The members of synth-pop group GGOOLLDD were not all originally from Wisconsin or Milwaukee, but embraced the city as home for years.
The band formed on a whim in a Milwaukee attic and the whirlwind that followed led them to a busy touring and recording schedule as well as an excuse to quit their day jobs.
Announcing an upcoming U.S. and Canadian tour, the band is currently scattered across Appleton, WI with everything they own in storage. When the tour wraps up, the band’s next chapter will be in Baton Rouge, a homecoming for singer Margaret Butler.
Radio Milwaukee had a chat with Butler over the phone from her crash pad in Appleton to talk about the transition, upcoming tour and what’s next for the band.
Read the interview with Margaret Butler of GGOOLLDD below:
Hi Margaret. I hear the band moved to Appleton. How did you end up there?
Before we did it, we were on the road playing two shows a week, every week anyway. We would work our asses off and then drive somewhere, play a show, drive somewhere the next day, play a show and then come back with a Sunday night off if you’re lucky, and then go back to work again. Basically, there wasn’t any room for songwriting at that time. As soon as we started touring full time, we stopped off in Baton Rouge for three weeks and we wrote and hurried up this record.
We are trying to stay busy. We don’t have a lot of shows this summer outside of festivals and fun stuff we picked up. We’re mostly trying to focus on writing, which we haven’t really done yet. July was supposed to be the month to write, but somehow there are always people to hang out with or a birthday party to attend. Always something, just like Milwaukee.
Before you left, you said the move was to help keep away from Milwaukee distractions…
Right, and then we come here and within five minutes there’s a new friend group. That’s the problem with an even smaller town. It’s like, “There you are small group of people I want to hang out with, we’re friends now.” It’s that easy.
At least, unlike Milwaukee, there’s always something to do but it’s not always going to a bar to get drunk. It’s nice for that. I don’t know these people well enough to get too wasted, so it works in my favor. But yeah, getting healthy and finding a routine which is the hardest part of the transition. Not that I ever had a routine, but now I definitely don’t. I’m working on that.
If we don’t have to stay in one place, why am I going to get snowed on?
Two of the dudes’ parents live in Appleton, so we got a storage space here for all of our stuff before we left for a four month tour. We knew it was safe, and we knew we could send people to get anything that we needed or if we needed to ship merch that is in there. We moved it all there and we were looking for a house to rent, but the problem is we had no clue where we were going to be in six months, so no one would give us a lease. Why would they?
Our drummer is staying with his parents, but other nice people have reached out to us and said, “hey stay at our house until your next tour.”
People are just really nice and letting us stay. We leave for tour in September, when we get back we’re taking all of our stuff in a UHaul and moving to Baton Rouge because we don’t want to be in the snow anymore. If we don’t have to stay in one place, why am I going to get snowed on?
Some of my favorite places to play are down south. Austin, Atlanta, Athens, New Orleans, why not be closer to all of those places and book a tour down there? Why not book a two-week tour in Florida and hang out in the Keys in December? Why not?
You posted on social media with family while in Baton Rouge, do you have family there?
Yeah, I have family there. I want to poke our heads in New Orleans, less than an hour away from Baton Rouge. Where I’m from is an hour and a half north of New Orleans. It’s nothing to just make the drive and play a couple shows and work our way through that city. Wouldn’t it be great to have a following there? New Orleans is my favorite city on the planet, so I’m going to do what I can to make it happen.
Are you taking support along for your upcoming tour?
We’re going to just play with locals, it just seems easier for getting people out to your show on say, a Wednesday, if you stick with local openers.
Last time we talked you were working on guitar. Is that still happening?
I know, the thing is I have these horribly fake acrylic [nails] for the shows and they are expensive, so I just keep them on now.
I got a keyboard and I put different colored stickers on it with letters so I can learn how to play. I played piano when I was little. I had this little Casio keyboard and I would watch all the Disney movies and I could play every song from every Disney movie. That’s all I knew.
I can play by ear, I need to sit down and do it. I feel like I’m always trying to catch up on relaxing, which is never going to happen so I should just start playing something!
Listen to “Secrets” by GGOOLLDD below
GGOOLLDD tour dates: