Goldfinger Drummer Scoffs At Ska Stereotyping

Though he and his band have in many ways been stereotyped as a ska-punk act, Goldfinger's drummer and bad-ass backup vocalist, "Dangerous" Darrin Pfeiffer begs to differ.

In his mind, Goldfinger deserves no specific label, but that of a musical group. And he's determined to prove it with a new album of songs that in some cases, he said, sound like a cross between -- get this -- Julio Iglesias and Barry Manilow. "We're going to sound a lot like Julio Iglesias, it's like a cross between Julio Iglesias and Barry Manilow, we're going toward the piano ballads."

But, by no means, he said, is Goldfinger a ska band.

"We're not a ska band. People get the misconception that we're a ska band and that really bugs me," Pfeiffer said. "They're like, 'Yeah, Goldfinger the worst ska band out there'. It's like, yeah we are, you know because we only do a couple songs and we don't dress up in suits and we don't ride scooters around, you know and we don't all wear black and white. And we're not a punk band either. We don't have mohawks, we don't all skate, not all of us have tattoos, we don't all go 'oi oi oi'. So its really hard to sort of pin us. We have songs that are poppy, but we're not a pop band. We have some reggae songs, but you know we're not a reggae band. We're a band that plays music y'know, and if you like it, cool."

Goldfinger, who had a hit last year with their infectious single "Here In Your Bedroom" off of their self-titled debut, have most recently been holed up in the studio putting the finishing touches on the follow-up album, Hang-ups (Sept. 9). And so far everything is going as planned, Pfeiffer said.

"We've all been in the studio a lot in our careers, and its just a matter of vibe," he said. "I think this time round the vibe was there a little bit more. I like going in and just nailing things the first time, getting it done. It was great, absolutely great."

The band recorded Hang-ups at their friend Chris Johnson's studio and at Cherokee Studios in Hollywood. And while the album notes give production credit to Goldfinger vocalist/guitarist John Feldmann and Jay Rifkin, Pfeiffer said production was really an all-band team effort. Mixed by Dave Jerden (Offspring, Social Distortion, Jane's Addiction), the album to be released on Mojo Records includes tracks with guest appearances by Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Gabriel McNair (trombonist for Goldfinger's buddies No Doubt) and The Skeletones. Moore shares lead vocal duties with Feldmann on two songs, "Carlita" and "I Need To Know."

Other tunes on the album include, "Authority," "Too Late," "20 Cent Goodbye," "This Lonely Place" and "Disorder." Yet however smoothly the recording of these tracks in the studio went, there's no denying that Goldfinger are at their best when they're on stage.

Dynamic performances are their trademark, with Feldmann's charismatic flailing and rants spurring his bandmates on to even greater heights of enthusiasm. And because they thrive on their live performances, Pfeiffer said he and the others are eager to get back on the road.

"I know I'm excited and I know Charlie is. Simon's getting a little bit anxious these days, and John is too, you know, whatever world he's in," he said. "We love playing live, that's where we're most comfortable, that's when we feel at home... I love it, I love playing for kids, making it all ages, making sure the kids can get in, making the door prices cheap, I love hanging out with the kids after the show. Getting up there and talking to people, its a lot of fun."

Goldfinger will be headlining their own club dates in August and have a full U.S. tour opening for 311 beginning in September.