Everything about GGOOLLDD’s music and its members can easily be described as fun. Their general demeanor and warmth fits well to the southern attitude of, don’t sweat it just go with it. Their music is an exciting, carefree, shoegazy electropop that at times can feel like being in a screenshot of an 80s top 40 video. Although they have released only a handful of E.P.s, they have been warmly received throughout the country, and their energetic shows have been so well received they can even turn a dive bar in Lake Charles into a rave. But now, Margaret Butler and Nicholas Ziemann have come to settle in the warmth as they build upon an already impressive musical career – all taking place in Butler’s native city, Baton Rouge. DIG recently met with the members of GGOOLLDD to discuss coming back, their new single and just where exactly the best place in Baton Rouge really is.
Being in Wisconsin for so long, what made you decide to establish Baton Rouge as GGOOLLDD’s home?
Margaret: We moved here since January of last year but we’ve been on tour for ten months of that year. My family’s from here and I grew up here as well! My dad’s got a big house by himself with ducks and chickens running around. It’s awesome cause it’s in Mid City but it’s a little “micro farm” as he calls it. It’s the best place on earth. And I would find myself every February in Wisconsin, I’d get really depressed because it’s so cold and I’d miss my family so I’d fly down for a month. It also got to a point where it got so hectic from touring so much, I said, let’s move to my dad’s house so that I can spend my time with the fam in warm weather. We’ve been hanging out in Baton Rouge for about six months, officially.
Has coming back been difficult?
Margaret: No its been great! It was a very purposeful move. We started in Milwaukee which definitely helped us grow to the point we became, but I’m from here and I just can’t take the cold. It gets depressing just being cold all the time! I knew as well that I was going to take a big cut as far as like, you know, no one is going to know me down here and having to sort of start over in a way. But at some point you have to trade all that for your own happiness. Just being warm is such a big part of that for me. As lame as it sounds, I need to be in the sun as much as possible. I’m happier than I’ve been in years just being able to be outside everyday. And also living on a mini farm with baby ducks helps too!
Nick: Milwaukee was an easy city for us to get into playing music. If you have an idea you can manifest it quickly, but its just the winters can take a lot out of you. I’m a Wisconsinite but, to be honest, it’s easy to get into a depression from sitting in the cold and dark for that long. It gets old quick. I’m still a Wisconsin kid but I still like living here (laughs).
Last month you dropped your new single “Success”, which has been the first thing you’ve released since your album Teeth in 2017. You wanna go a little bit in to the history behind it?
Margaret: “Success” took a while to come out because we were trying to write a full album, and that one was the first one that was actually finished. Our drummer had quit the band and we didn’t really know how to feel about it. He was always the one on the computer writing beats which was a big part of how we write our songs. So Nick and I were kind of sad but he still remains one of our best friends. Loosing someone you’ve been on tour with three years is tough.
Nick: It’s hard to be in a full time band and it can wear down on people. We both wanted to try and keep playing 60 hours a week and it can be a lot.
Margaret: So we went down to the Albertsons down the street there and got a bottle of tequila and just hung out at the house drinking. We were hanging out and thought, let’s not think about it and do something fun! And that’s what we did. The themes in the song really aren’t anything too serious. I can get kind of rant on some of the themes in my music, but this one had more of a sarcastic tone.
Nick: Right, I think you’ll find the whole new album has that feel. It’s very how I feel and want to say. It’s very sporadic, but I think its cohesive and fun. It’s probably the first release that we really controlled from the beginning to the end and that we are really proud of from top to bottom . It didn’t have to get rushed which is why its been a long year but a good one for writing.
Now that we have a preview of what’s coming up, thanks to “Success”, when do you think the new album will see light?
Margaret: We are still in the final mixes for our album which, I’m thinking, means it should be finished in a few weeks from now. But then after that’s done we’ll process it and get a few parts and songs produced. Artwork, printing, all that stuff. I’m hoping in the next four to six months but you never can tell.
Since being back in Baton Rouge, is there an establishment that you frequent at that you find really unique?
Margaret: Probably Radio Bar, it’s a really cool place and nice to just chill at.
Nick: Absolutely. There’s not a lot of places where everybody can get a long no matter your age or friend group.
Margaret: We’re creatures of habit though. The Spanish Moon, man, we’d be there all the time if it was still open and we really miss it.
Nick: We’ve also been playing a lot of Tennis at City Park.
Margaret: Trying to get back in tour shape. We actually also built this tiny house slash music studio in the backyard of it. We went on YouTube and learned how to hang drywall and do electrical and made a loft bedroom. It actually came out really sweet! So we spend so much time there cause in Wisconsin we’re use to you can’t buy booze past 9 o’clock and so you’d have to hang with your friends at a bar. Now it’s like, it’s ten o’clock at night, we can get a case of beer and go hang out in our tiny little pool house and make music with our friends. It’s just so much more fun. We built it ourselves, and are super proud of it, and so we want everyone to see!