NATIVE SUN

Photograph by Hannah Milden

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your music, what would it be and why?

NS: We’re a rock n roll band. Anything more specific than that is gonna limit and marginalize what we are and create.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

DG: For me personally, it’s drawn from the day to day. Music has a way of opening a world that explores the quotidian and attempts to explain it to us in a genuine manner. I just try to constantly be an observationalist and construct a piece of work from that. Trying to find beauty in ugliness and ugliness in beauty – constant stimulation is critical.

AC: When we’re playing our songs for the first time, I try to understand the feeling of the song Danny is starting on and build something from there. Sonically, I draw from 60s/70s/80s bands that my dad would play me. I try to emulate them and spin what they were doing into a way that fits what we’re doing. It’s still by us but reflective of the past.

JP: It comes from everywhere. From idols and experiences, but my most productive inspiration comes from a place I don’t understand or question, some internal force, something that when we all play and write together just seems to happen naturally.

CH.89: What made you all want to start a band and how did you come up with the band name?

NS: The band ended up happening pretty naturally. Danny had a good number of songs he was working on, then Jake and Danny reunited after not seeing each other for many years. We began working on our upcoming EP and practicing with Alexis, a friend of Danny’s from college, and Mo “El Perro” Martinez, a transplant from Mexico who came to the US in the hopes of finding like-minded musicians. We completed the EP as a full band and put out our first single on a Glassnote Records compilations at the end of July.

One of the songs on the EP (“Pink Sky”) used to be called Native Sun. We had the stereotypical “new band trying to find a name” discussion…and we couldn’t land on something that felt right. Jake suggested the name Pink Sky for the band and Alexis had a eureka moment and said that sounded more like a name for that song, so we switched them. We felt Native Sun was more indicative of the band for numerous reasons.

DG: Native Sun came as a direct influence from listening to The Doors song “Indian Summer” and I had been reading James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son around the same time as well. Both of those influences and the direct imagery of the phrasing put together clearly represented who we are as a band. There’s a certain struggle to fight back against a system that we feel oppression from every day and this is our way of getting that out.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new album?

NS: We’re actually in the process of that now. It’s putting together all the natural inspirations we mentioned, but finding the linking piece to combine all the songs as a cohesive whole and find the idea that we’re trying to speak to. We’re on a journey of self exploration and trying to connect the dots of life that are directly correlated with our influences and what makes us passionate about music.

The kinds of songs we write are always developing and we’re always trying to do something new and not repeat ourselves. We want to make an album that shows the range of who we are and everything we’ve experienced. We’re trying to create something sincere that reflects who we are as people…our struggles, our fears.

CH.89: What would you want people/the listener to take from your music?

JP: I want it to be thought provoking and make people question the world around them and think for themselves, and then to pick up a guitar and start their own band too.

Photograph by Abbie Bencie

DG: I want the music to create some self-reflection and questioning of the petty morals that drag us down as a society.

AC: I think we want to make songs that we love and when they come on, they beg to be listened to. Even if someone loves it or hates it, they won’t be able to ignore it.

CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?

DG: You can’t succeed by always expecting things to work out the way you plan them to. Don’t plan anything that far ahead because things won’t go as you want them to, especially creatively. Those are the best musical moments, the ones you didn’t think about. If something is meant to be great, the environment and the circumstances mold that. We’re not a band that over thinks everything. We do what we feel is natural because that is the most genuine. If you overthink emotion you’ve already lost.

JP: It’s not impulse in the sense like “who cares,” it’s more natural inspiration.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist?

DG: Things don’t always work out how you expect them to – unpredictability. Don’t have expectations. Do it because you have to and love it. If there’s something you need to express say it.

JP: There’s always somebody that will be more talented or have more money or more resources so you need to put your blinders on and create what you think needs to exist.

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

DG: Getting to express myself and create. Being earnest and discussing the issues the majority ignore for their benefit in the most honest manner. It takes us to a place with none of the restrictions put upon us by the generation who controls our lives. Writing is a place that we go to where there’s no time and space and we’re able to let the expression do the talking.

JP: Freedom.

AC: A chance to escape from everything shitty going on around us.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artists that inspire you in any way?

JP: Neil Young and Mark Mothersbaugh.

DG: Lou, Baudelaire, Leonard Cohen.

AC: Robert Smith and Ringo.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

JP: Technology gives us the opportunity to connect in ways that weren’t possible in generations past but in general it’s such an overwhelming distraction from real life. It has made discovery easy for music, but it has made everything so fleeting and temporary. The instant gratification of social media has transferred into music.

DG: Technology I think devalues art and the processes of making art. What art really signifies is an expression of emotion and technology devoids it of it. By taking out the human essence of something it’s impossible for it to be considered art. That’s why we do our recordings on tape, to give it that life, impurity, and balance you can’t get from a machine.

AC: For example, in terms of social media how many different channels are out there for people to find music on, how often do music blogs have to post new content? There’s no way people can absorb it all and let it honestly resonate with them.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

JP: Don Delillo.

DG: Que Viva la Musica by Andres Caicedo. He’s a revolutionary Colombian writer from the 70s who committed suicide on the day this book was published. He combined Latin American culture and the revolution of the 60s to capture a world of his own. It’s fresh and exciting to see someone correlating Colombian and Latin American culture in the 70s to the sexual and rock n roll revolution taking place in other continents at the same time. Showcasing how these themes resonated with youth culture around the world…uniting them in the end in their search for something better that for some even led to their downfall.

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your music?

DG: There is no aesthetic. You get what you see.

CHECK OUT MORE ON: NATIVE SUN

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