“We’ve got glassware / for every season.” About a minute into the opening track “Showering with Wine”, Sunshine lets you know you’re in for something different, better, special. Bright, beautiful, irreverent, unconstrained by musical dogma, the new self-titled LP from Sunshine drops a fat slab of… well, sunshine into your lap and DARES you to dislike it. Hint: you can’t. Hazy, sunny guitars and bright but breathy vocals and sparkling choruses, one wonders where all this came from? We harassed the members of Vancouver band Sunshine about the genesis of this project, and their plans going forward.
DKFM: Okay, obvious question, badly asked: What’s all this then? It’s as though Sunshine dropped out of the sky, unbeknownst to anyone! Where did you come from, how did this project come together, and how did you keep it a secret?
Trevor Risk (lead vocal, guitar): Yeah I suppose we should have given a little warning, like “WARNING: OUR PARENTS DON’T LIKE THIS MUSIC, SO YOURS PROBABLY WON’T EITHER!” or “WARNING: AT ONE POINT THIS ALBUM RHYMES THE WORDS ‘PARKING LOT’ WITH ‘A LOT’!” I don’t think we were trying to keep this a secret, but we kind of got so wrapped up in making each other giggle at stupid, repetitive jokes and writing loud (but pretty) songs that we almost forgot to play some shows and put the music out there.
DKFM: The “big fat slab of sunshine” question: are you all as happy and carefree as you come across on record? I’m sensing you’re pretty straightforward, as this album is properly polished and arrives fully-formed, but one would guess you spend at least 50 percent of your time just enjoying what you do. True, or well off the mark?
TR: It’s closer to 90 percent. You know those annoying people who are three weeks into a relationship and they try and feed you that “Oh, we never fight!” nonsense as if three weeks is actually a reasonable representation of a relationship’s demeanour? We’re those people, but two years into the relationship. There’s an unwritten rule in Sunshine that we can’t go 60 seconds without turning whatever we’re talking about into a big fucking joke. You’d think that would get frustrating, but we’re not smart enough to have that be an issue. We kind of have the attention spans of inbred puppies.
Gillian Damborg (keyboard, vocals): I’d say the music does sum it up – we are all pretty happy, forward people who would rather be laughing and getting silly than being all down and sad. Plus its harder to be angry and maybe we’re just kind of lazy. Plus we actually like each other.
Tyler Quarles (Bass, vocals): True, we do actually like each other. When we get together, the stresses that we carried earlier throughout the day seem to disappear into a mosh-pit of giggles. That being said, maybe we should get our rehearsal space checked for a gas leak?
DKFM: There are a number of influences that lightly infuse your music, but it isn’t derivative in any way. Hints of shoegaze, a pinch of grunge, and a 60’s garage sensibility can all be found here. What bands have you followed that colour your sound?
TR: I actually think we’re maybe the most derivative, but the funny thing is that the influences critics seem to think we have, are usually off the mark. Like, My Bloody Valentine pops up a lot in our reviews, but apart from maybe a few cuts off Ecstacy and Wine, and the fact that the first time I saw a girl’s private parts was while listening to Loveless, they’re not a big influence on me. I still haven’t listened to their new album, in fact. The following artists were either a loose or direct inspiration to this record: Frank Black, Giorgio Moroder, Rusty (the Canadian grunge act from the nineties), the Chantays, Jonathan Richman, The Dandy Warhols, and Weekend (NOT the Canadian trip-hop act The Weeknd. Please make sure that’s printed). (Ed.- done)
TQ: It would be hard to excuse my steady musical diet of New Order, The Stills, Raveonettes, and Siamese Dream – era Smashing Pumpkins. So I won’t.
DKFM: No doubt there’s a big demand on your time, your record release party was Wednesday night! Tour plans? Vancouver, the provinces, even further?
TR: Yeah we’d love to tour, we’re just trying to get all our tortoises in a row on that one. Can I admit that I have a fear of riding in cars? Well I just did, and I’m not just saying that to sound more like Marc Bolan. Either way, I should address that before we tour.
GD: Yeah we’d love to tour. I want to get into a van jammed with gear and four sweaty guys and spend every day for two weeks with them. It’s every girl’s dream!
TQ: I think we are all a little freaked out by how much land mass North America has and to feel we have to take it on all in one go. Possibly a few smaller tours localized to particular zones would be a good start. We’ll see, it’s all in the works!
DKFM: What’s been your most gratifying experience as a band thus far?
TR: Our song “Arnprior” is about my tiny little hometown, which I guess is a bit of a hokey subject, but I don’t have a lot of pain or heartbreak in my life and after penning two or three songs about getting wicked hosed with my girlfriend, I thought I should expand my content. Anyway, the newspaper in Arnprior (a town of 6000. Well, 7500 now) published a little blurb about the song. I mean, they did just copy the content from a feature we had in another magazine, and quoted me from a piece I did about five years ago before Sunshine even existed, but it was still satisfying; their just-use-Google journalistic style notwithstanding.
GD: I think our first show was one of my favorite experiences. Seeing all the people I love in one room is a cool thing, and kind of eerie because that generally only happens at funerals and weddings. Actually, I hope my wedding and funeral are EXACTLY like that!
TQ: We are all pretty busy people in various career and social commitments. To me (and it may sound lame) us taking on this as more then a side project over two years ago was a really gratifying experience. That moment of commitment was the best. We would never treat playing with each other or doing shows a “job” but getting to practice having eaten, on time, and every week, it helps to think of it as one so things get done and not pushed to the back burner – like every other thing I’ve tried to take on. It’s been easy to keep up any sort of positive momentum when you play with 4 other people you respect so immensely that you wouldn’t want to let them down by doing a half-assed job. See, there’s that word “job” again. Jeeze!
DKFM: Tell us about the promo photo we’re featuring. The whole crew is in bed, save for one member, fully dressed, examining the gatefold of Rush’s “2112” LP while the others look on in varying stages of bemusement and horror. What on earth is THAT about?
TR: That’s a subtle tribute to my favourite video of all time, “Sugarcube” by Yo La Tengo. There’s a scene when Bob Odenkirk is reading a Rush album as poetry to students in the quad of the “rock school” that they’re attending. I actually can’t stand Rush, even though they’re Canadian. In that photo I’m actually legitimately laughing at the lyrics I’m reading. Rush are agood example of why you shouldn’t let drummers write your lyrics.
DKFM: Anything you’d like to share with your current and future fans?
TR: Sorry that we’re so hard to search for on the internet. I know that “Sunshine” isn’t a Google-friendly term, and there’s that Czech band with the same name that Hype Machine and iTunes has us listed as, and Grooveshark thinks we’re the S Club 7 album Sunshine and all the other work you’d potentially need to put in just to lend us your ear. So if you see any of us in person, we’ll buy you a drink or look after your cat as a sign of appreciation.
GD: I love cats.
TQ: #sunshinesucks (and thank you for having us, cheers!)
Find Sunshine on Facebook
Follow them on Twitter
Most importantly, find their self-titled release at Bandcamp