INTERVIEW: Sunfall

Hi guys welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been well, considering! Getting on with and adjusting to the new normal as the pandemic goes on and dealing with everything that brings. – Sam.

A part of the new normal for us sadly is getting used to not being able to play shows which has taken its toll for sure. – James.

Can you talk to us about your latest single ‘Harakiri’?

Harakiri is really a new start for the band. The time surrounding our original releases were full of uncertainties and constant changes with people coming in and out of the band. But now we are very united as a band now and are taking a step forward to truly being able to explore our music and writing, even more so with Ryan as our latest addition to the band. – Oli Harakiri is actually my first contribution to the band which came from a 2019 instrumental demo of mine. – Ryan “Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?” Musically I was inspired to write to the sound and style the band had already presented with our original EP ‘Serenity’, while adding my own influence on things. – Ryan.

Lyrically, I wrote Harakiri about the general theme of being forced into a willingness to a descent. I did this using the metaphor of a ritual suicide called Harakiri (also known more formally as Seppuku), practiced predominantly by Samurai in feudal Japan. This happens when a Samurai faces a dishonour, so to restore honour, they ended their own lives and were happy to do so. The lyrics were written to be ambiguous to what this theme can represent to the listener. To me, it represents many things such as the fall into depression, the fall into the ‘living for the weekend’ lifestyle and even the fall of our willingness to care for the planet and others. And we normally take these falls with a smile on our face as if it’s a life sentence we are powerless to, so we just embrace it. – Oli.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?”

Well….it was an experience and a half, with many points of stress and the video potentially nearly falling apart. With our vocalist currently still residing in Australia and our drummer living a few hours away from myself and our bass player James; getting the band together to film during the pandemic was very tough. Our first filming date actually ended up scrapped due to the lockdown. To simplify the logistics, we decided to make the video entirely based on a narrative to avoid needing to get the band together. This led to my first time writing a screenplay for the video. Not really knowing how my thoughts and ideas translated into reality, it then ended up being a point made with the filmographer Dan Johnson, that it would serve the video to also have band performances in there too. This resulted in having to find the right person in Australia to film our vocalist Sam. (It took a couple guys before we found the guy who could get the correct footage)It also meant finding someone to film our drummer Ryan while we filmed our parts, and the narrative down south. Ryan’s parts nearly weren’t filmed either due to heavy snowfall. All this aside…. We persisted and got a great video together in the end haha! – Oli

How was the recording and writing process?

It was a very streamlined and quick process for me. I’m a producer myself, so it was great to not have to rely on anyone else. Once I had the full basis of the song down, I had input from others on the demo. Once we were happy, I got final guitar takes done and mixed the song. Vocals on the track were recorded in Perth, with Sam going to a producer there called Marco. He was great to work with and all it took was just a transfer of files for us to work together overseas. For mastering, we got Will Putney who’s known for his writing and production with bands such as Fit for An Autopsy and Knocked loose. We’re all very happy with the end result! – Ryan.

How has Metallica and Slipknot influenced your writing?

It goes without saying both these bands played a big role in inspiring us to even become musicians in the first place. There is a deep nostalgia and love for these bands that influence us to the level we want to make music that helps us, and others feel the same excitement and way we felt about Metallica and Slipknot. For myself personally too, if someone was to ask me what guitar players actually influenced my playing style, it will always include the likes of Kirk and James from Metallica and Jim and Mick from slipknot. Regardless of criticism too, both bands have always unapologetically written and released music they wanted to… I love that resilience. – Oli.

What role does Guildford play in your music?

It’s home for us. It’s where we played our first gig as a band, it’s where we all met. Our community and scene regularly met up in Guildford for live shows, so there is also a great sense of friendship and love there for everyone including Sunfall. Guildford is also where we were a supporting act for Monuments which was our first huge moment as a band. – James.

For me, Guildford is very symbolic. Living there and particularly just the UK in general had a huge toll on me and my family, having emigrated from Australia. We were struggling financially and mentally, so it came to the point we had to move back to Australia. However, moving back to Australia highlighted just how much it’s with Sunfall I want to pursue music with, and I suffered mentally further as a result of it. Hopefully in the near future I’ll have moved back to the UK to be with the band. Guildford now is very representing of my love for the band and my love of writing music. – Sam.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – How’s that coming along?

Absolutely! Having a hiatus to focus on our wellbeing, then pandemic to contend with has left us with a huge time gap with no music. Our last release was a live session with our stand in vocalist for Sam, Ben Mason from ‘Bound in Fear’. We had many messages in this time period asking when we’d be back with new music, so now we’re in a spot we are ready to release music, and a lot of it. Having over a year of growth in our cohesion as a band and our song writing has led naturally to this position we are in now where we are writing many songs that have expanded on our sound. – Oli.

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

We have Harakiri being released on the 12th of March, beyond that, we just have rough times we want to release music. Definitely something just before summer, then a possible body of work during the summer. We’re well on our way with getting these songs recorded so this definitely strike us the most realistic time scale. As for titles we’re still very much in the stage of working titles. – Oli.

What else is happening in Sunfalls world?

The biggest thing happening is the planning of Sam’s move back to the UK. He was meant to be back with us roughly a year ago, but the pandemic really messed up those plans. Apart from that, we all have our own things going on. James has taken to actually manufacturing his own guitars and basses. They are looking absolutely insane; he definitely has A future as a builder. I will most likely return to the stage with Sunfall with guitar’s he’s made. Ryan has continued offering his services as a producer to other bands. You’ll hear it with our releases, his abilities are insane! Sam has been focused on getting the money and resources together to make the move back to the UK alone while I’ve been focusing on other bands and projects, I’m involved with too such as Carbine. All this aside, we are throwing ideas around too about how we are going to improve our live performances. -Oli

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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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