hipster hot guys new music Cutty Gold
Sam Wilkes, left and Bert White,right

They say long distance relationships don’t work, but Cutty Gold has managed to debunk this rumor. Last spring, Sam Wilkes of New York, and Bert White of Los Angeles, met at a dive bar in Echo Park – Gold Room – through mutual friends, and now, a year later, they've birthed an EP of catchy surf-pop songs full of soulful vocals that are sure to make you reminisce that 60s Motown sound and maybe even soothe a broken heart. 

Jessica: Describe Cutty Gold in three words:
Sam: Naughty
Bert: Alive and Rowdy [laughs]. We gotta laugh a bit and not take ourselves too seriously. These kinds of things are always inexact too. 

How old are you?
Bert: 22.
Sam: 21.

From what I’ve heard on your EP, it seems like you sing a lot about relationships, is this what you mostly like to write your songs about?
Bert: I’d say we mainly write about love in all its glory and disasters.
Sam: Yeah love is a common theme. Though, we also like to write about being young and making mistakes in a messy world.

You [Bert] mentioned that your song "Sweet Sunday" is about getting over a break-up that's sort of lingering in your mind - something that you can't quite get over - is this about a great love? A terrible relationship that was so jarring it caused PTSD? What's it about?
Bert: [laughs] The song is about a pretty intense breakup of mine, and being caught up and dwelling on that breakup too intensely for far too long. For me it’s a song about redemption. Sunday isn't an arbitrary symbol or choice. In part it represents a closing (of a week) and opening of new possibility, all at once: a death and the birth of something new. It was us figuring out that anguish is necessary to move on.

Sam: Hell yeah. It kind of puts love in perspective. The torment that surrounds you in a bad breakup just ends up making the coming times that much sweeter. Like the song says, turn the bitter into wine.

Bert: It’s acknowledging what somebody can do to you when you love them, but yet looking for the redeeming ability of love, in someone else.

Sam: Haha. So I don’t know about PTSD but it definitely feels that serious when it’s happening. If we were THAT traumatized afterwards, we wouldn’t have been ready for the coming week or whatever is next. Kind of like, there’s no point in being bitter when the reality is that is that it just wasn’t working.

Bert: This song carries a lot of us in it. It’s based on people and very real experiences, and I think that because of that, more people have connected to the emotions in that song than any of our other’s so far.

Tell me about "Clean my Hands," it seems like this one really hits home. You mentioned that it's about one-way relationships, what exactly is a one-way relationship?
Bert: Sam wrote the first verse and we kind of built off that. We were drunk in the studio screwing around and he started playing this Egyptian sounding organ line, and somehow the song morphed into a soul jam. So I think he should speak to this one.

Sam: Yeah, I’m glad about the way this one turned out because it really captures the fun we had making it. We wrote those lyrics so fucking quickly because we really bonded over the tone and message, having both dealt with the song’s subject recently. A one way relationship can be a number of things, whether it’s unrequited love or and unequal share of power in the relationship.

Bert: We both intuitively knew what we were trying to say. It was really organic. A one-way relationship is
just power plays. It’s us being exhausted of having second-class statuses in relationships. I think the song talks about the real difficulty of divorcing yourself in that situation and in some ways realizing that you are the weak component in the dynamic. The song, I think, drives across the difficulty of coming to terms with the fact that someone you love cares for you only so far as they can denigrate you, or make you, to some extent, subservient. When ultimately all you want is to love or be loved.

[To Bert] You mentioned to me earlier that some of these second-class statuses "Clean my Hands" is about, have been personal experiences from women who've cheated on you, chastised you, etc., etc., but fought back with adoration and love after they were confronted, which is what the premise of the song is about. Tell me, if you can, what’s that like? What kind of woman does that to a man and how do you cope?
Sam: Well first off I like dudes. Men. I’ll clear that up right off the bat [laughs]. But the challenges are still the same and I think that defending your mistakes with overcompensated adoration and love, though it may give you a quick fix to the problem, is only the patch on a hole that will continue to grow unless it’s addressed properly and dealt with in an honest way.

Bert: Yeah this has happened to me, most notably with one girl. Once you can separate yourself from the situation and realize that nothing good is going to come from her or this, you are so much better off long-term. Now that I think about it, there’s something really kind of profound that from two different perspectives of love, Sam and I are capable of conveying the same or similar difficulties in love. As far as what kind of person does such things, I think we addressed that above. It’s a mental disposition that is rooted in insecurity.

Was ["Clean my Hands"] closure? Do you hope that girl/guy hears the song?
Bert: All the songs are close to me. I really push myself in excess and I know it’s the same with Sam. We meet in the middle, drag the skeletons out of the closet, all the old ghosts, if nothing else to make it so we can contend with them. It can be exhausting, but it’s become a necessary process for both of us. A girl that contributed greatly to the lyrics to "Sweet Sunday" had heard it on KCRW when neither of us knew it was on the radio. We hadn’t even officially released it at that point [laughs].

So are you single?
Bert: I was until the past week. Romance came out of nowhere. Pretty stoked. 
Sam: I’m in a relatively long relationship

Who do you want to listen and relate to Cutty Gold?
Sam: Firstly, I want my friends to listen and relate to Cutty Gold, that’s why we started this band. But on a bigger scale, I want our audience to be a mixture between outlaws, scholars, miscreants, lovers, dancers, and fun peeps.

Bert: Yeah man, I couldn’t have put it better myself. Friends support us and add fuel to the fire, but I think that anybody that’s been in any of these situations can relate and enjoy our music. Better for it. Makes it fun.

Who are your musical inspirations?
Sam: I have way too many to list here and I try not to elicit my vocal inspirations because it leaves more up to the interpretation of the listener.

Bert: Yeah I like too much stuff to convey them all here. I think that EP illustrates just how wide our influences are. There are registers of the Clash, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Surf, 60’s soul; it’s weird: it’s us. We got our hands in a bunch’a honey pots. Suffice to say, Cutty Gold is deeply involved in its influences, it’s just that we have too many to address here! We both share a childhood of musical obsession; this shit raised us....But you don’t think about them so much when you’re making music; they are just there. 

Cutty Gold is working on a lot of new material and plan on releasing it as singles and EP's; they will have more for you soon, they promise. 

Check out their Facebook page here
Download their EP here





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