San Francisco’s Sleepy Sun (Jack Allen, Bret Constantino, Matthew Holliman, Evan Reiss, and Brian Tice) are laying down some of the finest euphonic psychedelia in recent memory. With a new album set for release in January of next year, we had a chat with them and spoke about ancient languages, the brand new LP, eating fresh kale, and a humourous wizard costume.
AMBY: Hello Sleepy Sun, what’s the band been up to lately?
Sleepy Sun: Lately we’ve been driving around the USA on a food tour. We also happen to play music most every night.
AMBY: If you were to describe each member of the band in one word, which would you choose?
Sleepy Sun: Vincent, Wayne, Euronymous, Attila, Beatlejuice.
AMBY: Which three things could you not live without while on tour?
Sleepy Sun: Coffee, sunscreen, sunflower seeds.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to the band at a gig?
Sleepy Sun: We had our auxiliary drummer, Josh Unger, come out on stage once in New York in a full wizard costume. He told some of us it was going down, but we had no idea what it looked like. When he walked out during his part, most of us lost our shit and could barely keep playing. He’s actually the wizard that appears in the New Age video.
AMBY: Your latest release is a 7″ vinyl featuring your song 11:32. What inspired the video for the track?
Sleepy Sun: A good chunk of the concept behind the video was conceived by the band and then tweak by director Brandon Moore to meet all the constraints involved. The original storyline was a bit more involved, but there’s only so much we could accomplish with deadlines, budget, etc. With that said, Brandon was able to hit the highlights of the plan and add his own touches to the final cut. The entire video was shot in one day, beginning at sunrise on Baker beach and closing with the bar scene around 4am.
AMBY: You’re releasing a brand new LP in January. What can fans expect to hear?
Sleepy Sun: The entire album was recorded to tape with Tim Green at Louder Studios in Grass Valley, CA. The result is very raw, as there’s not much room to throw unlimited overdubs as with a ProTools rig. There’s pros and cons to both, but for this record we wanted to try and do the full album on tape, which is something we’d never tried before. We’ve worked with Tim (on tape) for a handful of recordings, and we’re very trusting of his direction. He’s not afraid to give his opinion, or to basically act like another member of the band in terms of decision making, as per our request.
AMBY: Which Sleepy Sun lyric is your favourite?
Sleepy Sun: The whistling in the beginning of Wild Machines. It’s actually an ancient language.
AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?
Sleepy Sun: I just bought these on tour, and they all came out this year: Windhand –Soma, Spindrift – Ghost of the West, Tim Hecker – Virgins
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Sleepy Sun that nobody knows yet?
Sleepy Sun: We regularly drive way off a recommended driving route to locate, and eat, fresh kale.
Thank you Sleepy Sun, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout