Interviews: Sun Below

We have had the opportunity to interview the Stoner Metal/Doom Metal band Sun Below from Canada. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or come out just like that?

We debated on a few different ideas in our early stages (Black Volume, which would become a series of EPs, was a contender) but this is the one that stuck. Our former bass player Garrison had the idea, which I believe has some connection to the occultist phrase "as above, so below".

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

This genre allows for a lot of freedom and room to breathe when it comes to jamming and songwriting. Improvisational jams lead to an organic way of coming up with riffs and song structures. Put simply, this style of music is a lot of fun to play.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Me (Jay) and our former bass player Garrison have been close friends since high school. We ended up meeting Will through an ad through Kijiji of all places! When Garrison left, we started jamming with Liam, who plays with Will in The Electric Cactus, and that is how the current lineup fell into place.

4. Each band member favourite band?

Jay - Black Sabbath

Will - Queens of the Stone Age

Liam – Led Zeppelin

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Listening to other bands in all genres of heavy music can serve as inspiration. As referenced before though, alot of times someone may have a riff or a beat or a groove and we just jam it out and it will morph and change until we're able to settle it down into a fully formed idea. As showcased in our album art, weed, psychedelia and even landscape (mountains, the desert) can serve as inspiration, musically and lyrically.

6. Where was your last gig?

Our last gig was in Oshawa at its heavy music standby, the Atria. That was back in late February of 2020, just before everything went into lockdown. The week prior we had played at The Opera House opening up for Graveyard and at the Piranha Bar in Montreal with our friends in Doom 'an Blue.

7. Where would you like to act?

After a long stretch without shows, we are ready to play anywhere! Next year, we are hoping to have an opportunity to play The Electric Highway Festival in Calgary. In the short term, we would like to play in Toronto again (Hard Luck Bar, Bovine Sex Club, Lee's Palace) and expand outside the GTA into Hamilton or Montreal (Turbo Haus) again.

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

There are a lot of great heavy local bands we have played with previously or have not had a chance to play with yet such as Black Absinthe, Astral Witch, Pale Mare, Haxan, Cross Dog, and Hounskull among others.

9. Whom not?

Wimps and poseurs! Seriously though we are pretty flexible with who we play with and as long as we play shows with bands who play heavy music, we can usually fit in.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

There is always a little nervousness at any gig, but the more experience you get playing live the more the excitement takes over rather than nerves. I (Jay) will say that moments before opening for Graveyard, I could not find my guitar strap (it was sitting on top of my amp) and that put me in a bit of a panic because it was such a big opportunity and such a small yet significant thing to have lost - luckily crisis was averted!

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Our key influences are definitely the forefathers of heavy music and stoner doom in particular: Black Sabbath, Sleep, Electric Wizard, Acid King and Kyuss are just some, along with more relatively recent bands like Red Fang, The Sword, Uncle Acid, Bongzilla and Weedeater. Each play in a similar style but have their own signature sounds, which shows there is still room for expansion in a genre that has a number of well-tread conventions.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

A fan in Montreal asked if he could give $11.00 for stickers that we were giving away for free. I (Jay) told him that we had brand new shirts for sale for $15.00 if he had the extra $4.00 but he simply couldn't come up with the cash. I always found it odd that things were tough for him but he was willing to essentially give us $11.00 but just couldn't pull that extra cash together to actually get something out of it!

13. What do you think of your fans?

We have huge love and respect for anyone that enjoys what we are doing - thank you to everyone who has checked us out live or has streamed or bought our music. While we take it seriously, we do this for our own enjoyment and the idea that there are other people out there that dig what we are doing is a huge confidence boost.

14. What do you think of our site?

The Breaking the Core website is a great platform for new and emerging artists across the globe and it provides them with a great opportunity for exposure. The track by track breakdown by the bands is a great feature to help viewers/listeners get into the headspace of the album and pick up interesting details that might not otherwise be evident.

15. Something to add?

Keep up the great work and thanks in advance for featuring us!

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