On the same New York trip that threw up The Journal of Popular Noise, I was also fortunate enough to be introduced to The Sundelles. Originally from San Diego, the Brooklyn band carve out their own distinct take on hook laden and sun drenched, three-chord rock and roll.
Main songwriter and guitarist/vocalist Sam Sundos agreed to tell me the stories of how the band formed, how they record and releases on 1928 recordings (Browns, The Soft Pack). Set phasers to 'awwwwwwww'.
-You're not all from NYC, how did the three of you meet?
The Sundelles started in Southern California. I moved from San Diego to attend college at the University of California Riverside. I started playing solo acoustic shows around the area and then started getting different friends to learn the songs and play shows with me, the line up would change show to show. It was fun but eventually I needed some serious stability so I got the first line up together and that included davey on bass. Davey was a cute tattooed boy in the music scene: worked at a local record store, knew a lot about all different types of music and owned a bass head, no bass but a bass head, I already had a bass so it worked out. So he played in The Sundelles until I broke it up out there and moved out to New York.
I moved out here thinking I could just find musicians on subway platforms to play with me but that didnt work out. I ended up running into Davey randomly in Brooklyn, ran up behind him shook him up a bit grabbed a beer. He had just broken it off with a girl in Boston and came to New York on a whim. We decided it was fate, so he went back to California to tie up some loose ends and was back in New York the following week.
I was still having my friend, Ryan from 1928 recordings, sit in on drums but he had his focus on his own band The Browns. After looking through classified ads looking for drummers and emailing tons of different people I drunkenly text messaged my close friends little brother in San Diego, who I knew played drums, to come out to New York and play drums for The Sundelles. a few days later I got a call from him asking me if I was serious, I said I was he was out here within a couple of weeks.
Davey and Trevor met at Trevor's third Sundelle practice.
-Was there a specific way that you wanted The Sundelles to sound like in the beginning, what were the influences for band?
When I first started recording I just wanted to have a shit load of harmonized vocals layered on top each other. I didnt really know how to play guitar that well I knew chords from learning Beatles songs and I knew how to hold a steady beat on drums using the floor tom and the snare, I'd throw in some ride if I was feeling fancy but really I think the "sound" we have has just comes with dealing with different limitations and not letting them get in the way of trying to achieve something.
We dont have people around us to pay for a proper recording. We have a Macbook with Garage Band. I dont have microphones nor do I necessarily care to learn how to properly mic things, I have an internal mic, so we use that. It stays simple keeps it more fun. We arent married to any certain "sound" though, the songs stand on their own, I'm waiting to properly record them one day, pop sensation all over the place. Maybe I should just learn how to deal with mics.
As far as influence its across the board really, all 3 of us dont agree on anything.
-How would you describe the music that you make currently?
Since moving to New York I havent been afraid of being loud musically or vocally. its loud all the damn time here. That has definitely translated into the music. I'd like to think we make loose loud fun music but we keep it tight where it counts, you know what I mean?
-The band are based in Brooklyn - does it differ living there in comparison with other parts of NY?
When I first moved out here I stayed on a friends couch in the East Village of Manhattan for about a month and then moved to Brooklyn, Davey and Trevor both moved to Brooklyn right off the bat, I think they also had stints of crashing on couches in Queens and Manhattan as well, but for the majority of the time we have been out here I think this all of what we really know of New York. It's cool. I can tell you it's different from California, you feel like you are living in a neighborhood, whether you are part of it or not. I live in Greenpoint, predominantly a Polish neighborhood. You might not have priority in line at the market but they know what kind of cigarettes you like. its the small things.
-You've had dealings with 1928 recordings and had offers from other labels, yet you still remain unsigned. Have you just not had the right deal or is something in the pipeline?
Our dealings with 1928 recordings is great, it started out as our friends project, its something we can always trust, its nice to feel like that. Care is going to be put in and felt with every release put out on 1928. We have only put out 2 songs on a tape with them about 2 years ago. We do have another couple songs being released on a limited edition tape that is coming out in June and those MP3's will be out for download. And we are talking about putting out a 7" with them in September. It's exciting, it's going to be the first time I get to hold professionally printed material of my own work.
As far as signing anything, we arent against it in any way but we are still a young band. Our songs are getting better and better. As excited as we are when we do get phone calls or emails we dont want to jump into something too early without taking time to figure ourselves out. Ideally it would be great to get a few 7" records out, get our music out there and then see where we end up. We know we are worth it. It's a marathon baby.
Sam Sundos (Guitars/Vocals)
-You cover The Undertones' Teenage Kicks which, in UK is one of the most famous songs from the punk era, how did you come across it, what did you like about it?
To tell you the truth, I had heard the song a few times but never knew it was The Undertones, loved the song but just one of those things - I'm lazy sometimes. But we were thinking different songs to cover and Davey showed us his favorite song, The Undertones' Teenage Kicks. We all loved it immediately, we identified with it and its simple, beautifully simple. It's great.
-What do you expect to be doing with the rest of the year, will you be touring/releasing anything at all?
We are looking forward to keeping busy playing as many shows as possible whenever and where ever we can. We love this so much. Nothing is confirmed as far as touring or releases except for the 7" release on 1928 in September which we are super excited about. We are all in a good head space right now, and Im a firm believer in the law of attraction, sky's the limit.
...it sure is, boys. it sure is.