In this edition of “Bleached Meets” I got the opportunity to speak with upcoming Pop duo, SADSUN. With both members coming from predominantly rock and punk musical backgrounds, it was a pleasant surprise to hear when their artistry created an electro-pop debut with their song “Control” earlier this year. In the interview, I got the chance to speak with both members about their beginnings, what brought them together to create SADSUN, and where they hope this collaboration brings them!
Enjoy the interview.
“We discovered that we both share a huge passion for Pop and Alternative music, so when both of our projects came to an end we fell into writing music with each other” – Simon
Before we begin, would you like to introduce yourselves?
A: Hey! We’re Simon and Aimy. We’re SADSUN, a moody pop band from Newcastle in the U.K.
Both of you, respected artists in your own right, debuted as SADSUN earlier this year. Can you briefly explain how the duo was formed?
Simon: We both met through playing shows together in our old bands. We discovered that we both share a huge passion for Pop and Alternative music, so; when both of our projects came to an end we fell into writing music with each other.
We’d both never stepped foot into this musical territory before so thought we’d make a go of it together and after about 2 years of writing and experimenting SADSUN eventually came to fruition.
Simon, I know that you focus predominantly on the production side the duo’s music; How long have you been into production? Were there any artists who influenced the type of music you want to release under SADSUN?
Simon: I wouldn’t call myself a ‘producer’ by any means, but just being able to get a musical idea onto a laptop is something that I fell into with my first band, back when I was 14-15 years old. We essentially had no one else to do it for us so I took it upon myself to get a very basic recording setup together and expanded from there over the years. I think what really fascinates me is arrangement, rhythm, syncopation – all of these sonic languages and how they interact with each other in the context of a song, and how they ultimately affect the listener.
Aimy and I both have a huge affinity for 80’s and 90’s music – everything from the production to the aesthetics, so there’s a big influence there, artists like Tears For Fears, Kate Bush, and Peter Gabriel. But we’re just as easily influenced by modern music, we really respect what bands like PVRIS, The Midnight and LANY are doing for pop and alternative music right now.
I know that you (Simon) were a bandmate in metal band Nexilva. Is if safe to say that music has always been a passion of yours? Was there a specific moment that made you want to do music professionally, or did you know from the start that this is what you wanted to be?
Simon: Music has always been a big part of my life, even from an early age. My parents brought me up on everything from new wave, to folk, to post-punk – and I picked up playing guitar at around 9 years old. I had never really considered the notion of being a ‘professional’ musician until my teens, it was always (and still is) just about getting lost in that world and having fun. It was probably around 2004 when Green Day released their American Idiot album when I stumbled upon some live performances and immediately thought ‘THAT is what I want to do’.
“I’d just like to get more honest” – Aimy, on writing music as SADSUN
Aimy, like Simon, you were also a part of a band (She Must Burn); what was that experience like?
Aimy: She Must Burn was a wild ride but also the end of an era for me. I got to experience some amazing things and made some great memories with unforgettable people, but in the end I needed a change. I’d grown up playing in bands of that genre since I was 15. It came to a point where I just needed to write some music for me.
Growing up, was music something you knew you wanted to do professionally; or was it more of a hobby that grew into something more?
Aimy: Music has always been what I want to do professionally. Always. Ever since I can recall. It’s never been a fleeting thought and I’ve never given up on the idea. I’ve been teaching myself how to play instruments since I was 8 years old and was always trying to figure out how to sing…took me a long time to get even remotely comfortable with singing in front of anyone. I’ve never stopped working towards music, writing and performing. It’s always on my mind. I don’t really know what else I’d be doing otherwise!
As the main vocalist as well as producer for the group; is there a certain message you would like to send through your music? Are there any topics that you would like to talk about as SADSUN, that you may not have had the chance to previously?
Aimy: No topics as such. I’d just like to get more honest and make things a little more uncomfortable lyrically. It might help clear out some of the stuff clogging my brain up. I have a lot of things I’d like to say, but I’m still working on the best way to vocalise it all – I’m not very good when it comes to verbally communicating what I’m thinking or feeling. I’m better at helping others find the words that they’re searching for when they need advice.
“It was actually the first song that solidified a starting point for us as a band” – Aimy, on the creation of “Control”
In February, you released your first single as a duo, “Control”. What was the creative process like making it? How has the response been thus far?
Aimy: I wrote this 1 minute instrumental piece back in 2016, on a rainy autumn afternoon in my Mum’s conservatory and some vocal ideas just popped into my head once I’d bounced it.
I didn’t think much of it at the time, so I just uploaded it onto my SoundCloud (where my ideas go to rot) but then Simon was like “Oi, there’s something there! finish it”. I put a few more hours into it and it eventually formed into how you hear it today.
Not much of a process, but it was actually the first song that solidified a starting point for us as a band I think. Songs just started flowing from there. The response has been great, really pleased with how it’s gone down. Got a nice lot of support from old and new fans which has been really humbling and lovely to see!
...There are many challenging parts of being in a band that are often overlooked. – Simon talking about the backstory of Control
You’ve said that the song represents “the suffocating feeling induced from overwhelming routines and the responsibilities that day to day life.” As entertainers, what do you feel is the most challenging part about being in your position?
Simon:I think there are many challenging parts of being in a band that are often overlooked. We are very privileged in many ways, we often get to do things and see places that many won’t – even in their lifetime, but there are struggles – whether it be the anxieties that live performance can bring, the isolation of touring at times or the internal struggle of letting your art out into the world for people to judge.
What are some goals for SADSUN in 2019? Is there anything your audience should look forward to?
Aimy: In 2019 we’ll be releasing more music and trying to play as many shows as we can – just really try and get the word out there. Our audience should definitely look forward to some smooth recoveries, as I will undoubtedly trip and fall at numerous gigs (got two left feet init) An energetic and engaging set – we may be past our early 20’s now, but we still get down – and most importantly, a band that can create a feeling of unity.
Is there anything you would like to say to your supporters?
A: Thank you so much to anyone that’s taken some time out of their day to check us out and listen to our debut single. This is only the beginning of SADSUN and we can’t wait to give you more.