Music Editor Bethany Davison chats to Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam (SFL)’S Andy (Sunshine) Bullock about the band’s origin, inspirations and future plans.
For those who don’t know you, what’s the story behind the name, and the band in general?
Sunshine, Frisbee and Laserbeam were the stage names we gave ourselves when we first started out and it kinda stuck from there really. The band started from me and Pete writing music together after he recorded my first solo record. Pete had been in some of my favourite bands (Distophia and Calories) so being able to write with him was always a dream of mine. Ralph was in a few other bands we liked (The Reverends, Shocked Elevator Family) and he joined pretty much straight away. We recorded our first full length record live to tape as a three piece and followed it up with an EP a year later. Dave joined the band, which gave us a lot more scope to be more dymanic, with the low end being filled out. Then Junior joined us last year to add keyboards and another drummer, which allowed us to get Ralph on guitar for some tracks too.
Your new album takes a different tone to previous work, is there any reason behind that?
First of all we recorded it with a different sound engineer, Tom Livemore at Backbeat Studios. Personally I always get very anxious recording, but he has a great talent for putting you at ease and I think he just gets our sound. For me this is the best record we have done, I think it captures both our heavy guitar sound and our more pop-y songwriting. So it’s basically all the best parts of our sound captured and condensed into 30 minutes.
And on that note, how would you best describe your sound?
That’s always such a tough one cus’ it’s hard to see from our perspective. We’ve been described as early Weezer before, like Pinkerton era Weezer; loud, emotional, with heavier and lighter influences peppered around the sound. It’s hard to describe really, the best compliment I’ve had in a review has been ‘They don’t sound like anyone, they sound like SFL’.
Which musicians, past and present, inspire you most?
There’s too many answers there, this is just a few of mine personally. Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse) Avey Tare (Animal Collective) Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, Elliott Smith, Steve Malkmus, Kendrick Lamar, Mark Kozelek, Mitski, NIN, Naomi Punk, Speedy Ortiz, Built to Spill. Anything that This is Tomorrow put on in Birmingham, they are great promoters and have got me into so many new bands.
What outside of music do you find inspirational?
I have 2 tabby cats, Logan & Dax. Logan is named after Wolverine and Dax after a character from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. NOT my favourite Star Trek series obvs. That’s Next Gen.
If you could play a gig at any venue, where would it be?
We are playing some great venues in November up and down the country. The best sound we have had has been at The Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath but I’d love to play the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds; we saw Hot Snakes there recently. That and Primavera Sound in Barcelona, I’ve been so many times and it’s always amazing for getting into new bands.
The art connected to the band is very unique – ie merch, posters, the Sink Or Swim picture lp – what inspires this?
We use a few different local artists in Birmingham here are their names and Insta Links: Lloyd Bowen @rroydbowen, Lewes Herriot @lewesherriot and Irene Zafra @irene.zafra.
If you could collaborate with any musician, who would it be, and why?
Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, he can do everything. I’d love to do something more hip-hop based with him, maybe something more mellow. That and I’d like a saxophone player and a female vocalist.
And finally, with a tour coming up soon, what are the plans for the band afterwards?
We have plenty more gigs coming up after the tour and some great festival spots for next summer which is pretty exciting. Me and Pete are working on the next record already and that’s always my favourite part of being in a band, the writing.
Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam’s new album Blackout Cowboy is due for release on November 9, with the first single available now.
Image Credit: James Parrish via Prescription PR