Amongst the hills and trees of LA’s Mount Washington, Josh Legg eases peacefully into his couch. A choice blend aromatically steams for attention from a mug perched on the coffee table at his feet—it goes neglected for the frosted malt beverage already in hand.
These days, the LA-based Boston native is better known as Goldroom. He first graced public ears as one half of Nightwaves. By no means, however, was Nightwaves his first entry into music composition. “Even when I started to play cello at like age 8, I was writing songs. I was never really that into learning other people’s things, probably out of laziness,” he admitted.
Nightwaves formed when Josh met his classmate Kyle Peterson, and found a shared penchant for dance music. The two later formed the now-dormant indie record label, Binary Records. Since focusing on his solo work, Goldroom has worked with Downtown Records, releasing last year’s acclaimed It’s Like You Never Went Away EP, featuring hits like “Embrace” & “Fifteen.” Last summer, Goldroom launched the High Seas Tour, an annual yacht party cruise.
This Friday, Goldroom is dropping in on San Francisco (Mezzanine) for a sold out performance, pre-empting his Coachella debut. He’s performing in full live band fashion in lieu of the traditional DJ set, and he’s alluded to a Coachella set-plan you don’t want to miss.
Now relaxing, listening to nothing but the spring birds chirping, Goldroom interrupts his day off to catch up with SF Station.
Can you talk a little about what drove you to study Psychology at USC (LA)? Was there an end goal or aspiration that was left on hold for your music career?
I like learning about people and their motivations! Mostly I love working with people, and I love teaching. I ran a sailing school for a few years in Massachusetts, and I think one of my potential futures coming out of studying psychology was to continue to teach.
What led you to music?
I just like the way instruments sound and I wanted to make my own songs out of them. I do remember learning most of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” on my first guitar. Producing came later, mostly out of a necessity to learn how to record the songs I was writing on guitar.
Did you always know you would start a label? How did that come about?
My good friend Kyle Petersen and I were both pretty fed up with post-college life, and kind of came to the same conclusion at the same time. We had bonded over our passion for music, but he actually had experience in the industry which was a major driver in starting Binary.
What is the status of Binary today?
Binary is a bit dormant for the moment, and I guess we’ll see what happens down the line. I have a passion for finding and introducing people to new music, so I totally hope to be involved with a label again at some point. I’m just so focussed on my own music for the time being.
There’s an LA theme going on in your work. Do you feel a connection or affinity to the place? Or is there more of an ideology or ideal behind it?
I’m an East Coast boy, and I’ve always romanticized LA. Coming out here and living here, of course I’ve found a million things to love that I never could have imagined. Southern California has been an immense inspiration to me and continues to find its way into my music.
You posted selfies from a jet ski recently. Looked like a blast, where were you?
I went to WMC in Miami. Mostly I rode around on jet skis and tried my best not to drink too many mojitos.
Congrats on your upcoming Coachella debut! Do you have something special planned for your set?
Of course, and thank you! I can’t give everything away of course, but this iteration of the band is really what I imagine when I think about the ideal version of Goldroom as a live band.
Who are you most excited to see at Coachella? Do you plan to track anyone down to talk about future collaboration?
I’m not big on that sort of stuff, so I’ll leave the legends to themselves haha! I’m very very excited to see LCD Soundsystem play though.
Is there a full-length Goldroom album brewing?
I’m happy to say that a full-length of entirely new material is definitely in the works and I think everyone will be hearing music from it starting this summer!
What’s in store for Goldroom fans after Coachella?
I have my “High Seas” boat tour planned for this summer, which I can’t wait for. I’m also very excited to start releasing more original music. It’s been a minute, but the wait was worth it!