Skip to main content

From an Eagle to Gold: An Interview With Golden Suits' Fred Nicolaus

Golden Suits is the solo project of one Fred Nicolaus, who is best known for his work in the band Department of Eagles. His debut album as Golden Suits (name lifted from a John Cheever story) was released last month. 

His debut album is getting pretty good reviews so far. And in order to make it, he went through a lot. And, of course, read a lot of Cheever. The album itself has a poppy, melodic 1970s folk vibe to it. It's pleasant to listen to.

Golden Suits will be playing a free show at the Sail Inn tonight @ 9 p.m. I strongly recommend going.

I asked him a few questions via email recently. Here are his responses (some of which are fairly ... interesting; you will see what I mean). Thanks Fred!


UC: What's the reception been like for your debut album?
GS: It's been good so far - it's kind of hard to say what it's been because it's only been out a month or so.  I feel like I'll have a better answer in a year or so when I can look back fondly/resentfully on the whole thing.

UC: What made you gravitate toward John Cheever so strongly? (I'm a big fan of his work as well)
GS: Oh cool!  Nice to come across another Cheever fan.  It was a couple of things. One is his writing style...his skill at combining formal, almost stiff prose with surreal images and borderline spiritual stuff.  I also think because I grew up in California in the Bay Area, there was a kind of exotic glamour to Cheever's world - gin and tonics in Nantucket and so forth.

UC: How does Golden Suits differ from your work in Department of Eagles?
GS: Well I think the kind of songs I wrote are sort of the same. But because Daniel (Rossen) took the lead on a lot of DOE production stuff, the final result is different. I think it's poppier and more 'straight' than DOE because that's where my instincts go.

UC: What's been the best part of  your tour so far?
GS: Two things. One was playing the songs live for the first time for friends and family in Brooklyn. Two is coming up with band nicknames. Thus far we've got 'Riffs,' 'Criminal' and 'Denim.' 

UC: What can people expect if they see you at the Sail Inn on Friday?
GS: We've decided internally in the band that it's going to be the most outré show of the tour.  So I'm not sure I know myself...impromptu Vampire Weekend covers?  Noise jams? New nicknames? (hmmm....)

UC: Is there anything you'd like to add?
GS: We saw a guy do heroin at the pool at a La Quinta Inn in Houston.  In Atlanta, I slept in a dog's bed because there was no more couch space. Tour is weird.

Dog beds look comfortable. I don't blame him. Here's his Facebook page, and here's a link to more info on tonight's show.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

"Anchors" - AM Higgins

Here's a nice breezy, almost sensual song from AM Higgins (the solo project of musician Annie Toth) to start your Tuesday off right.  Her debut album "Hymning" will be out November 5th on Victorialand Records. The album was mixed by Casey Foubert, a frequent collaborator of Sufjan Stevens. The album "captures the first years of moving from an American city to rural France." Sounds like "Hymning" will be a welcome escape from the world we live in right now, especially considering that Annie Toth counts poets Mary Oliver and Thomas Merton as influences.

"Mon Soleil" - Ashley Park

If there's anything people take away from my piss-poor legacy, I hope it's what a huge, unabashed fan of "Emily in Paris" I am and will continue to be. People love "90 Day Fiancee," "The Bachelor," and other garbage - allow me "Emily," which is at least harmless, kind of goofy fluff (which does, unfortunately, lean into some stereotypes, as the country of Ukraine knows ). I have already watched Season 2 twice. And honestly my favorite part of this show (despite my crush on Camille Razart and Lily Collins channeling Audrey Hepburn hardcore ) is Ashley Park. This woman has superstar written all over her. She's a bona fide Broadway star, and "Emily in Paris" has served as her pivot into the zeitgeist.  "Emily in Paris" is also showcasing her vocal prowess front and center this season, with her covering BTS, "All By Myself," "Sympathtique," and Marilyn Monroe. But the real standout performance is th

"Happy New Year"- Let's Eat Grandma

There's no way to start the New Year like some extremely upbeat music about the New Year! That's where this new synthpop-heavy single from the British duo Let's Eat Grandma comes into play. It's a delightful song, and it helps increase any excitement about their third album, "Two Ribbons," which will be out this April. I personally am looking forward to hearing more from Let's Eat Grandma, who deserve way more attention than they currently get. Hopefully, 2022 will be a big year for them. Here's one of their older tracks I quite like: