I’m starting to sound like a broken record here but this year has been great for discovering new bands, acts and musicians who have shared with us their stories through music and their paths navigating one of the weirdest years ever lived.
Sun Traitors appeared like a hard rock ray of sunshine offering their Dark Matter EP for those looking for a more Aussie/Rock style to get them through and it resonated with our reviewer KJ Draven so much he’s keen to see what they do next.
But before we jump the gun on their future, let’s focus on the past and present moments that lead to them getting here as we chat with Jim Charlemagne (Vocals/Guitars) Iggy Torres (Drums/Backing Vocals) and Ed Sanchez (Bass) about releasing music during a pandemic, the Melbourne heavy music circuit and the gross love child who’d be spinning them on a daily basis…
Hey Sun Traitors, great to finally catch up. For those now in the know, tell us how the band came to be?
In 2014 Iggy arrived in Melbourne from Venezuela to continue his studies and Jimmy returned home from 3 years travelling in Canada and Scotland. Within weeks of Jimmy’s return he posted an ad looking for a drummer, Iggy responded and on their first awkward meeting Iggy thought to himself “who is this bogan?” and Jimmy thought “this guy better hit hard”.
We clicked on many musical levels especially our love for prog rock and metal and after a few years of jamming and writing we ended up forming Sun Traitors in 2018, later that year we recruited Ed (also from Venezuela) on bass…and the sound was then complete.
And the hard rock sound of your new Dark Matter EP instantly gave me old school Fooies/Pearl Jam vibes with an Aussie twang in the vocal delivery. Would you say they’re key players in your inspiration?
They’re definitely in the bunch of bands that serve as inspiration for what we do. We like to joke that if Foo Fighters, Motley Crue and Black Sabbath had a gross love child…the little fella would definitely listen to Sun Traitors.
You’ve been playing the Melb circuit for a couple of years now and there’s a big following for that pub/hard rock style you guys are honing in on (shout out to fellow rockers Torrential Thrill) do you find it easier to cater to that crowd or do you have plans to venture out of the genre and try something else?
In all honesty, finding our crowd has been a bit of a challenge because when we started to book gigs it seemed to be either full on hardcore lineups or benefits for wombats and plants. In the past 2 years that we’ve been gigging we’ve met a lot of bands that share a similar idea for how to put on a good show and we are now lucky enough to be part of a growing family of artists supported by Headstone Records.
We are looking forward to some hard hitting shows with our new stable mates in the near future. As far as genre hopping goes we don’t want to make the same record twice but it’s gotta be heavy and make people move.
Your Dark Matter EP was released earlier this year, how did COVID/Melb’s lockdown affect your release?
It has had both pros and cons to our EP release. Firstly this band is a live band and not being able to play gigs right after releasing singles and the EP was a bit of a let down as well as having to delay everything and changing our release plan entirely. On the other hand, everyone has been more connected than ever on social media and that allowed us to reach a wider audience, we also found more time to make a few wacky film clips.
But to make up for it, you’re planning to stream a performance of the EP in full, any update on when that’ll be happening?
Indeed! Thanks to the legends at our label Headstone Records we’ve planned to stream a live performance of the entire EP plus an extra goodie chucked in there, so make sure you follow our socials as it will be announced soon.
What’s been the biggest lesson you’ve learned about releasing music in a pandemic?
Murphy’s Law all the way! Anything can happen at any time and the best lesson would be to learn to adapt and if the plan works then ya laughing! If it doesn’t then learn from it and move on, always have a few options up your sleeve and be open to suggestions from others, once you make a decision go all in.
Will you be rushing back into the studio to work on a follow up release or debut album any time soon?
At the moment we’re just hoarding ideas and thanks to this mank virus we have LOTS of them already in development so we’ll continue to work on new stuff as well as honing our live shows in preparation for smashing the stage again.
With life slowly returning to normal in VIC, what’s the next steps for the band? gigs/shows asap etc?
Gigs would be the best thing for us. There are new fans that have jumped on board with us over this crazy year in lockdown that would love to see us play, but at the same time what’s happened to us has happened to every single band in Melbourne so we will see how the cookie crumbles and hopefully we get to sweat with the audience again!
Any final words?
Look out for our new mascot…he is popping up in a few videos and may make a cameo in the live stream of Dark Matter.
Intriguing… it better not be that Fooies/Motley/Sabbath love child…
Interview by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul
Stream Dark Matter here
Sun Traitors – Dark Matter EP tracklisting
1. Kaleidoscope Blues
2. Down to the Wire
3. Miss Trust
4. Dark Matter
5. In Your Name