Goldfish test the waters in San Diego


South African electronic duo Goldfish are swimming in a new bowl. After spending the last decade infusing electro-house beats with live instrumentation in Cape Town, longtime friends Dominic Peters and David Poole recently swapped their beautiful, native beaches for the ones right here in San Diego.

The lifelong musicians and avid surfers first met in college, where both were enrolled in jazz studies. Their 2006 debut, “Caught in the Loop,” was a surprise hit and earned them opening slots for the likes of Paul van Dyk, Pete Tong, and Fat Boy Slim, as well as an Ibiza residency.

Although the pair have only spent a handful of months in San Diego, the move coincides with an exciting time in their career. New single, “Deep of the Night (feat. Diamond Thug),” is just an appetizer for the release of Goldfish’s fifth album, “Tipping the Scales,” out in spring 2017.

And while this Friday’s show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom is the last date on their U.S. tour, the pair has plans to have consistent local plays very soon.

PACIFIC recently caught up with the new Southern California residents from their home in Carmel Valley to talk about it all.

PACIFIC: Any factors to the San Diego move beyond that it’s a good replicate for home?

Peters: I think you’re on the money with the replicate home thing for sure. And we figured if we were going to move our whole lives from one country to another, we might as well live in the best place in the new country. And we really thought that was San Diego from the moment we landed here.

Poole: And we don’t like the cold. Goldfish like warm water.

How long have you guys lived here?

Peters: It’s only been about three-and-a-half months. We’re still pretty fresh here. Pretty new. And we’ve been touring like crazy so actual amount of cumulative time in San Diego is probably half of that.

Electronic music has really opened up into an international scene, so I guess a home base could really be anywhere.

Peters: There are many reasons why we came here. But electronic music has really taken off in the U.S. and we felt like that could only be beneficial to our careers. And obviously, there’s just better access to the northern hemisphere in general from here.

It seems like the right time. The scene has never been bigger.

Poole: Dance music has come of age. The age of the DJ has matured and settled. Audiences are looking for the next thing. And that’s definitely live electronic music. Our whole mantra has always been re-inventing the DJ. We’ve always worked to add live instrumentation and that live feeling you get from watching bands. We bring it all together so you get the best of both worlds.

What’s the scene like in South Africa?

Peters: It’s exploding as well. We’re actually headed back there in a week to do a full summer tour there - 15 shows. And it’s our eighth year in a row doing our Submerged Sundays, a massive party with about 2,000 people, right on the beach. It’s like the Ibiza/Vegas pool party type of concert with a Cape Town twist. And it’s sold out very week. Dance music in South Africa is better than ever. Just like in the states, its roots are firmly entrenched.

Once it starts getting used in commercials, you know it’s hit that threshold.

Poole: It’s funny you say that because our very first success in the U.S. was a KIA Soul commercial in 2009. It’s the one where the hamster is driving around, sees other hamsters on treadmills, drives up to one, rolls down the window and the music starts. That was our song. (Fort Knox)

Were you surprised by the immediate success of “Caught in the Loop”?

Peters: Absolutely. We didn’t know what we were doing. We just made it. But there was such a great response to it. And it led us to a residency in Ibiza. That was like going to dance music university. It was like doing Shakespeare before heading to Hollywood to do movies. But I think that’s why we’re still around 10 years later. We’re still growing and evolving.

Poole: And strangely enough, I think we’re more relevant now than we’ve ever been. Or at least we like to think so. (laughs)

Whether it’s DJs or live electronic acts, it seems like the music is definitely filtering through to a lot of different demographics.

Poole: And that’s where we come in. We fill that gap between the DJ scene and the live band scene. But as this all continues, there’s still a huge call for live music. And there always will be. That’s what music is about at the end of the day. It’s just now, the guys who are producing tracks are also playing the instruments as well. We’ve always tried to combine the excitement of live performance and the dance-ability of dance music.

What’s ahead for Goldfish?

Peters: Our next single comes out on Friday and we’ve got another single coming out in January. The new album will come out in March or April. We’ve got a lot of dates for next year booked, but we can’t talk about them just yet. But aside from that, our goal is to play here a couple of times a month. We’re looking forward to it all.