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INTERVIEW: SUM

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

(Steve/Patryce) Hi! All in all we have been well. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks but over all things are great!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “It’s Alright to Be Me”?

(Patryce) This song has two functions. First, it explains to the world who we are, where the name of the band comes from and what it means. Secondly, for the audience, the song is about the power to speak life into yourself. In this day in age where we are exposed to so much (rise of populism, xenophobia…etc) people are starting to lose their individually by comparing themselves and then conforming to what they see on Facebook, Instagram, and more. This song is meant to empower people to accept their own uniqueness.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

(Steve) When we played shows, people kept messing up the name of our band and we always had to explain the meaning. So I decided to write a song that hopefully will become a hit so that we don’t have to explain ourselves anymore. A friend of mine, during a lunch meeting, told me that I needed to write a strong song that says who we are.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

(Patryce) Actually the video just got released! You can view it on YouTube and Vimeo. Here is the link, feel free to feature it on your website https://youtu.be/9k0-y4RlxfQ

The single comes off your new album SUM – why naming the album after this track in particular?

(Steve) Actually, the  album is self titled “SUM”. It serves as our introduction to the world. We want to encourage folks to remember our name. It is like when you introduce yourself to someone, the first thing that you state is your name. Hence, just the name “SUM” for our first album.

How was the recording and writing process?

(Patryce) Long and costly! Some of these songs have been written for five to ten years and we spent almost a year and a half playing these songs before we even recorded them. As far as personalities, it can be sometimes very hard to work with Steve because when he has a great musical idea, he expects me to be able to get it right away and executes it at the first trial. But sometimes, you know, you need time to absorb things or get used to things. But at the end of day, when everyone gets to understand/absorb his material, it sounds great.

(Steve) Lol, yeah my band knows that I am very peculiar and precise in what I do. The whole band has SUM shirts when we play live: My trumpet player said I should have a shirt that says in the back “as written”! Lol, because I want every note that I write played “as written”.

What role does NYC play in your music?

(Steve) New York City plays a huge role. It’s where we live and its audience is where we’ve primarily played our music.  If you can get New Yorkers to respond positively, your going to be okay everywhere else. New York is also a very saturated and tough market to penetrate, therefore this city forces us to present ourselves in an unique way (which is our message anyway), give our best at every performances.

What weakness and strengths did you get to explore on this record?

(Steve) I don’t really think in those terms while composing/producing/playing/recording music. I tried to stay  true to the composition, sound and the musical idea I have as much as possible. The record is the physical replica of the abstract idea that I have. Hope people will get it!

Any plans to hit the road?

(Patryce) We have our album release show September 28th at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City, and we have a show October 13th at Le Baiser Sale in Paris, France. We hope to add more dates soon!

What else is happening next in SUM’s world?

(Steve)  I’ve already started writing new materials for the next season of SUM. We hope to continue to build our audience world wide!

Steve Belvilus, SUM bandleader and Patryce Williams, SUM lead vocalist.

Watch Their New Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k0-y4RlxfQ

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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