Sun Drug Interview

Sun Drug, a band out of LA, isn’t really an electronic dance music group; that being said, their new track, Wildman, definitely pushes the boundaries, as it fades the line between rock and electronic music. In recognition of their music video release for the song, Wildman, we wanted to get some Q&A time with the band…
1. Artists reach a certain level of quality where they are undeniably above par when compared to their peers. In my opinion, Sun Drug is at that level. What do you think had the biggest influence on your personal musical improvement throughout the years? And what do you think sets Sun Drug apart from it’s peers?

Our close friend Rocco Deluca was a huge influence.  He came into the studio last year and taught us lessons about music we will use forever.  He pushed us to believe that we have all the tools we need to make our own records and that is a huge reason why Wildman came out the way it did.  the four of us in sun drug have been playing together for quite a few years now and i am really proud that we have stuck together, i guess that would be something that sets us apart in our community. -Collin

2. A chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link and the same goes for a band. I’m assuming it was of no coincidence that the band as a whole is very talented. How was Sun Drug formed?

Essentially the band was formed because of an apartment complex in Silverlake that a few of us had moved into.  We ended up spending many nights there drinking wine and writing songs together.  It was a pretty hilarious combination of people from different upbringings all working together for the love of music.  We started a band called Vanaprasta and played in the Silver Lake community for a few years.  Creative differences brought that project to an end and out of that Sun Drug was born. – Collin

3. Watching the video for “Wildman” it is easy to appreciate the amount of collaboration that went into the project. I saw that you guys have been working with Brian Randall to visually represent your music in video. What is the creative process like when working with someone like Brian Randall?

When we originally started wrapping up mixes on our EP, I knew we needed a fresh visual element to accompany the tunes. Brian plays in another local band called Green Gerry, and he had previously shown me a lot of the videos he had worked on before simply using an XBox Kinect and a DSLR. After he did the first video for “Easy in Your Attitude,” I pegged him to work with me on the “Wildman” video. I wanted to do a single-take style video of Steven as his Wildman persona with sequenced lights and crazy visuals that would represent what was happening in the song sonically. Brian brought in the idea of using projection mapping, which helps give the video this really interactive, physical feel to it. We didn’t do any effects in post—the whole thing was in camera, which we were super proud of pulling off.

The process itself basically consisted of Brian moving into my living room for about a month while we figured out the technical aspects of the video. The creative part was actually the easiest since we knew what we wanted to accomplish from the get go. Our visions for the video and how the visuals should worked aligned in a really natural, complimentary way. Figuring out how to pull it off literally as we were in pre-production was basically a month long period of trial and error and the technology would frustrate us at times, but seeing it all come together was pretty fucking awesome. -Taylor

4. What is the creative process like when recording a song like “Wildman”?

Wildman from a songwriting stand point was born actually a few years ago.  We spent almost two years working on how we wanted to produce ourselves, we spent a lot of time debating the role and importance of electric gtrs in this recordings because it’s something we felt was the “Sun Drug” sound.  Wildman went through version that were very bare, just drums vocals and bass for most of the track.  We sped it up and slowed it down but ultimately we wanted to find the perfect fit between rock and an electronic music.  All of the hard hitting grind stuff you hear in the verses is electric guitars (cameron has some sweet secret pedals we use a lot) which we spent a lot of time dialing in.  We wanted people to feel like they cant tell whats a gtr and whats a synth. – Collin
5. What musicians had the biggest influence on you growing up? Do you think they still influence your music?

For me Michael Jackson was undoubtedly my biggest influence.  He definitely still influences me today and probably does so more now then ever.  When we were mixing the EP at my house, I spent time deconstructing the mix of many of the earlier Michael Jackson stuff and trying to replicate that feel.  Specifically how a live kit was mixed with sampled percussion and also how his vocal production was treated. – collin

6. What does Sun Drug have planned for the future?

Right now we are currently finishing up recording/producing another batch of music and then jumping back into writing for a bit.  We are in a place where the music is pouring in which is really great so i’d like to ride that out a bit. We have also been setting up warehouse shows in LA which has been a blast.  Since the video with brian, we have been experimenting with incorporating more lights that we are running through ableton so having a warehouse to really curate the set is something we are really interested in continuing to do.  We also have a crazy idea for another music video we are going to shoot for a song called “soaked” that’s in the works. – Collin

7. Undoubtedly, you have been working with some very talented people. Is there any one in particular that you would hope to work with one day?
We’d love to work with Dave Fridmann to some capacity.  Or record up at Dan Lanois house, that’s a pretty magical spot and its in our town.  I never want to not explore every opportunity or sound like we know everything but we are really inspired right now by doing as much of the work ourselves.  It’s a scary thing sometimes and can also be insanely frustrating but the product we are producing has never been more gratifying so a large part of me wants to fight to keep it that way as long as we can. – Collin
8. Any last words?

Look out for EP’s commercial release coming out in October!

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