Band of the Week: Gold Dime

Band of the Week: Gold Dime
Photo by Jen Dessinger

MEET THE BAND: Andrya Ambro (vocals, drums), Ian Douglas-Moore (bass), John Bohannon (guitar)

TO THE BEAT OF HER OWN DRUM: Ambro grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, where an older brother helped shape her musical interests. "He grew up in D.C. in the late '80s and early '90s and was into that scene and college radio. He was listening to Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, Fugazi and all that stuff. I think that pushed me in that direction." She played piano and convinced her mom to let her get a drum set. She took drum lessons and would play with orchestras in Philadelphia. "I went to school for jazz, and that didn't go well," she says. "I then got into West African drumming. I think the classical and weirdo bands I played in during high school and the West African stuff frames how I play."

A DYNAMIC DUO: While attending New York University, Ambro met Sarah Register, and the two formed the indie rock act Talk Normal. That band had a solid six-year run during which time it regularly toured and recorded. "Sarah is like my soul sister," says Ambro. "I met her at NYU 21 years ago. [Talk Normal] was intense and great, and when I reflect on our first recording experience now I realize that everyone was so supportive. It was cool." Talk Normal took a hiatus in 2013, but Ambro kept writing songs. "I thought I would write the guitar parts because I had always had a hard time telling guitarists what I wanted them to try," she says, adding that she understands chords from having studied piano. "Guitar is such a mystery to me, especially how you can tune it and change tunings. I like to drum and sing live. That is a great joy for me, so I called upon musicians from bands I liked, and they were game and helped me push [Gold Dime] along."

A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH: Previous iterations of the band featured different musicians, but Ambro changed her approach for the band's new album, My House, and had her fellow bandmates help her write the songs. Produced by Ambro and recorded/mixed by Ernie Indradat, the album was recorded in stages throughout 2018.

WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: With its pummeling drums and wonky vocals, the title track sounds like a mashup of Talking Heads and Sonic Youth. "That was the first song we all wrote together," says Ambro when asked about the track. "It took a second to figure out the process of writing it. We were on tour and listening to the Fall's 'My House,' which just lists things in a house. I love songs that just list things like that because I don't write with any lyrical intention, only a feeling. At the end, I can sometimes see a through line. Perhaps it's about the social absurdities of dragging people to your house."


WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Gold Dime performs at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15, at Mahall's 20 Lanes in Lakewood.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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