Since their debut single/video went viral, Grant Nassif, Lincoln and John Ballif have spent every free hour recording their debut EP. We hung out with the North County high school students on Saturday, eating gummy sharks at their home studio, and hiking through the canyon behind Grant's house.
What has been the response from your classmates and friends? Most high schoolers aren't staying out late to play The Casbah on a school night.
John: It's not really that different than before the band. We get treated basically the same; most kids are just happy for our success.
Grant: Everyone has been really supportive of our shows and music. Most people just think it's a cool thing and they are excited about it.
Knowing that your parents and teachers will probably hear your lyrics, does that ever make you bite your tongue when writing?
Lincoln: No, hah. I just write about whatever’s swimming around in my head and worry about people’s reactions later.
So exactly how old are you, and what grade are you in?
Say you are offered a year long world tour right after graduation, are you putting off college for a year, or turning it down?
John: We jump hurdles as they come.
Grant: At face value that would be a great opportunity, but we just have to see where we are if that were to happen. We just go with the flow.
Lincoln: I really couldn’t tell you right now.
Dirty Gold (Left to Right: Lincoln, Grant, John)
Who is inspiring you guys right now in San Diego's music scene?
John: Definitely TV Girl, their production quality is killer. Jeans Wilder is pretty rad as well.
Tell us about your forthcoming EP. Does it have a title? Where are you recording?
Lincoln: We’ve got a few ideas for a title, but we aren’t set on one yet.
Grant: We have been fortunate to take over a room in my house to record and keep all of our equipment. Two friends, Tim Barry and Rafa Alvarez, have helped us handle the production and recording side of the EP.
How did Autumn Tone get a hold of you guys? Were there other options out there? If so, why did you pick them to release the EP?
Grant: Autumn Tone came to us with this idea after a few emails back and forth and we just latched on. We had a few other options, but just from the outset we all knew that AT was the answer. Scott, one of the three owners, kept great contact with us and just stressed that he was fine with our limited availability. It was something where we just had a feeling that it would be a great partnership and that has proved to be accurate.
How did the California Sunrise video come together? Who made it?
Lincoln: After California Sunrise started popping up on various surf and music blogs, we were contacted by a UK video artist named Panaframe. He said he dug the track and wanted to make some sort of music video for it. We told him we liked the idea of something that matched our sound, and something to project live. We didn’t hear from him for a while and were surprised when we randomly saw the video up on some blog. But yeah, he did a really nice job.
What else are you guys interested in, other than playing music? Hobbies, sports, girls?
John: I'm really into photography and I just started collecting vinyl with my brother and Grant. California Gurls are definitely an interest.
Grant: Other than playing music, listening to music is a big part of my life. I like to stay active by playing lacrosse and working out. I love spending my Saturdays, when we aren't practicing, enjoying college football. Girls are always on the radar, but music is pretty much a priority right now.
Lincoln: I surf and paint/draw, but I’m usually just stoked on music and girls, hah. I play some basketball on the weekends and love collecting/listening to music old and new.
Catch Dirty Gold live at The Casbah (01.20) with Jamuel Saxon, Lesands, and TV Girl, and pick up their debut single "California Sunrise" on iTunes.
All photos by Chadwick Gantes, view more here.