Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Sunset Sons

Sunset Sons
“The plan is there is no plan”


On a cold rainy day outside Leeds Academy, in between running back and forth across town, we jumped in the back of Sunset Sons‘ van to have a chat with the Anglo-Aussie quartet ahead of their set at Live At Leeds Festival 2015.

AMBY: We caught you at The Institute in March where you said during the gig that it was the first time you’d played Birmingham. It must have been pretty great that the show sold out?

Rory: It was really cool, it was a sold out tour, it was rad.

AMBY: What have you been up to since?

Rory: So we did Europe which was great, we finished the tour in March, had a bit of time off and we’ve just finished the European tour which was awesome.

Jed: We keep going to new places that we’ve never been like in Birmingham and there’s just a load of people there that know the songs.

Pete: or Munich or Berlin.

Rob: or Amsterdam.

AMBY: That must be pretty cool when you go to play a venue not really knowing what to expect and the crowd end up singing back your songs word for word.

Jed: It’s really weird. Yea, you really just don’t know what to expect it’s awesome.

Rory: You try you know and chuck your best German out there… they don’t really care about that, they just want to hear your songs.

Pete: We’re not even on the radio over there and there are still loads of people turning up at the gigs.

AMBY: You’ve got quite a few festivals lined up including Boardmasters for a band who likes surfing that’s got to be a pretty ideal festival to play?

Rory: Yea, yea that will be a good one.

Jed: Last year was a good little taster for us we played a couple of festivals, but not a lot. This year right from the start of festival season all the way through we haven’t really got a weekend off. We’re ticking off the boxes of all the ones we’ve always wanted to play.

Pete: Yea we’re playing friggin tons, the full platter all over Europe.

AMBY: So which festival are you guys most looking forward to playing?

Sunset Sons: Isle of White, Glastonbury, Isle of White, Glastonbury.

Jed: All of them really. You can’t have favourites like kids!

AMBY: So we know you guys like snowboarding and surfing. If you had to choose between playing live on a beach or somewhere in the snow like Snowbombing Festival, which would you choose? 

Sunset Sons: (unanimously) BEACH!

Rory: I fuckin hate the cold. The thing with snowboarding and skiing is it is fun and we do enjoy doing it, but it was just something to do whilst we were trying to earn money in the mountain. To be honest I did not want to be there it’s too cold for me.

Pete: It’s much nicer getting out of the surf, cracking open a beer and then going to play a show instead of freezing your arse off carrying your gear.

Rory: Who wouldn’t want to be on a beach, you need too many damn clothes on in the snow Snowbombing is meant to be a good one though.

Jed: I still think it would still be pretty fun to go and do it, but we’d always choose the beach first.

AMBY: You’ve just released the Fall Line EP. Did I hear somewhere you wrote track Medicine whilst trying to learn to play bass?

Rory: That was actually Movie Scene; close enough you could have chose the first EP! Yeah I can’t play the bass for

Pete: For love or money.

AMBY: Can you still not play bass?

Rory: No no! I’d never play live I like playing though that’s where the idea for Movie Scene came about.

AMBY: So what other instruments can you all play?

Jed: I can play guitar.

Rob: I can play a bit of drums.

Rory: Mean on a glockenspiel.

Jed: Harmonica, percussion, drums etc.

Rory: Cowbell.

AMBY: So are you going to check out any other bands whilst you here at Live At Leeds?

Jed: I hope so, we’ve only just got here, buy we’ve got these wristbands so that means you can go do anything right?

Rory: What about you guys? Obviously you going to see us?

AMBY: Yeah you were the main reason we decided to come to Live At Leeds.

Rory: Yea.

Pete: Sure, I bet you say that to every band.

Rory: How many times have you said that today?

AMBY: [laughs] That’s the first time… honest!

Rory: Do you know We Were Promised Jetpacks; ideally we’d like to catch them later.

Jed: We definitely want to catch something, I always think with festivals if you plan on trying to see everything you never see anything it’s better to just choose one or two.

AMBY: That’s it, we’ve only seen a few bands today we’d rather see a full set and get the proper experience.

Rory: You chose the right band!

AMBY: We’ve got the Sunset Sons t-shirt and the surf board wax, so when are we getting the board shorts? 

Pete: [laughs] No plans to move into fashion design yet.

AMBY: Ok I’m going to make my own then- sideline coming soon! So no surf boards then?

Rory: No that would be expensive ehh.

Pete: Unless you know someone?!

Jed: One of the highlights when we were signing our deal, just as we were putting pen to paper we said and we want some surfboards and they took us all surfboard shopping which was pretty cool.

Rory: Yea I think we’re all decided that even when we break the board we’re going to keep it and put it on our wall.

AMBY: You should have them as a backdrop on stage.

Pete: What like just a bunch of broken surfboards in the background?

Rob: Mine’s almost there.

AMBY: So keeping on the topic of boards is it long board or short board?

Rory: Short for me.

Jed: Long boards are good in the summer.

Rob: Long boards are a shed load of fun and I’m a shit surfer so long board for me.

AMBY: Guitar on the beach, all round the fire, who’s the first to pick it up?

Rory: We burned that guitar!

Jed: I think unless it’s a festival beaches should be guitar free.

Pete: The beach is for drinking beer, not playing guitars.

Jed: I think I want to burn those ukulele players, no not the players yeah actually burn the lot.

Rob: String them up.

AMBY: So where are you up to with the album? You’ve been recording in Nashville right?

Rory: It’s not quite done yet we’ve got to sprinkle some more glitter on it first.

Jed: It’s difficult with the new songs you start thinking should we include these on the album, but we have enough time to make it the best group of songs we can so there’s no rush to get it out there.

Rory: We recorded it all in Nashville over 7 weeks, 2 weeks at first then 5 weeks solid, but you get back and listen to the tunes and you hear it differently and see changes you want to make so it’s not quite ready yet we’re looking at towards the end of the year.

AMBY: With the album in mind, do you write songs that are mainly album based or that you can perform live and the crowd will react to?

Rory: Good question.

Jed: We just write what we like, there’s no plan the plan is there is no plan.

AMBY: I think songs that are written from an experience or just come about from jamming in rehearsal are always the best rather than anything specifically written to get played on the radio.

Rory: I think if you aim for something like that, if you’re like let’s write a radio tune, don’t get me wrong if it gets on the radio congrats, but I don’t know does it have the same feeling as something with meaning and a bit of passion to it?

AMBY: They’re your pocket money tunes that you write for other people.

Rory: We’ve got a few of them.

Rob: That Aerosmith one.

Rory: Yea and that bank robber tune.

Pete: Sshh we can’t talk about that.

AMBY: Exclusive.

Rory: No, good question.

AMBY: One last question before we go. Jed, did you get your drums that colour or did you paint them specifically?

Jed: These will tell you I don’t have the patience or the skill to do anything like that.

Pete: He’s no good at DIY.

Rory: Fuck it you should do it next time that would be hilarious

Jed: No we went to the drum shop and it was the first one I seen.

Rob: BOLLOCKS! We were there for four hours.

Rory: He was like “I want the colourful one”.

Pete: In his defence they put the most colourful sparkliest most jazzy drum kit right in front of door to sucker in the pigeons and in comes Jed “oh wow I want that one”

Rory: How no one else picked that beauty up there’s only about 5 or 10 of them.

Jed: They basically got reissued because it’s old school.

AMBY: Because no one else wanted it…

Jed: Take that back!

Pete: It’s because no else has the balls to play a drum kit that colour go on tell them Jed.

Rory: We stand by the refreshers kit; The Black Keys are trying to copy us now since Jed got his they’re jealous!

AMBY: There’s another endorsement waiting to happen refreshers and surf boards! Thanks for chatting to us guys enjoy the show and we’ll catch you again soon.

***

Thank you Sunset Sons, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Fi Carroll | @dirtyroknroller

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