So here are the questions for my interview with Chris from Sunday League:
Hi Chris, I’ve finally prepared some questions for you, any problems, let me know ASAP:
Firstly, for those who are unaware of Sunday League, just outline a little bit about the band, when you started, releases etc.
In terms of the scene that is emerging, there seems to be a strong ethical backbone to the bands emerging, do you feel the band has certain ethics, and if so, do you feel these influence the way you record and perform?
What other bands really influence you and why?
Vocally, I get a real ‘Kinsella’ vibe, if you could chose one of their bands to listen to on repeat, which would it be, and why?
When you write your songs, is there a regular process to how it works?
You recently had to replace your drummer, with Joe having moved to London. How is the transition to working with Steve? How do you feel he’s affected the writing process?
You write the lyrics, are they influenced by the music the band present you with, or are they pre-written and you work them to the song?
When you play live, often you don’t face the crowd, the band face inward instead, this creates a sort of anonymity between yourself and the crowd, Is it a conscious decision to almost become a member of the crowd, watching the band play?
You do a lot in terms of arranging gigs for other bands to play with you, do you feel a real community vibe, or is it difficult to get along and arrange gigs?
Finally, I heard you recently arranged for Algernon Cadwallader to play a matinee show in Newcastle in July, they’re a big band in the American scene. You must feel quite privileged. Do you feel a sense of international community? And do you plan on trying to get more bands from across the band to play over here?
Here are his responses:
Sunday League started as Foxy, Mark, myself, and Joe. We started practicing/writing in early 2010, with the sole intention of doing a 'Cap'n Jazz band'. We started playing shows shortly after and put out our first demo, entitled d(Emo), shortly after that. In September, Joe moved to London to do his third year, and we went on a break. We played a show while Joe was home for Christmas, and spoke to him about us maybe getting a new drummer, which he was totally cool with. So then, we got Steve.
Thinking about band ethics, we are strictly DIY. We each have backgrounds in the punk/HC scene, and I guess that's where it comes from. In terms of how it influences where we are as a band, it's paramount; From putting on our own shows to the production of D(Emo). It was completely in house, from recording and engineering to manufacturing of packaging. It's a little rough looking (And sounding) but it's honest. I think DIY ethics in music and honesty in music go hand in hand.
We are totally an influence-driven band, simply because we all love this stuff, haha. Our influences are pretty far reaching individually, but I think collectively, we're generally just trying to copy Algernon Cadwallader and Cap'n Jazz, with a bit of Snowing in there. We really like Hall & Oates and Rihanna too.
One Kinsella band- Cap'n Jazz, hands down. I have love for all of the Kinsella bands, Joan of Arc have a bigger back catalogue and American Football are pretty fucking magical, but it has to be the Cap'.
Our process, if we have one, generally starts with Foxy- he'll play us something sweet on his Beatles guitar, and we agree that it's really good. We then hash it out in practice, and speed parts up and slow other parts down, until it sounds just right. From my point of view, I generally write the vocal melody at practice during these sessions, but the actual lyrics are generally always changing. They might start with a line or a passage I've been playing with for a while, and go from there, but I don't really 'finish' writing songs, I just let them swim free, haha. I just consider myself really lucky to be hanging with such good musicians, Joe was amazing and Steve is dynamite too. He's only been in the band about a month and he's already tight as shit.
When we play live, I don't face the crowd, and I sometimes worry that it might come off as arrogant or rude, but honestly, it's simply because I get nerves, ha. I read once that when Fugazi (Or it may have been Embrace) played live, they went through a phase of facing each other, forming a circle. I like that idea, keeps my face out of view, haha.
We put DIY shows on before we started Sunday League so putting shows on for our own band was only an eventuality. Again, it just comes down to loving music and wanting to perpetuate momentum for a scene we'd love to see blossom.
Yes, the Algernon show! We're very excited about this one. Algernon, as I said, are one of the biggest influences for us as a band, and the thought of playing with them and putting them on is crazy. It's July 24th, and we have possibly one of the sickest line ups in the UK right now if you're into this kind of thing.
I'd say there are definitely close links between the scene which has been bubbling in the States for a while and the currently blossoming UK scene, with more bands being booked from the US and more home grown bands popping up all the time. I think there will definitely be more US bands over here soon, I'm kind of keeping my fingers crossed for a Snowing tour this year, haha.
Thanks Ben, awesome questions!
So yeah, with this I can start making up some layouts, he's getting a new band photo together, so I should have a nice high-res image to work with.