SXSW Dates, On Tour Now/ Debut LP “Embrace” Out May 26th On ATP/R/
Esquire Magazine’s Top Ten Band To See In TX
Self-Titled Magazine Premieres “New Age” 10” Single
Sleepy Sun : Ten Bands Set to Break Out at 2009’s SXSW Festival Buzz up! : Every March, thousands descend on Austin for the South By Southwest music conference to find the next big thing. We pick ten so you don’t have to fly to Texas.
TUESDAY, March 17th
Emo’s Main Room (603 Red River)
WEDNESDAY, March 18th
3PM – Scoot Inn Day Party, Outside Stage (1308 East 4th Street)
11PM – Leafy Green SXSW Showcase at Emo’s Inside Room (603 Red River)
FRIDAY, March 20th
3PM – SFxSW Party at Wave on 6th St (408 E Sixth St)
SATURDAY, March 21st
12:20PM – Mess With Texas Festival at Waterloo Park (403 E 15th St)
8:45PM – Trailor Space Records (1401 Rosewood Ave)
“San Francisco’s Sleepy Sun is one of those every-so-often bands that absorbs, processes, and spits out its influences in such a way as to make pee run down the pants legs of music reviewers everywhere…They are designed to explode the most expanded of frontal lobes…” -SF Weekly
“…Comfortable, a high drenched in fog, floating inland on ocean wind. Compositionally, things feel natural and free. Each instrument as integral as the rest. Breathing, moving…” -Aquarius Records
“Sleepy Sun’s songs, mellifluously flowing between bittersweet balladry and paranoid, hazy atmospherics, are like a 2am car ride — not going somewhere, not coming back, but taking an unexpected detour through uncertain terrain. A sublime fog, the mood is both assured and undefined, leaving me to drift, to slither, through a spectrum that ranges from the nostalgic to the anxious, from the freewheeling to the claustrophobic….” -Naturalismo
“…This collective of young longbeards has become one of the town’s most beloved bands in a very short period of time, laying down lumbering servings of heavy psychedelic freakadelia and dusted Northern Californian psych-folk. Williams’ angelic voice weaves in-between a sublimely mind-rattling cacophony reminiscent of Santa Cruz psych-rock alumni Comets on Fire at their headiest…If rapturous local buzz is any indication, Sleepy Sun might be the best bet of the next Santa Cruz band to break big…” -Metro Santa Cruz
Sleepy Sun have an honest, high-energy show that ranges from hard, early Sabbath-level rock to a genuine gospel/spiritual vibe, all making Sleepy Sun a really tough act to follow. Their discipline, dynamics, dominance over tempo (the subtlest and most commonly overlooked musical device), and brooding nature evokes comparisons as disparate as Black Sabbath, George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass”, Pink Floyd and Bjork . . . and we still haven’t heard the record. -The Deli Magazine SF
11 Things You Need To Know…
Tell us about the origins of the band – how you met, how you found your sound etc.:
This band was conceived under a full moon in the lovely town of Santa Cruz, California. With the forest and ocean as our back drop, we were drawn to each other as fellow musicians, friends, and lovers. Our sound began with a more straight laced rock n roll feel but soon took on more depth and heaviness, drawing from early Black Sabbath, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Can, and Creation Records, to more contemporary local acts like Comets on Fire and Mammatus. There was a lot of jamming – a lot of free flowing, heady, “where am I?” – type jamming that definitely contributed to our sonic ascension.
Your biog says you’re from the “occult influenced creative community of Santa Cruz” – please elaborate! Are you into the occult as a band? And how big is occultism in Santa Cruz?!
Santa Cruz is a community very much submersed into it’s own culture– although it’s veneer may convey a sense of murky, burned-out-hippy life, there’s a sparkling bubble kingdom if you know where to narrow your vision. Beaches are covered in Monarch butterflies for a few weeks every year, naked dancing to drums in the moonlight, rogue black metal shows under the cover of night and redwood elders, and dank caves that eventually meet the salty ocean water. It becomes very easy to ‘lose your head in the clouds’ so to speak in such a geographically rich territory. Sometimes all you want to do is paint your face with charcoal, red, and black, cruise the graveyard, scope some blasters, and check out with some durk pins. The Occult is what you make it.
And then you moved to San Fran. What made you decide to move there? Whats the current day scene like there?
We all love Santa Cruz. We really do. But if we didn’t make the move out of there, things could have easily become stagnant. There’s a circuit of about four to five venues in Santa Cruz that you can play before it’s all tapped out, and two of which are all ages. On top of that, more than half of 21+ crowd leaves for summer vacation from University, so it’s difficult to build up a following in sleepy Santa Cruz Co. San Francisco on the other hand is a city, and we hit the ground rolling and have been shoveling coal in the engine ever since. As per the SF ‘scene’, it’s really all across the board– hair metal, punk, indie, electronica, etc. are all coexisting across the peninsula. They’re all alive in their own little niche bars, and you can start to see cross-over which is where the electricity sparks.
There’s a psych-rock influence on your sound. Is the psych rock sound still alive and well in the Bay Area?
There is not a ‘psych rock’ scene per se– ’67 is long gone, and Haight St. is nothing more than a tourist trap banking on the name and history of the area to sell Mukluks and Dead shirts (p.s. the Dead totally rules). We feel psychedelic influence on our music comes more from Northern California itself more than any scene or city. There truly is nowhere on Earth like our little corner of the country where the redwoods smother the ocean…
Your ‘battle cry’ is “Let’s get weird”. When and where do you use this phrase, and where did it come from?
This is the phrase to use when you and your friends are bored with ordinary, humdrum folly-making. If someone drops this line, where ever you may be, the entire group must participate in an activity created on the spot, regardless of social norms or rules. If this means ‘diming’ a record entitled “German Beer-Drinking Music”, wrapping a poor soul in toilet paper and plastic bags, fogging out the living room and reinacting American Gladiators with socks and pillows, then so be it.
What are your shared interests, both musical and otherwise?
Pizza, horticulture, Neil Percival Young.
What have been the big milestones in your career to date?
There’s nothing like having your first piece of vinyl pressed. Also, playing pretty much any show put on by Folk Yeah! Productions. Opening for Rodriguez at the Great American Hall in our hometown the day we got back from tour was a dream, and Folk Yeah!’s Festival in the Forest in Big Sur was an unforgettable moment for all of us. That festival was as close as it gets to the communal musical vibe everyone assumes is going on in the Bay Area.
Where and when did you record the album?
Sleepy Sun traveled to Vancouver, BC in January 2008 to record ‘Embrace’ with Colin Stewart. We tracked for 11 days, took off four days to rest on the island of Victoria, and then hopped back on the ferry to the Hive to mix for another four days.
What was the aim for the album? What were you hoping to achieve?
Before travelling to BC to record, much time was spent brainstorming about how to compile the songs in a way that would set a singular vibe or tone or message. In other words, we aimed to record a cohesive collection of songs, inspired by full length albums intended to be listened to from start to finish. We didn’t however go into the studio claiming outright that we were going to create a “psych-roch record”, i guess that came naturally. In the studio, There was a conscious decision to change the songs, allowing them to bloom into sonic bulbs, radically different than we had been playing them live for the past year. I suppose you could say we sought to frame these songs in their new light– we’ve certainly changed the way we play them live since the birth of ‘Embrace’.
Talk us through some of the key tracks (the inspiration / any fun stories behind them etcm unusual recording tecniques), especially future singles.
Electical-engineer Brian Tice recorded 9/10ths of the instruments on ‘Golden Artifact’ using an 8-track mixer in our living room in Santa Cruz (also known as the Dungeon, because of it’s low ceilings, low lighting, and various smells attributed to a plethora of cats, sugar gliders and human rodents). All of the band lived in house during this period, and we sat down and hashed out the entire song in a few sittings. We setup the mixer, the mics were held together with tape and cobra-whiskey bottles, and hit ‘record’. Our good friend Norman Krow mixed the original version to be placed on a compilation for the inaugural Loves in Heat Records festival. We brought along the data to Vancouver, BC and Colin Stewart worked his magic, and we re-tracked vocals and darker percussion.
After watching all the Hellraiser and all Jim Henson films in one sitting, Matt wrote the guitar verse for ‘New Age’ . Bret was currently studying in Europe, so the song (tentatively titled Cromag) bloomed into 15 minute epic sans vocals, compensated with shredding keys and hot air balloons. Once Bret returned from his overseas voyage, we started working on the track as a full band. It went through countless changes, but never sounded complete until a year and half of sitting on the back-burner (although occasional live performances existed for our own curiosity). This was the first song we attempted to record at the Hive Studios in Jan. 08′ and we ended up ripping out half of the heavy, plodding guitar tracks and replaced with sparkling acoustics.
What are your hopes for the future of the band?
To do Wayne’s World for a living.
Brian Tice (age: 23)- drums, Jack Allen(23)- bass, Rachael Williams(22)- vocals, haberdashery & interpretive dancing,
Bret Constantino(23)- vocals & harmonica, Evan Reiss(23) & Matt Holliman(23)- guitars
US SPRING TOUR
Mar 11 2009 8:00P Bar Pink San Diego, California
Mar 12 2009 8:00P Modified Phoenix, Arizona
Mar 13 2009 8:00P Plush Tuscon, Arizona
Mar 14 2009 8:00P Monte Vista Lounge Flagstaff, Arizona
Mar 17 2009 8:00P TBA Austin, Texas
Mar 18 2009 8:00P Leafy Green SXSW Showcase at Emo’s Jr. Austin, Texas
Mar 19 2009 8:00P SXSW – TBA Austin, Texas
Mar 20 2009 8:00P SXSW – TBA Austin, Texas
Mar 21 2009 8:00P SXSW – TBA Austin, Texas
Mar 22 2009 8:00P Lounge on Elm Street Dallas, Texas
Mar 23 2009 8:00P The Conservatory Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Mar 24 2009 8:00P Record Bar Kansas City, Missouri
Mar 25 2009 8:00P Replay Lounge Lawrence, Kansas
Mar 26 2009 8:00P Mojo’s Columbia, Missouri
Mar 27 2009 8:00P Vaudeville Mews Des Moines, Iowa
Mar 28 2009 8:00P The Picador Iowa City, Iowa
Mar 30 2009 8:00P Empty Bottle Chicago, Illinois
Mar 31 2009 8:00P PC Club Green Bay, Wisconsin
Apr 1 2009 8:00P Stonefly Brewery Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Apr 2 2009 8:00P 7th Street Entry Minneapolis, Minnesota
Apr 3 2009 8:00P Aquarium Fargo, North Dakota
Apr 4 2009 8:00P Royal Albert Hotel Winnipeg, Manitoba
Apr 5 2009 8:00P Amigo’s Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Apr 6 2009 8:00P Black Dog Freehouse Edmonton, Alberta
Apr 9 2009 8:00P Broken City Calgary, Alberta
Apr 10 2009 8:00P The Biltmore Vancouver, British Columbia
May 8 2009 8:00P ATP Festival w/ SPIRITUALIZED, DEVO, JESUS LIZARD, ELECTRIC WIZARD and SLEEP! Minehead, UK
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