After a year of rave reviews and a seemingly never ending tour of the UK, Jacob Golden continues to gather support for a new style of folk. Here's what he had to say about touring the UK; the 2007 Softcore Tour and working at a hippie nudist spa- amongst other things:

R13: You almost have become a UK Native in 2007. How did you enjoy your time here? How did you find the UK audiences?
JG: Yes, I spent over six months in the UK in 2007. Touring can be really lonely business. Especially doing supports slots when you're still finding your audience. Some nights I would go on stage to constant chatter. That can be a bit soul crushing. But I'm really grateful to have had the opportunity to tour the UK so much. Most American bands come over here maybe for one tour an album and I've actually got to play in most cities several times and have been able to get my music out there because of it.

R13: Have there been points where you've thought that the constant touring and living up to fans' expectations was too much of a pressure for you, or is it still fun?
JG: Yes, It can be quite stressful. I have a very high standard for myself as a singer and an artist. It takes a lot of energy to maintain that standard. When I go onstage, it's only me, there's no one else to carry the show, So I want to kick ass every night. I'm also a bit of a contradiction in that I can be very disciplined with my music and writing but I also have a need to really cut loose and have some adventures, to meet new people and celebrate the madness of the ride I'm on.

R13: Being in the UK for so long • what (I'll leave you to interpret) did you miss from back home?
JG: It's always strange coming back to America after being away for sometime. There's something larger than life about the States. A little bit like going to Disneyland when you are high. I guess I miss the open space most. We kind of have a little bubble going on here that to be honest is really pleasant even if we are pretty disconnected from the outside world.

R13: How was it to be a part of the 2007 Softcore tour with Frank Turner, Jonah Matranga and Joshua English? Were there any on tour shenanigans?
JG: I think I still have a hangover! It was definitely boys’ night out that tour. Jonah and I go way back to when we both lived in Sacramento California. I was playing in thrash metal bands and we used to go watch Jonah's band Far play. They were amazing. Frank Turner is really talented. A lot of times we would crash at people’s houses and Frank can pick up a guitar and play almost any song by ear. That tour was refreshing, we are all modern folk singers doing something with integrity and not watering it down or playing that sappy evil music that gives the title singer/songwriter a bad name.

R13: Did you play any shows with Frank Turner while he was in the US?
JG: No. But there's a lot of great underground folk music in the States. People like Jeffrey Lewis who I've also had the honor of touring with carry the same sort of no bull shit aesthetic. I think frank will do well here if he finds the right audience.

R13: 2007 has seen you perform from headlining shows to house gigs • is this variety something that you are going to continue with or do you think you are going to try and concentrate on bigger venues in the future?
JG: Well, for me it's all about intimacy. Sometimes a big fancy PA can get in the way, So I'm very drawn to the idea of playing more house concerts. It's really about trust, it has to feel right. Turning up at someone's house I've never met is a little frightening but some of my best shows have been those. I'm not against big spaces or proper venues though. I just like the night to be an experience and not just a gig and some rock venues are just foul places.

R13: You have had rave reviews in the UK about your live shows and the album • has it overwhelmed you at all? Do you get the same welcome back at home in California?
JG: When I was living in Portland while writing a lot of my record, I never played shows. No one knew me as a musician. I was in a sort of incubating period where I just wanted to focus on writing and recording the best music I could. I worked at a hippie nudist spa, surrounded by naked people all day, it was kind of trippy, then I would go home and record. Sometimes I would have a few friends over and we would eat these really strong pot cookies (biscuits) and record these mad ten hour noise sessions...Aside from that I didn't want to play shows. Music was more of a private time for me to work things out. It wasn't till I finished my record and played it for people in the UK that I got offered some tours and set up some house shows and came out of my insular world into the blinding British sunshine!

R13: How have you found going from being somewhat unknown to having this level of exposure?
JG: It feels good to be reaching people and the folks that come to my shows are usually really cool mellow people. It's a great vibe. I respect my audience and don't feel like I have to put myself on a pedestal or try to be cool, I'm able to be myself and keep things genuine and as long as I can keep that vibe then 30 people or a thousand in a room feels good.

R13: We are always on the lookout for artists that are not getting the recognition that they deserve • are there any artists that you personally admire, who we should keep an eye out for?
JG: There's a band called Horsefeathers from Portland. It's a duo. They make beautiful hushed folk psychedelia. One of the guys sings and plays guitar and the other guy plays violin, harmonies, small drum set etc etc. They just signed to Kill Rock Stars so they should hopefully get more exposure. Also, The Battle of Land and Sea are amazing they are good friends and I recorded and produced their debut that comes out soon on Notenuf. The sound is very narcotic and not at all like those awful saccharine female folk singers that are all blond and toothless.

R13: You have mentioned that you're not always upfront with your feelings and that you reserve your honesty for your lyrics. Do you ever find it tough to stand in front of strangers and convey this honesty?
JG: In front of strangers it's no problem. What's hard for me is singing in front of friends and family, that's too much for me. Especially when there are people in the room that have lyrics written about them. Maybe that's why I don't play so much in my own country. Here, I like to be more anonymous.

R13: Reading through your blog, you have mentioned that you enjoy catching up on Joseph Arthur's blogs. Is there anyone else who you like to tap into, blogwise?
JG: is pretty amazing, sometimes disturbing and sometimes sad. People send in postcards of their secrets and they’re posted as a blog. It's like getting a little glimpse in the mind of strangers.

R13: You are open about wanting to convey a message of peace and love; why is this so important to you?
JG: Well, It's not all flowers and sunsets with me. I think that love and peace are important but tapping into the reality of my emotions in an unfiltered way as far as writing and singing is my aim. There are some singers that sing of sunsets and such, on the surface they are about love, but love can be brutal as well and isn't a fake sentiment. At the heart it's about compassion and realizing that I'm as fucked up as anyone else so with that in mind bring on the flowers!

R13: Can you use chopsticks?
JG: Yes, my favorite food is sushi. California has really fresh fish and there's nothing sillier then eating a gorgeous peace of tuna with a fork!

R13: Where did you drink your best beer? Who were you with and what beer was it?
JG: I love good small batch ale. We've got some good ones in the States but there's this little pub in York that does wonderful old school ale. It's cozy and allegedly haunted. So I guess I shared my pint with a ghost.

R13: Finally, what have you got planned for 2008? Are there going to be any more UK shows or are you planning to concentrate on another part of the world?
JG: I'm doing a co headline tour in January with Merz that will take me around the UK again. I'm also planning on doing more house concerts and I'm excited about playing the summer festivals. my album Revenge Songs is going to be released in the States in February so I'll actually get to tour my own country which at this point I'm really excited about. Aside from that I'm trying to write as much as I can and record on the road and hopefully have my next album ready to go by the end of this year. Onward and upward!