William Goldsmith

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For other people named William Goldsmith, see William Goldsmith (disambiguation).
William Goldsmith
William Goldsmith June 2000.jpg
Goldsmith performing in 2000
Background information
Born (1972-07-04) July 4, 1972 (age 42)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Genres Alternative rock, post-hardcore, emo
Occupations Musician, Drummer
Instruments Drums
Years active 1992–present
Labels Sub Pop, Time Bomb Recordings, Roswell/Capitol
Associated acts The Fire Theft, Sunny Day Real Estate, Foo Fighters

William Goldsmith (born July 4, 1972) is an American drummer best known for being the drummer of the popular Seattle alternative band Sunny Day Real Estate and for his tenure as the drummer of the alternative rock band Foo Fighters. Currently drumming for Brawley Banks and a reunited Sunny Day Real Estate, he has toured with Mike Watt, IQU, and has recorded and played live with many other bands and artists.

Early years[edit]

Goldsmith was born in Seattle, Washington to Hugh and Skitty Goldsmith. He began playing drums as a child, after being introduced by his older brother to bands such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Elvis Costello and the Attractions and Talking Heads. Goldsmith has stated that he wanted to be John Lennon, but also a drummer,[1] and has cited Keith Moon of The Who as his biggest influence on the instrument.[2] During fifth grade, Goldsmith formed his first band, Screaming Hormones.[1] In high school, Goldsmith formed a duo called the 13 with John Atkins, and later formed the hardcore punk band Reason to Hate with his friend Jeremy Enigk, whom he had previously invited to be the bassist for the 13. After Goldsmith graduated from high school, Greg Williamson invited him to the band Positive Greed. Afterwards Goldsmith worked on many ensembles, at times being a member of four simultaneous bands. He also expanded his tastes in music, becoming a fan of post-hardcore bands such as Fugazi, and of Nirvana's debut album Bleach.[3]

Sunny Day Real Estate (1992-1995)[edit]

In 1992, Goldsmith was invited by bassist Nate Mendel and singer-guitarist Dan Hoerner to play on their band. Despite being a part of many projects, Goldsmith accepted due to their tenacity and strong focus. The band went through many names, such as Empty Set, Chewbacca Kaboom and One Day I Stopped Breathing, before settling down on Sunny Day Real Estate. Afterwards the trio recorded a single, Flatland Spider.[3]

As Mendel left temporarily to tour with another band, Goldsmith invited Enigk to jam with him and Hoerner. Enigk was then added to the band, and soon became their new frontman.[1] They recorded two studio albums, both released on the well-known independent label Sub Pop, that were greeted with positive critical reviews and brought about newfound popularity for the emo genre before they disbanded in 1995.

Foo Fighters (1995-1997)[edit]

During one of Sunny Day Real Estate's last concerts, former Nirvana member Dave Grohl left the band a note. Goldsmith called him back, and Grohl invited both Goldsmith and Mendel to his new band, Foo Fighters, along with former Germs guitarist Pat Smear. In 1995, they embarked on a club tour supporting Mike Watt along with Eddie Vedder's side project Hovercraft. Afterwards, the band's already recorded debut album - on which Grohl had recorded nearly all instruments by himself - was released. Goldsmith stated that while he enjoyed the smaller venues, "pretty much everything after that blew", saying that as the band got bigger "it turned into a world-domination thing that became really creatively stifling" and he grew tired of reproducing songs he had no input composing. The drummer also developed carpal tunnel syndrome after the tour.[4]

After touring through the spring of 1996, the full lineup entered a Seattle studio with producer Gil Norton to record the band's second album. It was an arduous and mostly frustrating process for Goldsmith given Grohl's perfectionism, which led the drummer to do his tracks over and over - "Dave had me do 96 takes of one song, and I had to do thirteen hours' worth of takes on another one. It just seemed that everything I did wasn't good enough for him, or anyone else."[4] With the sessions nearly complete, the band took a break. According to Grohl, Goldsmith's drumming had good moments, but his performances mostly did not fit what Grohl had conceived for the drum track. The band regrouped in Los Angeles in February 1997 and almost completely re-recorded the album, this time with Grohl on drums, not telling Goldsmith about the session at all. Goldsmith even asked if he should travel along, but Grohl dismissed this by saying he was only performing overdubs.[5] Goldsmith only found out that his work was being replaced through bassist Mendel.[4] Feeling betrayed and not happy with Grohl's proposal of continuing on the band performing only live, he decided to leave the band soon thereafter; he was replaced on drums by Taylor Hawkins. The finished album, The Colour and the Shape, was released on May 20, 1997.[5]

Back with Sunny Day Real Estate (1997-2001)[edit]

In 1997, Sub Pop had approached Hoerner and Enigk about releasing a compilation of Sunny Day Real Estate rarities. Instead, the band decided to reunite and release a new studio album, 1998's How It Feels To Be Something On. While Goldsmith, who had by this time left Foo Fighters, took part in the reunion, Mendel remained with Foo Fighters.[6] Goldsmith also drummed with Sunny Day Real Estate on their subsequent live album, which was their last recording for Sub Pop, and their 2000 studio album The Rising Tide (for Time Bomb Recordings). After completing an extensive tour of the United States, the band hoped to tour Europe for the first time, but Time Bomb could not afford to support such a tour; the label soon ceased operations, resulting in the band's 2001 breakup.

After Sunny Day Real Estate, other projects, and reunion (2001-present)[edit]

After Sunny Day Real Estate disbanded for a second time, Goldsmith and Enigk formed The Fire Theft with original Sunny Day bassist Nate Mendel. An album and tour followed.

Around the same time, Goldsmith joined guitarist Billy Dolan, who had played on the Fire Theft album and tour, for a project called Varicocele. The band recorded about 30 songs, and presented them to Jonathan Poneman at Sub Pop, who declined to release them.

In 2008, Goldsmith formed Brawley Banks with Justin Schwartz and Jorum Young from Cobra High. In 2009 they played their first show.

In June 2009, it was confirmed that Sunny Day Real Estate would be reuniting once again with the original line-up.[7][8] A tour began later that year.[9] In early 2010, guitarist Dan Hoerner stated that a new album is in the works.[10]

Equipment[edit]

During the bulk of his time with Sunny Day Real Estate and Foo Fighters, William played an Ayotte drum kit with Zildjian cymbals. His exact setup was as follows:

Drums[edit]

  • 14" x 7" SteelHoop Snare Drum
  • 15"x14" Tom Tom
  • 18"x16" Floor Tom
  • 24" x 20" Bass Drum

Cymbals[edit]

  • 15" Zildjian K Custom Hi-Hats
  • 22" Zildjian K Custom Light Ride
  • 22" Zildjian K Custom Dark Ride
  • 24" Zildjian A Medium Ride

He has also played with DW, Yamaha, Pearl, Craviotto, Slingerland, and Vistalite kits.

During the Fire Theft tour, he played with a massive 30" Zildjian K ride.

Discography[edit]

Sunny Day Real Estate (1994–95; 98; 99-00)

Jeremy Enigk

Foo Fighters

  • The Colour and the Shape (1997) – (plays drums on "Doll", "Up in Arms" (credited only for slow intro), verses of "My Poor Brain" (uncredited), "The Colour and the Shape", and "Down In The Park" (10th Anniversary Edition) (uncredited))

Mary Lou Lord

Replikants

  • Slickaphonics (1999)

The Fire Theft

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Grubbs, Eric (2008). Post: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore-1985-2007. iUniverse. p. 73. ISBN 0595518354. 
  2. ^ William Goldsmith: Artist Update: Modern Drummer Magazine 25 March 2008
  3. ^ a b Grubbs, 2008. pp.73-74
  4. ^ a b c Roberts, Michael. "Bring Back that Sunny Day." Miami New Times. December 3, 1998.
  5. ^ a b Moll, James (director) (2011). Back and Forth (documentary). RCA. 
  6. ^ Crain, Zac. "Brightness Falls". Dallas Observer. November 12, 1998.
  7. ^ http://www.earcandybeat.com/?q=node/61
  8. ^ "Sunny Day Real Estate Reunion in 2009? | Perfect Lines". Perfectlines.wordpress.com. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  9. ^ "Sub Pop Records". Subpop.com. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  10. ^ "Sunny Day Real Estate". Fasterlouder.com.au. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2013-01-03.