An Interview With Sun Blood Stories

Having recently had Beatles on the brain, specifically the early years of their hysteria-inducing mop tops, I started to think about their early interviews. I started to look up some of those early pressers and was taken aback by just how many times the fab foursome was asked about money and marriage, but there were some gems amongst the clunkers. And so, inspired by the early press conferences of the Beatles, especially their US interviews, I decided to ask some of those very same questions to some of the best and brightest making music today.

I first came across Boise's Sun Blood Stories while taking a look at this year's Treefort lineup. It was pretty much love at first listen with these "High Desert experimental psych-fuzz"-makers. Their magnetic, colorful sonic machinations are both soothing and stirring, commanding attention whether they're caressing or crashing into your eardrums (which they do with equal enthusiasm).

The triad of Amber Pollard, Ben Kirby, and Jon Fust gamely took on the Beatles questions, read on to get acquainted with these new friends and make sure you check their Bandcamp for all sorts of goodies. Oh, and someone please invite these three to play some shows in Europe, won't you?

What has been your most exciting moment in the last year? 

Hearing It Runs Around the Room with Us on wax was definitely the highlight of our year. To date, that’s the most accurate representation of who we are as artists and beings. But pressing this album to vinyl would not have been possible if it had not been for the support of our fans. They funded the entire project through crowdsourcing in under 7 hours (we didn’t even think we’d make our goal in 2 weeks).

Who are your favorite recording artists? 

This is a really hard question to answer but at this exact moment in time - or if we’re talking about a period of time that spans the last year - we’d have to collectively agree that Kendrick Lamar has been on repeat since DAMN. was released.

Do you feel safe riding in airplanes? 

Whelp, Ben seems to think that every time the plane slows down or the landing gears move that the plane’s gonna drop out of the sky and Jon feels like everyone always dies in a plane crash, but Amber knows better. She grew up around planes.

Does every city look the same?

Not at all. Each city has their own flavor of architecture, traffic, and gentrification.

What message are you trying to get across, if any?

We’re all just speaking from our own experiences when writing and performing. None of us can truly understand or truly empathize with the experiences of our bandmates but we are comforted in the fact that we can all appreciate that life is beautiful because death is inevitable.

How would you describe yourself in one word?


Where would you like to go that you haven't gone yet? 

Europe. Well we love the thought of going to Europe. We don’t know cuz we never been there.

Do you feel that you're setting a new trend in music?

Probs no.

What kinds of guitars do you use? 

Amber got her Gretsch slide guitar from a pawn shop on Mother’s Day as gift to herself for being such a good mom that year. Ben only uses old guitars with unique tones and tuning issues because he likes to be difficult. Jon just waits until everyone falls asleep and pretends to play their guitars.

Does anybody ever ask you for advice?


How do you prefer for your fans to act at your concerts?

We have no preference on how anyone acts or doesn’t act as long as they are not promoting sexism, racism, Trumpism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, fatphobia, transphobia, or any other fuckery.

How do you go about writing your songs? 

A third of the time Ben brings a riff or an idea to band practice and then Jon and Amber fuck with it so much that Ben forgets it was his idea to begin with it. A third of the time Amber attempts to translate songs from her head without success and then bosses everyone around for days until they figure out how to read her mind. The final third of the time is a mixture of spontaneous combustion and the fact that everything Jon does is magic.

What is one question you would like to be asked that probably nobody has ever asked? 

“What would you like your music to sound like when you’re in your 80s”

What do you call your sound?

Irwin: Imperfect Raucous Weblike Ignitable Noise.

Have you ever had a mental block-out on stage? 

Much like our album, our live set is arranged in a way that allows each song to grow into the other. But what our live set does that our recorded albums don’t is provide this playful area in between that allows us to get lost in what we are doing on stage and find ourselves back together again before we move on. So yes? But we always know where to find each other.

What are your unfulfilled ambitions?

Amber: World Renowned Vegan Chef.

Ben: Earth’s Greatest Gardener Extraordinaire.

Jon: Quit smoking at the age of 25 - 2 years ago :(

What advice do you have for teenagers? 

Hang in there but don’t do that; you go this tho.

What is the closest you have come to losing life and limb?

One time Ben woke up with blood poisoning but he can’t decide if the blood poisoning or crossing the street in NYC was more dangerous. Amber lived in PHX for a hot minute; she decided to move away when she was hit by a drunk driver that broke her neck. One time Jon ran out of cigarettes.

Do you think of yourself more as an entertainer or a musician, or do you think it's more of a combination of the two? 

If we have to choose we’d say we’re musicians but in reality we’re just a bunch of weirdos that live together and making music is what we like to do in our spare time. When people come to a live show and like it, or listen to our albums and say they’re cool, it’s just the icing on the proverbial cake (and we loooooove cake as long as it’s vegan).

[photo by Jenny Bowler]

[posted 6.17.18]


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