Sun Spot take on the A-Z challenge

Our A-Z challenge is a fun way to get to know the many bands and artists out there! Here it’s the turn of Sun Spot to tell us all about themselves!

A song that made you want to make music?

A Forest by The Cure. My mum says she loved that song as a kid, which has always stuck with me and the whole vibe has always been so fascinating. Simon Gallup is one of the main reasons I wanted to learn bass and I’ve always loved how The Cure approach positioning it in their songs.

I still love this song so I think it’s safe to say it holds up – nice one mum! 

Best rider you’ve had?

We haven’t really had anything too extravagant yet but when I worked in retail I did once help someone try and find Calvados (still not sure what that is) as it was on the rider for a show they were repping – The Darkness.

Craziest moment you’ve experienced in the band?

A few years back, we were hanging out at a mate’s flat before a show in Hastings. In hindsight, we think it might have actually been a portal to hell. We were scared.

I remember he had lots of dragon statues – and a separate fridge for big bottles of coke (yes it was full)… I hope he’s okay.

Deepest lyric one of your songs features?

I don’t know that it’s deep, but there’s a line that is really important to me on ‘Panic Room’ – “would I be floating down the river without you”. 

When I wrote that, it felt like I was at a turning point in coming to terms with my ADHD rather than trying to wish it away. As far as life lessons go, I’m glad I’ve learned that.

Easiest song you wrote?

Keepsake – sort of. The instrumental came together super quickly as we were very excited about the vibe of the song, and I had wayyyy too much fun putting that bassline together.

However, it then sat on George’s laptop collecting dust for months until we finally revisited it and I wrote lyrics/vocals! 

Favourite song in your set?

I love playing Extinction Bell. It’s a song from our new record that ended up being really important – I’d spent years feeling weird about writing “heavy music” after a bad experience but this song feels like part of the process in reclaiming it on my own terms. Playing it live is a blast. 

The bass is essentially shameless Pinback worship but I wouldn’t have it any other way – I get to play loads of chords and weird shapes, and it’s so much fun getting noisy towards the end of the song. 

Guest you’d most like to feature on your record?

I’d love to do something weird and creative with Caroline Polachek – I’ve got a lot of time for unhinged pop so I’m obsessed with her music.

But if I could travel in time it’d 100% be a feature from Scatman John

Hardest thing about being in a band?

I think it’s just the sheer organisation of it all – we love it, but since we all work 9-5’s and live in different places getting us in the same room is a bit of a logistical nightmare. 

But it’s always worth it when we do get together to play a show, write or just hang out – I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to achieve so far.

Interesting fact about one of your members?

Aged 13, George applied for a guitar competition and recorded himself absolutely shredding while sat on top of an amp in his parents’ garden. I love that video with all of my heart. 

Jokes you have in the band?

There’s four of them in this band. (It’s us, we’re the jokes)

I ramble a lot on stage and get bullied for it by everyone. But in their defence they are right to do that. 

Key to writing a song?

The actual process of songwriting feels so intangible to me – I’m not sure I really understand it but I do think it’s important not to force anything, and authenticity plays a huge factor in that. 

I’ve always been that person that worries about what other people think and if what I write is good enough, but actually being truthful to yourself and making art from a place that feels genuine is such a great feeling.

Longest distance you’ve traveled to play a song?

One time we played in Sheffield for Record Store Day. I think it ended up being a 9 hour round-trip, which was mostly spent in traffic or weaving between seas of football fans – who were leaving the city centre right as we turned up. 

We also played to just the sound engineer – sorry, everyone.

Most inspiring musician you’ve experienced?

The first night I ever came to Bristol I saw Porches at Rough Trade and it blew my mind. I’m constantly astounded by Aaron Maine’s ability to reinvent himself in his music and he’s such an incredible performer to see live.

New band you’d recommend?

Meryl Streek! I discovered his music around the time we made initial plans with Venn and fell in love. 796 is a frequent feature on long car drives and screaming “say fuck off to five days a week” will never get old.   

As a fellow defector of the Catholic Church, I also have a lot of time for how outspoken he is on the corruption and manipulation baked into so many different societal institutions that continue to go unchallenged. 

Opening for this band would be ideal?

Joey Vannucchi. I’m a huge fan of all of his musical projects, and I know George feels the same.

I actually remember us becoming friends over a From Indian Lakes record as we listened to it for the first time, so performing with Joey is definitely on the bucket list.

Place you’d most like to tour?

 I wanna play some northern cities! My partner took me to Manchester earlier this year and we were hanging out in YES, which is such a sick venue. 

Also Japan!

Quote you’d like to pass on to our readers?

There’s a saying in my family – “if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing last minute.” 

We’ve since discovered that ADHD is hereditary.

Reason for the title of your recent/forthcoming release?

The writing process for the songs on ‘Working Memory’ is very much intertwined with me getting my ADHD diagnosis. Until I was 25, I’d navigated life completely unaware of ADHD for the most part – knowing there was *something* wrong with me, but never sure what. 

In learning more about it, I was suddenly able to understand and explain so many things about myself that I couldn’t before, and I think the EP became a way for me to document my findings as my perception of ‘how the world works’ just got totally flipped on its head. ‘Working Memory’ is a cognitive process used to recall information like a phone number or verbal instructions that someone may have shared – which is significantly impaired for people with executive dysfunction (like those with ADHD).

See us live at?

We’re playing Newport for the first time this month with Nature TV and Adult Leisure on May 19 – the same day that our new record comes out.

We also just announced that we’re opening O2 Academy Bristol for Dot to Dot Festival on May 27. It’s our biggest show yet, so we’re pretty excited – and terrified. (Mostly terrified) 

The old days of music were better than the current, do you agree?

I don’t know that I do! There’s certainly good and bad aspects to both, but I think that actually making music and having people hear it and support you is accessible to a lot more people now. 

Plus, we’re seeing the way that the industry is run and the chokeholds that certain institutions have on it is completely changing with stuff like Tik Tok, where new artists are suddenly the ones with all of the power. Obviously there’s still going to be people that will gatekeep and manipulate others, but I definitely think the current model allows a much wider breadth of voices, art and experience to be platformed and shared. Moving forward with that as the focal point is definitely something that has me excited about how the industry could look for the next generation of musicians. 

Unusual merchandise?

This 100% goes to Powerplant. As well as maybe being the weirdest band in hardcore right now, their approach to merch is also properly unhinged.

Last year they did a limited run of their album on Gameboy Advance cartridges, which I’ve got a lot of respect for. 

Variations you’d like to do on any of your songs?

A few years back we teamed up with a bunch of different Bristol artists for remixes of our song ‘Johari Window’ – this covered everything from 10 minute-long ambient remixes to full-on club edits and it was so cool to hear how everyone reinterpreted the song.

We’d love to do this again, on a bigger scale – definitely something we’re looking into.

What do your fans mean to you?

To be honest, I’m kind of weary of “fan culture” and I don’t think anyone should be idolising us – we’re idiots. Having said that, it’s really very humbling whenever people we’ve never met support us in any way or share our music.

Since we’ve started playing songs from Working Memory live, some people have said that they relate to the way we talk about mental health or navigating the world as a neurodivergent person, and that really means a lot. I feel self-conscious about it sometimes (I think we’ve been socially conditioned to see these as taboo subjects), but it’s so important to normalise these things and talk about them – the more we understand each other and share our experiences, the more society improves to better support everyone. 

X-rays or any treatments needed for band-related injuries?

Got a good one for this. After we released our first EP, we had the opportunity to open for JAWS, which was probably our biggest show at the time – exciting stuff.

However, the week before Kris managed to break his leg and was on crutches, and Scoops played with a concussion that he got by banging his head immediately after proposing to his partner (and now wife!) – couldn’t make this up if I tried.

You’re late for a show, whose fault is it?

This is probably the hardest one to answer – it’s definitely *not* George. The poor bastard is the only fully-functioning human in our sea of chaos people.

Maybe me? I bang on about it enough, but I have weapons-grade ADHD and refuse to acknowledge time as anything more than a social construct. I do feel for George because being in a band with us must be like herding cats.

Zoo animal that best describes the personality of your band?

It’s been said before that I resemble a bird of paradise (flamboyant, loud, annoying). That feels pretty accurate for us.

Elizabeth Birt

August 7, 2023

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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