Portland-based nu-disco band Gold Casio are close to releasing their EP, Fever Dreams on June 23. In anticipation for the album, Billboard is premiering their new music video for ” Last Song” — a clip that is a year in the making.
The band, comprised of Ela Ra, Forrest Grenfell, Brock Grenfell and George Schultz, also talked with Billboard about the dropping-in-gold music video and some of their influences, including Daft Punk, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Prince. Watch the video and check out our interview below.
“Last Song” is off your upcoming EP, Fever Dreams — what’s the vibe of that whole project?
Forrest Grenfell: It is an amalgamation of psychedelic disco and art funk. Weirdo pop meets electro.
The video is a trip! How did you come up with the visual?
George Schultz: The video is meant to be a journey through the non-linear meanderings of a fever dream. There is a lot of chaos and emotive imagery that doesn’t have any distinct representational meaning but illustrates the various places our collective subconscious can go. We kind of just started with the French bulldog and let it all happen.
I heard it was a year in the making?
Ela Ra: What most people would never know just by watching it is that this video is cursed and has been throughout it’s many incarnations. It began as somewhat of a film collage; a collaboration of creative camaraderie, but since its inception a lot has happened: the hard drive containing our footage was held hostage, then transferred and transmuted. It was lost and found, and then lost again until friendship prevailed and it was returned. All in all, only one person ended up in a Chinese prison and we all learned the very important lesson of backing up one’s hard drive.
Is “Last Song” actually the last song you wrote about the subject of the song?
Forrest Grenfell: Well, it was actually the first song that was completed by Gold Casio in the full form that we are now. It is a declaration to ‘leaving it all behind’ and the pursuit of self-truth, which is a present theme throughout the EP. I rarely write lyrics that are this literal, but in this case they ring true.
The looks are incredible in your video — are any of you fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race? You look ready to compete.
Ela Ra: How did you know?! Some of my best glam-spiration comes from the talent and personality of various queens from different seasons of the show. My favorite underdog as of recent was Sharon Needles, because of her other-worldly imagination and honest creative application. Combining, exploring and negating gender binaries is important to my current process of creative replenishment. There is so much freedom and innovation in the ever-evolving world of drag and I am grateful to be able to feel, witness and celebrate it.
Can you tell me about The Funky Church?
Brock Grenfell: It’s our current temporal and spatial dwelling of earthly domain. It’s a 19th century church converted into a living quarters from which we work on disco, visual aesthetics, interpretive dance, and the other psychedelic sciences. It is equal is parts recording studio, artistic haven, and a light show test space with remnants of divinity lingering and functioning as source of inspiration when channeled properly.
Who are some of your influences?
Ela Ra: Metaphysics, Prince, latex, Rumi, Daft Punk, Steven Arnold, club kid fashion, Qawwali music, and a damn good sunrise.
Forrest Grenfell: Osaka nights and squiggly synths. A golden temple floating through the cosmos, Prince, Anime, French House, and eating breakfast with the lights out.
Schultz: Staying up all night and mutant disco dance floors. Love, light, and Prince.
Brock Grenfell: Bowie, Bach, and bodacious booties. William Onyeabor. Tapping in to the collective subconscious and pulling unknown meaning from the void. Avant-garde symphonies from other dimensions. Mesopotamian sculpture, American sunrises, and Italo disco. Also, Prince.
I’m guessing you all put on a pretty fun live show. What should people expect if they see you in concert?
Schultz: Without giving too much away, we guarantee heavy beats and a stage dripping in gold and LED explosions. Our goal is to encapsulate each listener into the full audio-visual experience that is Gold Casio. What you should do: Leave all inhibitions at the door, wear your dancing shoes and your favorite gold outfit. We’ll get the sweaty disco vibe going, as you buckle up for takeoff and then, boom!