Luckily, the focus on integrity meant the band members were able to rebuild their relationships after being apart for over a decade. “I mean, that energy. We hadn’t really seen each other much in 13 years, we had enough things to work out amongst ourselves. So to be able to do that in a safe kind of area was really…” He trails off, his eyes searching the gray street outside before he breaks into a grin. “I personally can’t see us not doing anymore shows again, I just don’t see it. There’s no point in not to do it. Why quit now? I think it’s just this tour…we did this tour and that’s what we decided to do. And we did it. We accomplished this goal, it worked out for all of us, and then we look at each other and say, ‘hey what do you want to do now?’ And I think that’s how it’s got to be.”
“Well, nothing has to be the end,” I point out. “It can be a hiatus or an evolution. It makes sense to have a ‘reunion’ tour when that’s what it is.”
He nods carefully, “When that’s what it was… exactly. Exactly. And everything goes in steps. I hate 99% of reunion bands, I hate it. I didn’t want to be part of it. I was probably the guy who dragged his feet the most in doing this, and I’ve got to say it exceeded my expectations 100%. It was much better than my best case scenario, and my worst case didn’t even come into play.”
Regardless of whether this reunion tour is the end of the band or not, there is no doubt that there are a lot of preparations to make for their remaining two shows in LA and the finale in Santiago. Though Gould notes that in the end they will just try and do their best for those shows, he does hope to do many new things, including adding some new songs to the setlist. Up for contention are Angel Dust favorites “Crack Hitler” and “A Small Victory”, with the latter being one of the more elusive songs to play live.
“‘A Small Victory’ can be very difficult. Just to get the pace right to where it feels natural. It’s an odd tempo… it’s a real burden and becomes a rock to carry. But when it’s right at the right time, it’s good. We work on it at rehearsals a lot even though we don’t play it live. When it feels like the right time, we’ll go ahead and do it, boom, spontaneously.”
As for songs by other bands, currently Gould is influenced by a wide range of music.
“I look for things that give me a little authenticity. I’m a little less judgmental now. It used to be this kind of music had to be heavy, it had to have this, it had to have its compartments. I’m actually going for more popular things if I feel like it is authentic. I’m a little more open as far as what I am willing to accept, but it’s a little harder to find what I am looking for, if that makes any sense.”
In the last couple of years, Gould says he’s been listening almost exclusively to Balkan music. The odd rhythms and energies from Serbian, Macedonian, and Bosnian bands has musically been a “whole new way of thinking” for him. It makes sense then that his record label, Koolarrow, more or less specializes in producing a variety of eclectic and exotic acts from all around the world.
“What I really want to try and emphasize is these bands and where they are coming from and the context – it’s not going to be one kind of music,” he says. “It’s easier to sell music when it all fits together musically, but this isn’t that at all, it’s kind of all over the place. But where these guys are coming from and their context is totally for real. And the deeper you want to dig, the more interesting it is. So here is a starting point, and it’s a good story. All these bands, no matter how different they are, they all end up liking each other because they are all doing the same thing. So, I see it is as a kind of community that I like to be part of, and now that I am starting to do music, I can fit into that as well. I’m starting to see how interesting it is, because there is a lot of cross-pollination potential. I am totally stoked to be putting them out.”