I have been speaking with Kristian of Sun K...
about the band’s new single, High in the City, and its background; how the band got together and whether the band are influenced by any particular artists – Kristian selects an album that is especially important and meaningful and ends the interview with a great track.
I ask whether Sun K will be touring and what defines the Canadian music scene; which rising acts we need to get behind and, away from the music, there is any chance to chill out and kick back a little bit.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Heyo! It's just Kristian here answering this. I’m doing pretty good. The week has been great. We're really excited to have the music video for High in the City out with our new tour dates. Plus, the Leafs and the Raptors both won last night, so, ya know...
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We're Sun K and we're a Toronto-based Rock 'n' Roll band.
Where did the name, ‘Sun K’, come from and how did the band get together?
Sun K started as a moniker for myself (Kristian) when I was doing solo stuff. It's meant to be a shout-out to the true forefathers of Rock ‘n’ Roll - the Blues and Jazz gods that inspired music of the '60s/'70s and beyond. When I was really digging into the history of music in the twentieth century, I kept coming back to artists like Robert Johnson, Son House; Sun Ra, Bessie Smith...
High in the City is your latest track. Is there a backstory behind this one at all?
This track has actually been kicking around in my demo box for years. I had a Samba version at one point; a lo-fi bedroom Psych-Pop version... I was doing some co-writing with Colin MacDonald from The Trews for this record and, when I showed him this tune, he told me it was a hit and I had to put it on the new album. Lyrically, it's about falling in love with your city and also about...err, how do I say this tactfully (?) - enhancing your mood with some of Canada’s perfectly legal and delectable Jazz-cabbage.
Do you feel there might be an album later in the year?
We'll have new content to share soon but I don't see a full album coming until 2020.
Are there any particular artists that inspire Sun K’s sound would you say?
Our first record was a bit more Folk-driven with influences like Neil Young, Wilco and Lou Reed. This record is more rockin’ with more Psych influences - we were listening to bands like The War on Drugs, Tame Impala; Ty Segall and Kurt Vile. I've been pretty into artists like Tyler, the Creator and Post Malone lately, so who knows what L.P. three will sound like.
What would you say are the best qualities of the Canadian music industry?
It's so small that everybody knows everybody. Usually, it's a good thing...
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Meeting Cone for the first time when he ‘discovered’ me playing to a completely empty bar is pretty high up there. Also, opening for The Sheepdogs to ten-thousand people on N.Y.E. was pretty rad. Opening for Houndmouth last year as well was definitely a big highlight. Looking forward to making more memories!
Which one album means the most to you would you say (and why)?
Shuggie Otis - Inspiration Information. It was the soundtrack to my wife and me falling in love.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Make sure you want to do it. Have as much fun as you can but keep your head on straight. Make as many connections as you can and take every piece of advice with a grain of salt. Most importantly, don't get distracted by all the other BS - keep creating, keep writing; keep perfecting what you do. The rest will fall into place. And, if you don't want to do it, cut your hair and get a real job.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Tame Impala. My rider would have socks...always need fresh socks on tour. And a portal into Kevin Parker's mind.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
We've got the High in Your City tour comin’ up in Feb/Mar that spans Ontario, Quebec and the East Coast of Canada.
Might you come and play in the U.K. later in 2019?
We would love to! Know any English bands that would take us on the road?
IN THIS PHOTO: boygenius/PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Nahhhhh, not really. Even when I'm doing other stuff I'm still listening to music. I've been getting really into plants hahah and have a sweet little indoor garden that really helps me chill out. My unwinding situation is a little bit like what goes down in our new music video, less biking though..
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Aht Uh Mi Head by Shuggie Otis please and thank you
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