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Sounds Like Sunset


Sounds Like Sunset are a rad band Dave from the band answer my questions so read on peeps.  These cats are the real deal music is excellent.

1. Are you happy how things have gone so far?

Yeah I think so! Making this music makes us happy and to have music coming out & still being invited to play shows makes us happy.

2. Do you think it’s all about the songwriting or does timing and the right place at the right time has a key getting your music out there?

I’m still not sure how all that works! Probably a bit of both though – but there’s no point in flogging your music to people if you haven’t built it properly first, so you’ve got to have good songs to begin with. Songs require hard work and imagination though – even seemingly simple songs – so you see a lot of lazy people come & go pretty quickly in the scene. Anyone else who survives those first jolts of reality & still hangs around is probably worth paying attention to.

3. How important to you are music blogs in helping get your music out there?

I guess they’re the fanzines of our time, so of course they’re crucial, yeah! They’re run by passionate music fans & usually for zero cash. The blogs are also less likely to play favourites the way the bigger music web/press organisations often do.

4. What inspired you guys in the first place to give music a shot?

I think the main part of being turned onto it was through seeing bands play live, and then having them come over & chat for a bit afterwards. Anything down to earth like that which knocked down that silly barrier between performer and fan was huge for me. Then stuff like Sebadoh & Pavement & seeing these guys just making amazingly simple records with whatever tools they had lying around – just being resourceful & getting on with it – that was really empowering. It inspired me enough in 1994 to go out & buy a 2nd hand cassette 4 track and get started. The other guys in the band are from punk/hardcore backgrounds too and I’m sure they’d each share a similar story.

5. Having tools like Soundcloud – does it make your job easier when trying to gain new listeners to your music?

Yeah I think so. It’s a powerful way of sharing stuff really fast and I guess it’s like a new form of radio now.

6. Do you think releasing EP’s and singles is a good way of keep momentum going before releasing a full length or spending time out of the spotlight writing songs is better?

Haha, I think we’ve had our fair share of success trying & failing using both of these approaches! I think it depends on your audience and what your “image” means to you. Some bands like to engage continually with the fanbase and they’ll say that’s the best way, while other bands like to vanish and work in secret to retain some kind of aura or mystique and then make the occasional appearance. I’m really not sure, I just think either way these are just sales techniques – and you still have to get on with it and make good art and play good shows.

7. How does a song happen for you?

It almost never comes when I want it to. It usually happens when I’m kind of distracted or I’ve only got my mind half on something. Driving, walking around, making coffee. A tune will pop into my head and I’ll run to my dictaphone or voice recorder app or whatever and quickly strum it & hum it down so I don’t forget. Just a million snippets – and I listen back a few weeks later & if I’m still humming it a few days later, it’s usually a keeper. Words are the hardest bit though, and I need to get into the “lyrics” stage really quickly or otherwise I lose the momentum & I almost never come back & finish it.

8. Are there moments where you’re just not in the mood for writing music and need to do something else before you jump back into songwriting mode?

Maybe – I’m almost never “in the mood” and I just kind of let it grow unconsciously these days. It is good to work different ways though. Like when I used to get the train to work each day – whether I was in the mood or not I knew that was basically dedicated Walkman/notepad time an hour each way to & from the city each day. I’d be listening to demos over & over and scrawling page after page of potential song words. Things like racing to finish a line or a verse before the train stops at the next station and stuff. Just mixing up the approach, setting silly little deadlines for myself…trying different things to stay motivated or focused. I think a creative process works best when you’re not in ideal conditions, and I think you should work on it even when you’re not in the mood because sometimes great things come from that.

9. Do you think YouTube has helped to save the music industry?

I’m not sure really – it probably helps people share music with each other but I’m not sure how all that would end up translating into revenue for the labels. I’m imagining the ads pay some money to the labels and /or the bands – or then again is that just another Spotify-style billionth-of-a-decimal-point-of-a-cent per click revenue model type thing? It does help the guerrilla labels & promoters though ‘cos (for the time being) they’ve got access to pretty much the same flashy multimedia tools as the majors – it’s so quick & immediate and it keeps everyone kind of honest I guess.

10. Do you think being serious with your music has helped you and is it still fun to you guys from when you were starting out?

It’s a bit like that Dandy Warhols quote in the movie DiG – “when it’s good it’s fun – and when it’s bad it’s funny” or something like that. It’s like any creative thing – all the hard work is done when nobody’s watching, when nobody’s there slapping you on the back & telling you how great you are – but then there are those gold moments about 5% of the time where time stands still and of a sudden it all just clicks. I think by the time we started this band we were pretty jaded & cynical to begin with so anything on top of gigs & riders & the odd bit of airplay is still a bit of a bonus really!

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