Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Sunday Conversation with Sun Gods In Exile

It wasn't that long ago that our very own master of mayhem, Woody, declared for fans of Tank and the Rods to rejoice. Their new favorite band had arrived and went by the cosmic moniker of Sun Gods in Exile. Moments later, with the band's debut Bright Light, White Lines blaring across the Ripple Office speakers, we lost ourselves in the utter abandon of a balls-out rock and roll record. Needless to say, we couldn't wait to have the Sun Gods themselves pop on over for a nice Ripple Summer bar-B-Q and to take up some space on our infamous red leather interview couch. Let's here what guitarist Tony has to say.

When I was a kid, growing up in
a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkle, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears. What have been your musical epiphany moments?

When I was 8 or 9 years old this teenager invited all the neighborhood kids to his garage where he poured a circle of gasoline lit it and played guitar along to Quiet Riot's "Metal Health (Bang your Head)." I was hooked after that! It was the craziest thing I had scene in the humdrum neighborhood and he almost burnt the garage down!

Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?

Generally Adam or I will come up with a guitar riff and we will work out the songs as a band with JL putting a lot of finishing touches on the songs. It comes pretty easy to us we have all been friends for a long time but we have great chemistry as a band. I wish we started this project a long time ago.

Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?

I personally listen to loads of rock and roll from the 50's to present and I have never been into learning covers but do get a lot of ideas from classic rock. We are not trying to do anything new or overly groundbreaking we just want to play the rock we love! For instance I love "Boogie No More" by Molly Hatchet I wanted a song like this and wrote one which doesn't sound anything like "Boogie" but has the same feel so it was inspiration without ripping it off.

Genre's are so misleading and such a way to pigeonhole bands. Without resorting to labels, how would you describe your music?

I consider us a straight forward classic rock and roll band.

What is you musical intention? What are you trying to express or get your audience to feel?

I would like the audience to feel good and get in a party mood. I want people to just forget about their problems and be able to get lost in good old rock and roll for 45 minutes.

In songwriting, how do you bring the song together? What do you look for in terms of complexity? Simplicity? Time changes?

Again we a very straight forward so we avoid odd time changes and complexity. We just want a good riff to build the song around.

The business of music is a brutal place. Changes in technology have made it easier than ever for bands to get their music out, but harder than ever to make a living? What are your plans to move the band forward? How do you stay motivated in this brutal business?

You know we talk about this a lot. It's not like the 70's where there was money to be had, people wanting new music and wanting to experience live gigs. I think the internet is the double edge sword; you can get heard around the world, but it only takes one person to leak your album and have everyone steal it. Also I think people are content watching their favorite bands on Youtube. The media is designed to get millions of people listen to teenagers sing covers ala American Idol. It's brutal if you don't love the music your playing you would never take on the financial strain of being in a band.

Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?

I was in a motorpunk band called Fury 440 in the 90's I got a pair of leather pants and decided to set em on fire like Nikki Sixx. So I have one of my punk rock buddies spray lighter fluid all over them while I am playing a solo well he lit them and it caught my pants of fire but also the rug covering the stage. It was pretty intense the pants were ruined my legs got some minor burns and we were asked to leave...

Where do you see you and your music going in ten years?
I am hoping we will be playing around the world with some minor degree of success.

What makes a great song?
I really have no fucking clue, but I think that AC/DC writes the greatest songs and their formula is unmatched, so whatever they're doing is what it takes to make a great song. We try and deliver huge guitar riffs followed by rock steady drums and then glue it together with JL's massive bass. This is our formula for a great song.

Tell us about the first song you ever wrote?

It would of been a very simple metal riff in the mid 80's from one of my early teenage metal bands Paid Prophecy, the song was "Pain Asylum."

What piece of your music are particularly proud of?

Without a doubt it would be our debut release Black Light White Lines I am very proud of this record. It was basically recorded in a weekend. All these bands spend months and months in the studio and lose all the raw power which makes rock great!

Who today, writes great songs? Why?

Again I think AC/DC proves to the world they still write great rock and roll classics. Where all the other 70's rock bands that are still around have resorting to writing songs to be hip to the times AC/DC writes albums that could be at home in 1979, 1989 and 2009.. I love early Sykynrd but you would never hear a song like "Red White and Blue" from AC/DC. I also would say our label mates Dixie Witch never cease to blow me away.

Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?

CD's. They are the most versatile for me. I can play em in the truck on a boom box or a home stereo. Plus you still get the artwork.

We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. When we come to your town, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?

I would say Bull Moose Music.

buy here: Black Light, White Lines

1 comment:

Woody said...

Bring back the flaming pants at the Brooklyn show on Zeptember 4!

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