Monday, 19 March 2012

Indietracks interview #2: The Sunbathers

Formed in 2007, The Sunbathers are Paul and Julie, an acoustic duo who write short, simple and sometimes wistful songs about love, life and staring longingly out to sea. The pair are influenced by early 80s pop, indiepop and The Marine Girls. Their debut release, a split CD with Los Lagos de Hinault on Cloudberry Records, was followed up by their new EP 'January, February, March, Ely, Cambridge' on Dufflecoat Records.

How do you know each other?
Paul: We go back a long way. When I was playing in The Artisans I got to know Mark from the Fat Tulips. This one time we needed another band for this gig we were doing so I contacted Mark who suggested his other band Confetti (of which Julie was the vocalist) – and we’ve been friends ever since.

How do you write the songs? Does Paul provide the music and Julie write the lyrics? If so, how does that process come together?
Paul: Yeah, that’s pretty much it. Once I’ve got a few chord sequences together that I think will make a good song, I’ll make a rough recording so Julie can fit some lyrics to it. We’ll then combine our efforts and structure a song from it all.

You’ve listed the Marine Girls as your biggest influence. How would you describe The Marine Girls to a newcomer?
Julie: The reality, which is they were three schoolgirls playing dodgy instruments in a shed probably doesn’t do them justice! It was their DIY spirit coupled with fantasic pop songs that made them so important. They were also from a landlocked County (Hertfordshire) and wrote many a song about the sea so we feel a particular affinity with them. Maybe if we came from somewhere with a coastline we’d find the seaside really boring and write songs about industrial wastelands!!

Do you have a favourite seaside place?
Paul: Probably Scarborough or Whitby – classic British seaside resorts!
Julie: Bacton in Norfolk. – It has a gas works so nobody goes there!!

What’s the music scene like in Northamptonshire?
Paul: It’s never really had a great music tradition, certainly not indiepop. Apart from Anguish Sandwich there aren’t many bands around here.
Julie: I’m from Leicester which is slightly better – there are some good promoters like Twesta and Sweeping The Nation both of which we’ve played gigs for.

Tell us about the new EP on Dufflecoat Records?
Julie: Indirectly it came about through Indietracks! A couple of years ago we bumped into Paul from The Werewandas who reintroduced me to the infamous Clare from  Ripley. She recommended us to Gary from Dufflecoat who came and chatted to us after we supported Allo Darlin’ in Cambridge and we stayed in touch. We sent him some of our new recordings and the rest is history.

There’s about 20 songs listed on your website. Do you have plans for further releases after the EP?
Paul: There’s nothing in the pipeline at present, but we are of course open to offers!

Do you have any other exciting plans for 2012?
Julie: As well as the EP and Indietracks we’re playing at the inaugural Leicester Indiepop Alldayer (24th March). On a personal level completing my PhD. Paul is busy doing up his kitchen – a job he wishes he hadn’t started especially when the ceiling fell down!!

Have you been to Indietracks before? What are you most looking forward to?
Yes, we’ve been every year since 2009. Highlights will be meeting up with old friends and hopefully making some new ones. Everyone is so lovely  – Oh and drinking lots of beer – and of course the music!

Brilliant, thanks guys, see you at the real ale bar! 

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