By Sara Freeman
Originally published Spring 2012.
Sara: How and when did the Gold-Bears get started?
Santiago: Gold-Bears got together around November of 2009. I was asked to join the band as the bassist by a friend of mine from college at Georgia Tech, and we played our first show at 529 in East Atlanta in January 2010.
Sara: So you started as the bassist, but you’re currently the guitarist. How did that transition happen?
Santiago: I played bass for about seven months in the band, until our drummer had to move away unexpectedly. At that time, I took his spot as the band’s drummer and did that for about a year and a half. Then this year, our lead guitarist Erich ended up having to move to Chicago. We didn’t have anyone in mind to replace him on guitar, but we had a friend that was up for playing drums. I knew Erich’s parts, so we decided to shuffle the lineup around again.
Sara: How would you describe Gold-Bears’ sound?
Santiago: Oh hmm. I would just say that we play face-paced “indie rock” that ranges from jangly to fuzzy. Recommended if you like the song “Holland, 1945” by Neutral Milk Hotel.
Sara: What venues have the Gold-Bears played around town?
Santiago: Around Atlanta, we’ve played 529, Drunken Unicorn, Star Bar, and the EARL.
Sara: How did you get in touch with Slumberland Records for your first album?
Santiago: While playing in NYC in May 2010 for the NYC Popfest, we caught the attention of Slumberland Records (home of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Weekend, Crystal Stilts, Black Tambourine, etc.), and got a deal to have them put out our debut LP.
Sara: Wow! I’m familiar with Slumberland Records, and that’s really impressive!
Santiago: Our first album, “Are You Falling In Love?” came out in May 2011 and we’re really proud of it. It also got generally good reviews, so no need to just take my word for it [laughs].
Sara: I’ve seen Gold-Bears perform live, too, and you guys put on a great show. Do you have any live shows coming up?
Santiago: Yes! Gold-Bears will be performing at the EARL on February 17th with Cloud Nothings.
Sara: Great! Thanks, Santiago!
Santiago: Thank you!
The debut album “Are You Falling In Love” by Gold-Bears is available at Criminal Records in Little 5 Points and Decatur CD, or you can buy the CD or vinyl here:
It is also available for download on iTunes and Amazon, and it’s streaming on Spotify as well.