"All About The Album - 15 Questions" - a brand new section at the RockUnited site where a recording artist with an recently released CD is confronted with 'album' questions (15 of them, duh!). If you'd like to have your material up here, email: urban "at" rockunited.com (simply replace "at" with your standard @ )
THE SUN EXPLODES: "Emergence"
The SUN EXPLODES and their debut album 'Emergence' - Hard rock/metal, synth rock, prog? You'll hear an amalgamation of styles on this album. Inspired by the likes of Muse, Queen, Coheed and Cambria, the UK quintet create a genre defying mix of crushing riffs, sweeping melody and pulsating electronica. Find out more about the band and their debut album, here's: The SUN EXPLODES...
How has the reaction to your latest CD been?
It's been great. Review wise itís been a mixed bag but everyone who listens, even if it's not their cup of tea, comments that its clear we're doing something different, not just regurgitating what's currently out there. So we're very happy about that.
How long did this CD take to make from start to finish, recording-wise?
About 3 months all told. It was a bit rushed and there was stuff that we didnít think about, video releases, etc. Next time weíll be planning much more carefully!
What kind of 'sound', production wise, did you have in the back of your mind, prior to entering the studio?
The album was produced to a very very tight budget. We did a lot of the work ourselves in a bedroom in addition to recording the drums and reamping the guitars at a local studio. What we ideally wanted was to recreate the sound we have live (oftentimes described as "epic").
What kind of input did the producer have during the process?
We didn't work with a producer, weíre very specific about what we want from our music so to be honest, we will probably always produce our own recordings.
And are you pleased with the final outcome? (sound - production wise)
We have some specific issues with it soundwise but overall we're very very happy, especially bearing in mind the budget constraints we had.
Did the producer (you) use any (weird) experimental miking and/or recording techniques?
Reamping the guitars is probably the closest thing to a weird technique (Ö.although it's very common). It allowed us to record the guitar parts in a bedroom under no pressure, then spend a day in the studio just getting the guitar tones. The end of the last track "Dead/Alive" features a kind of "pseudo-choir" on the outro, we invited anyone we know to come sing a couple of tracks worth of harmony, as well as laying down dozens ourselves.
How did you go on about capturing your 'live sound' in the studio, or perhaps you didn't
One thing we do try to GENERALLY stick to, is only recording what we play live. In almost all cases on 'Emergence', we play everything live that's on the album. There are some exceptions, for eg there are 2 rhythm guitars playing under solos. Our drummer plays to a click track live which allows us to have most of the things not possible to do (for example, the previously mentioned pseudo-choir) as part of our live show.
Please inform us about your favourite songs and lyrical highlights and why?
Although it divides opinion among journalists, the band favourite is probably 'Line One'. Itís the most progressive track on the album and just has an odd, quirky feel to it
Any overall theme of mood that you're trying to capture while writing songs?
Not really. Songs often start out with a rhythm or drum beat to be honest, for example, the song 'Dead/Alive' began life as that 5/4 drum beat that runs through the verse. When writing lyrics, Dave will often try to paint a picture with words that people can interpret in their own way, rather than trying to tell a specific story or sell a particular idea.
Does your vision for coming up with music get affected at all by time?
If I understand the question correctly then yes, our music is constantly evolving. We will never be one of those bands who puts out the same album twice, to be honest we struggle to put out the same song twice, this is something that gets us both good and bad press!
Did the record company interfere with anything on your "sound" and songs?
We're unsigned, it will probably remain this way too. A lot of big nationally touring bands remain unsigned these days; record companies want the finished product, they want a band to already have a massive amount of fans just waiting to buy their next CD. Thatís certainly not us at the moment, but if we ever do get to that stage, I canít see why weíd bother with a record label unless we were made an exceptional offer.
Are there any 'crazy' behind the scenes anecdotes from these sessions that you can share with us?
If you check out our YouTube channel, we have videos from the recording process as well as others of random/crazy stuff! www.youtube.com/thesunexplodes
How would you describe the sound of your new CD to any potential new fan?
Epic, synth laden rock. Maybe. Describing the whole CD is difficult. We'd describe it by putting it on really loud.
Who are your influences and heroes? (music-wise)
Queen, Muse, At the drive in, Coheed and Cambria, Devil sold his soul.
If there's anything you'd like to add, say, please do:
We have a second music video out in the coming weeks, and a UK tour in April (Dates on Facebook). Please add us on Facebook/Twitter, talk to us, we always talk back! And most importantly please try to get to a show sometime.
Interview by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,