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STEVE FORSS (THAT GOLD STREET SOUND) – DRUMS


Melbourne groove makers That Gold Street Sound are releasing the second single, Rain, from their forthcoming long-player, Trick Of The Light, which is due for release early 2019. A follow on their first single Only Lonely, which hit the airwaves back in August, Rain is a gorgeous soulful track that showcases what audiences can expect from the band’s debut album. Featuring a 15-piece guest choir, the track is uplifting, rapturous and builds a feeling of hope within the music and vocals.
That Gold Street Sound drummer Steve Forss kindly pondered a Q&A for us.

What was your first kit like?
My first kit was a hunk-a-junk powerbeat that I bought off of a school friend back in high school. It wasn’t in the best shape. But I would play that kit for 2 hours every day religiously. My life changed forever when I got that kit. There was no turning back

What was your first band t-shirt?
It would have been an old Metallica T-shirt. ’Kill Em All’ album shirt. I used to be a bit of a metal head in my younger days. I used to get right into the classic thrash metal artists like Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth. I used to love playing along to those bands.

A record that changed your life?
Led Zeppelin I. There is no way to describe the first time a young drummer hears John Bonham lay it down. It really made me understand how to groove.


What’s your regular kit set up?
My current kit setup is a Ludwig classic maple that I purchased in Los Angeles. The kit consists of a 20 inch kick drum, 12 inch rack tom and 14 inch floor. I use remo black suede emperor heads on the toms which give a great full attack and round solid tone.
The 2 snare drums I predominantly use are a Ludwig Black Beauty and a Ludwig Acrolite. The Black Beauty is a great snare drum with a shell that has a very long sustain and nice tone. I have the 14 x 5 hammered shell and is a bit darker and warmer in tone than the usual Black Beauty. Tuned up nice and high, this drum really sings.
The Acrolite is a very versatile drum. The 14x 5 drum that I own is from about 1979. I like to have it tuned low and muffled slightly to give a low, fat attack. With the Acro you get that soul sound that you hear on the Daptone recordings from Brooklyn
I am a proud endorsee of Soultone cymbals and run with the Vintage series. 14” vintage hats, 18” vintage crash, 10” vintage splash and 21” Vintage Old Skool 1964 crash / ride. These cymbals are nice and dark and give me the perfect sound for soul and funk.

Is it the same for recording?
Yes. More or less the same. I experiment with different snare and cymbal combinations. I tend to use the Acrolite on That Gold Street Sound recordings as its low muffled sound suits the classic soul sound we aim to achieve. I also like a lower pitched Hi Hat sound on recordings. I used 2 small crashes as Hi Hats on the latest That Gold Street Sound recordings. We always prefer to record to reel to reel tape as well. This really makes the kit sound really warm.

What sticks do you favour?
I only use Vic Firth 7a. They are a nice light but balanced stick.

Other drummers you admire?
Have to mention the original funky drummer, the late Clyde Stubblefield was always a massive influence. When I first heard his playing with James Brown it blew me away. I had never heard anything so funky. I used to spend hours dissecting his grooves and trying to really get into the nuances of his playing. I wanted to be just like Clyde. I also used to love listening to Bernard Purdie, Zigaboo Modeliste, John Bonham and Jeff Porcaro.
Some other local drummers that have really influenced me are David Jones, Ivan Khatchoyan and Ziggy Zeitgeist.

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
Our upcoming album ‘Trick of The Light’ will be out in February 2019. I am really happy with the recording and am very proud to be releasing this piece of artwork.

What gigs have you been playing lately?

I have been playing heaps of shows this year all around Melbourne and Victoria. Just this past week I played The Tote with The Vibraphonic Orkestra and Cherry Bar’s ‘Soul in The Basement’ with That Gold Street Sound.  That Gold Street Sound have also been playing a lot of festivals such as Strawberry Fields, Moomba and St Kilda Festival.

Most memorable gig?
St Kilda Festival. Playing the main stage of St Kilda Festival in 2018. It was the biggest stage I have ever been on and it was an honour to open up one of the best festivals in the world.

Worst stage nightmare?
My worst stage nightmare would have to be forgetting my sticks. It would be an absolute disaster to get all the way to a show and set up my beautiful kit only to not be able to play it.

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?

That Gold Street Sound are set to play shows all over the country. With an album launch tour being booked as we speak. Stay tuned for announcements on these shows. In the next month you can catch me playing with That Gold Street Sound at The Spotted Mallard in Brunswick on Sunday Nov 25th and at Major Tom’s in Kyneton on Friday December 7th.

For more information, please visit www.thatgoldstreetsound.com

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