop off. We started a new Facebook page and that picked up right away. Really, you have your dedicated fans and those are the ones that are going to be with you, no matter what. So that’s what we kept, and we’ve been making new fans and obviously that’s what Warped Tour is for. It’s been great!

Tell me about to song Nothing To Lose on the Warped Tour compilation and what inspired the lyrics for that song.
People tend to ask me what songs are about – and there’s two different ways it can go. Some of them are personal, but I tend to more write songs almost as a story from a perspective – and Nothing To Lose was kind of about being with someone you like and kind of convincing them – “Let’s give it a shot.” And that’s what Nothing To Lose is – and the hook is “we’ve got nothing to lose” and that’s kind of what he or she is saying to the other. “Let’s give it a shot! What’s the worst that could happen?” It’s a love song.

Photo Credit: Adam Gendler

Photo Credit: Adam Gendler

You have an EP that just came out yesterday entitled Back To Life. Is there any story behind that title?
Yeah! I mentioned early that I produced it – I worked with a really talented writer on two of the songs, but all the other songs are written 100 percent by me. The whole record is produced by me – so that was me almost going back to my roots. The first record that I did as Breathe Electric was all produced and written by me. I’ve been really fortunate to work with some really talented writers and producers and stuff like that, but this new one, I really just wanted to present myself in an EP – and I think that’s what it is. It’s a little more dramatic than it really is, but Back To Life is kind of me coming back to my roots.

I noticed you mixed in a few covers at your show today. Have any of the artists heard your covers?
So we do Macklemore, we do Rihanna and we do Cutting Crew. They’re all pretty big. I think maybe the one that would have heard it – or the best chance of hearing it – is Macklemore. We’ve only been doing that cover – we premiered it on Warped Tour, so we’ve only played it twice so far. It’s not recorded -it’s just for fun. I was actually inspired by huge DJ’s, where they’re doing their own tracks and then throwing in another DJ’s track. So I wanted to play a couple of our songs and then make people kind of double take – whether they’re walking past on Warped or just were watching us. The majority of people watching us this summer on Warped don’t have any idea who we are. I know as a listener it gets kind of tiring – you kind of lose interest when a band is playing – a band can be great, but when you’re listening to song after song of songs you don’t know, you kind of drift off a little bit. That’s why I wanted to do covers – just little minute covers – just a verse and a chorus – to grab their attention and reel them in, and give them something to dance and sing to.

If you could open for any band, either now or from the past, who would it be and why?
Aw, man, there’s a lot of them! I have a really universal music taste – I love Elton John and Steely Dan but I love Pendulum and Knife Party and that kind of stuff. So right now, although I think Pendulum is on a hiatus right now, I would love to open up for Pendulum. I’m a big Rob Swire fan, so whatever he’s doing, I’m always listening to. I’m really into Knife Party right now. I’m not a huge dub step guy, but I love what they do. They always do dub step and take it to the next level.

If Elton John was doing a tribute album and invited you to do a song, what song of his would you do and why?
Maybe Crocodile Rock. I love it – but they’re all so great. But that one, I think I could do something real fun to do it.

Photo Credit: Adam Gendler

Photo Credit: Adam Gendler

Any strange or scary happenings while on the road or on Warped Tour?
Not yet – not Warped. It’s only the third day, so there’s plenty of time for strangeness. But this is way back when – this might not answer the question – but it was strange and it was back in the day. We were staying at this really shady hotel – which we tend to do because we don’t have any money – so we were in Ohio somewhere and it was like the middle of nowhere. There was no one at the hotel either – nobody really staying there – it was one of the ones where the door’s on the outside. It must have been 4AM – the room is real creepy and everything – and we just woke up at 4AM to just like banging on our door. We were all too scared to open it – and we went to finally go answer it, and literally there was no one there. We had no idea what to do, so we were pretty scared. That was a little strange!

Have you played in California prior to Warped Tour?
Yeah, we actually just did a tour with The Ready Set and Outasight. It was great! We didn’t hit San Diego, but we did hit Anaheim and Hollywood. We played The Roxy in West Hollywood. The Roxy show was one of the best shows on the tour, so we had a lot of fun. And then Anaheim’s always great!

Did you do Chain Reaction or House Of Blues in Anaheim?
We played House Of Blues.

Did you get to go to Disneyland?
They don’t let you go! We got to where House Of Blues, the entrance is, in Downtown Disney. But they don’t let you go. Well, they do – you could buy a ticket – but like a said, we don’t have any money. We were like, “Can we go for free?” and they said no.

What’s up next for you guys after Warped Tour? Are there any plans or tours or is that too far ahead at this point?
Not right now – that’s a little too far ahead – but hopefully we’ll be on something this fall. And if we’re not, that just means I’m going to go and work on the next EP. That’s kind of how it works – touring or writing.  Warped Tour is a lot of touring, so I would love to just be at home for a bit and write – cuz I tend to have ideas on the road that I can’t really put down – so I’ll kind of voice note it or something like that. So it’s always nice after a long tour to just get home and chill and write a bit. But obviously if the right tour presents itself, we would love to tour again. I mean, that’s what we love to do.

Do you have any messages for people who have been following your projects?
Thank you! The fans and the people that keep up with us – keep with me – are the reason we can still do it. I appreciate it, and just keep going – keep listening –keep spreading the word and hopefully Goldhouse will be back soon.

(Interview and Candid Photo from Warped Tour San Diego by Kenneth Morton – Live Photos from Warped Tour Pomona Day 1 by Adam Gendler)

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