(Photo Credit: Shane Gardner)
We had the opportunity to interview alt band Sunbathers for an Artist Spotlight feature! Sunbathers is lead vocalist Sean Lynott, drummer Shohsei Oda, and guitarists Tim Boaté and Pete Mindnich. The band will be releasing their new concept EP The Pool Party, on Friday June 7. The Pool Party incorporates more electronic tropes into Sunbathers sound. Check out The Pool Party and check out our interview with them below!
1. How did you come to pursue music and how long have you been at it?
Sean: Together we've been making music for a handful of years, but independently we're all lifelong musicians. I suppose you just pursue it because you have to. It's sort of a pipe dream but it's also the most meaningful thing to all of us. We love it.
Shohsei: Once you discover it, it's hard to want to do anything else.
2. Could you walk us through your process of writing music?
Sean: There's really no formula to it as it tends to happen differently each time. Sometimes a melody will come to me while I'm in the car, sometimes a lyric idea while I'm in the shower. I just try to absorb as much as possible, music and environment, and let things develop out of what feels like thin air.
Shohsei: We've started songs from chord progressions and spontaneous jams during practice. I think our best songs are the ones that develop most naturally, where we feel like we're "discovering" the song more than "putting it together."
3. What artists have inspired you in your career?
Sean: It's an endless list, we turn to all sorts of bands and artists for inspiration: Phoenix, Radiohead, The 1975, Frank Ocean, Tears for Fears, Deafheaven, Kim Petras, The Night Game, and even Usher.
4. Do you have any favorite music gear (guitars, amps, effects pedals, keyboards, etc.) that you love to use? If so, what’s the story on them?
Sean: I start writing nearly all of my demos with this little Akai LPK-25 USB keyboard, actually. It's a tiny MIDI keyboard, looks like a toy, but I can just plug it in, pull up Ableton Live, and start ripping. It's so portable and truly plug-and-play. I love it.
We're also eyeing a vintage Yamaha synth on the web, though. Curious to see where that will take our writing process.
Another is my TC Helicon Voicelive Touch. It has a harmony engine as well as hardtune effects, that I love to run my voice into. Some of the results of messing around with that pedal will be making an appearance on our upcoming EP.
5. Can you describe the vibe at your live shows? Also, what do you enjoy most about a venue when you do a show?
Sean: It's a festive environment. We want everyone to engage with us, to dance, and to have fun. But also, no jerks. Fortunately that hasn't really been a problem, but we'd definitely say people have to be respectful of one another or they're out--no nonsense there. Honestly, pre-show a good green room is the most appreciated aspect of a venue. Having a space to catch our breath definitely makes a difference.
Shohsei: When people sing along to our songs, that's got to be one of the best feelings. It literally unifies the crowd and the band in a singular experience. Venue-wise, any club where everyone has a good line of sight during the show is great.
6. What is one thing that you want the public to know about your music?
Shohsei: Hmm... good question. We draw inspiration from so many different styles of music and don't want to limit ourselves in what we're "allowed" to write. There are stylistic differences between some of the songs on our upcoming EP and the one we put out in March, and some of the songs we're working on now don't sound like anything we've put out before. Our guiding principle is simply that we have to love it, whether it fits neatly into a genre categorization or not. That's what makes this fun, and what would be the point of pursuing this if it wasn't fun?
7. Do you have any recent/upcoming projects or performances you would like fans to know about?
Sean: We've got our second EP of the year coming out on June 7th, titled The Pool Party, and a single to follow on June 21st. We're playing a show in Baltimore at Metro Gallery on June 7th, the same day the EP comes out, with a whole host of great bands. More dates are coming soon. Stay tuned.