maandag 1 december 2014

2014 Interview with Sunday Sun’s Yoshi Breen for WoNo Magazine

Sunday Sun Presskit photo

Interview by Wout de Natris

© 2014 WoNo Magazine

Two weeks ago 'We let go' was released by Sunday Sun and got a very positive review on this blog ( Having interviewed Yoshi Breen before, we reached out again. A first, as this is the first time an artist is interviewed by us for a second time. Let's find out what Sunday Sun has been up to in the past two years.

About two years ago we had our first interview. What has Sunday Sun been up to in the meantime?
A lot of gigs. Some big festivals like Concert At Sea. And we recorded our first – real – album WE LET GO in Berlin. It’s been busy!

The band changed drummers this year. What happened?
Yeah! Wouter stayed in Berlin. He needed a new adventure. It was a rough time for the band. Because we didn’t know what to expect. But now it’s all fine and dandy. He’s still a very close friend of mine. And I think he made a good choice moving to Berlin.

In how far has new drummer, Dave Menkehorst,  influenced the band process and/or sound?
Wouter played all the drums on the album itself. But live Dave is influencing the band’s sound a lot. He’s a great drummer and a fantastic singer. He sings like a 90’s rock god. ;-)

The new album is called We let go. A statement?
Letting go has many meanings for us. Letting go of (ex-drummer) Wouter. Letting go creatively. For me personally. As a songwriter I have a clear idea of how I hear a track. But we worked with a producer called Rutger Hoedemakers and looked at the songs from a completely different point of view. For me it’s sometimes hard to let go of the initial idea. But it was a great learning experience. We’re extremely happy with the end result.

Come the second album, if we see the three EPs you released in a few months from each other in 2012 as one album, there’s always “the difficult second album” talk. I do not hear a lot of difficulties on We let go. So was it smooth sailing, the writing and recording?
The writing is always easy between Koen and me. But the recording process wasn’t always smooth. But I mean that in a good way. We really pushed ourselves. And I’m happy we did. We recorded it last summer. And it was just a very busy time. Doing shows and going straight to Berlin to record. There was no break. In hind-sight it was a little over the top. But I guess it also helped the creative energy.

You recorded the album In Berlin. Any interesting stories about the city and recording there?
I love Berlin. I’ve worked there a lot as a songwriter. Still do. And the city is just bursting with young energy. It was great to record the album there. Mainly because you’re all in this different place together. There’s no signing out. You stay in the zone all the time. And of course we had our serious share of partying.

In the online bio you write that producer Rutger Hoedemaekers brought out the best in you. Can you give us some examples of what happened or changed during that process?
He made us rethink our parts. Instead of just strumming the chords. He pushed us to think out of the box. His own inexperience with recording a band helped to make the process more unorthodox.

For the single ‘I call you honey’ the band invited a second producer, Niels Zuidebroek. What was the reason for the extra producer/production?
We wanted a different mix. And he added some stuff. And we recorded some extra brass parts. We’re really happy with what Niels did.
By the way.. Even though Dave didn’t play on the album he did mix one track called WHEREVER YOU GO. So he’s still on the album. ;-)

We let go is released through a record company, V2. What are the major differences for you as a band and what made you change release (and recording?) tactics?
We talked to a lot of labels. And V2 just demanded to work with us. They really loved the record. And their positive energy just felt right. We’ve  got a great team around us now. It feels great to share the load. We used to do everything ourselves. And it just takes the fun away. The thing we like the most is writing music and doing shows.

There are more instruments and sounds on We let go. One of the results of a record company behind the band?
No. Not at all. The record company came in a the very last moment when everything was recorded and mixed. No, that was really our own choice.

Again there are many different influences shining through on this record. Were there specific songs or artists you listened to during the writing and recording process?
Paul Simon, Graceland. Vampire Weekend. Some hip hop stuff. 90’s R&B. We wanted to take our 60’s oriented style to a new place.

I notice that there are songs on the album that on the one hand are about commitments in relationships and others about the end of relations. Two important themes within the band when writing?
Yeah! It’s constantly about Koen and me. Koen was ending his relationship and I was entering a more serious chapter. With getting a baby, etc. So the album is really about those two different points of view.

Frank Jr. Is this a song about Frank Sinatra Jr.? If so, what made you write a song about him and if not who is the song about?
Haha! No, actually it’s not about Frank Sinatra… It’s more a song about getting older and losing yourself. Sort of looking back and trying to re-find your younger – more naïve – self.

During the spring tour show in The Hague you did a 100% acoustic interlude. A conscious choice?
Yeah! We love doing that. There’s a new tour coming next spring and we’ll be doing more of those 100% acoustic interludes. It’s the closest you get to the people you play for. And people seem to love it.

What are your plans for the coming year?
Touring in Spring and a lot of festival in the Summer. And of course promote the album and release some more singles. We can’t wait! 2015 here we come!!!

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