The New York music scene loves its guitar bands. As a true rock fan, one must understand that there’s nothing warmer to the ears than meat and potatoes rock and roll. Nothing overly fancy, just loud guitars, earth shaking drums, and in your face, ass kicking and leave a footprint vocals. Blue and Gold successfully covers all the above with a unique trademark that sets them apart from other guitar bands that take the stage across New York every night. Since their first packed gig at Pianos last spring, the band has packed venues around the city, including an opening spot at Brooklyn Bowl for the well-known London Souls.
The power foursome is led by the two front men/lady guitarists, Alex Kapelman and Chloe Raynes. As the first official fan of the newly appointed Blue and Gold Fan Club, I sat down with Chloe and Alex at The Gibson earlier this week to talk about the bands origin, their signature sound, their first full-length album (which they’re currently in the middle of tracking for), and #Chlolos
P&W: How do you guys feel you’ve grown since the first gig?
Chloe: We’ve learned to work well with each other in terms of arranging songs and working through songs together. In terms of our stage presence, I think the more we gig, the more comfortable we feel on stage while getting a vibe off each other.
P&W: Was there instant chemistry in the band right away?
Alex: It was tough because it was only Chloe and I at first, but the moment when I knew we were going to be great was when we had GG playing with us for the first time.
GG, would be drummer GG Gonzalez, who steals the hearts of the men in the crowd with the swing of every stick. The two had auditioned a lot of drummers before she came in to the picture. It wasn’t until Chloe’s roommate mentioned her cousin GG played drums that they thought of bringing her on board. After jamming together they knew they found the right drummer.
Chloe: We actually watched a video of her playing, and said yeah she’s great, so we brought her in and fell in love with her playing right away. The rest is history.
P&W: The First EP has 4 songs, were they all written for the album or were they songs that had been around just waiting to be put out?
Alex: We both had songs in our back pocket. So when we got together and started playing, we tried a bunch out, but not too many survived. So the four songs that made it on the EP are the ones that really fit us best.
P&W: Do you feel you’ve really developed the Blue & Gold sound by now, as opposed to a band just starting out and trying to find an identity?
Chloe: I think as we’ve been writing and arranging songs for the new album, we’ve really been able to find out what our sound is. We’re now seeing a pattern with our sound and it feels like we’re creating a cohesive piece of art that just happens to have Blue & Gold nuances to it.
P&W: When you listen to each other, would you be able to recognize each other’s sound without knowing it was them?
Alex: Could You?
P&W: Umm, maybe… Maybe yours over Chloe’s. Only because you tend to have more solos and leads.
Chloe: Early on in the band my solos were called Chlolos because they had their own identity and sound to them!
Alex: I’ve definitely stolen riffs from Chloe and put them into my playing
Alex: No I’ve really stolen your riffs
Chloe: Well shit.
P&W: What’s the biggest difference between the first EP and this album? Will listeners be able to notice the progress you’ve made?
Chloe: With this new collection of 10 songs, we’re able to see who we really are. Working with a permanent bass player this time who can really add his own creative contributions, definitely helps.
Alex: You’re going to hear a lot more interplay between Chloe and I. Me on her songs, her on my songs, there’s a lot more of a mixture.
Chloe: Something that’s cool about our band is that we’ve got more than one songwriter bringing ideas to the table. You have that variety but it’s still able to be a cohesive unit.
P&W: Which new song from the upcoming album do you love the most so far?
Alex: One of Chloe’s songs called ‘In My Head’. Very high energy, a couple long solos, and both of us are singing on it. GG is going fucking ape shit on the drums, which is when she’s at her best, and Derek’s holding it down on bass. It just transcends everything we’re about.
Chloe: Well my favorite is a song Alex wrote called ‘SoHo’. The lyrics are amazing and haunting, and the song is so fun to play.
P&W: New York has such a great music scene for guitar bands, is there any other city you’d want to form a band in?
Chloe: I think San Francisco would be pretty awesome, or maybe LA? Haha I’m really only thinking warm weather at this point, so Austin maybe.
P&W: What would you want a young aspiring musician or rock fan to take from your music?
Chloe: We have two strong female instrumentalists in the band, and I’ve been playing guitar since I was 10 years old. Growing up there were not a lot of younger girls playing electric guitar in rock bands. So I think it’s awesome showing young girls that you can grow up and be in a rock and roll band, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.
Interview by Tom Shackleford