Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rochester City News Article | Performing live at Bug Jar - Rochester, NY - Saturday April 16, 2011

Big thanks to Frank DeBlase from the Rochester City Newspaper for doing this interview.  Also, we have a show in Rochester, NY at The Bug Jar on Saturday April 16, 2011.  We will be performing with local Rochester favorites Auld Lang Syne and Syracuse's Animal Pants who will be celebrating their Rochester Album Release.

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MUSIC PROFILE: Son of the Sun

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Son of the Sun is a sensational Buffalo quintet of psychedelic splendor and rock 'n' roll grit. Its sound gets way out there, while remaining relevant and accessible. It's big and bad and beautiful with its multiple layers and dimensions. Yet go and ask guitarist-keyboardist Joseph Stocker and he'll tell you it's really simple.
"It really is," Stocker says. "It's simple in the writing. A 12-year-old could play these chords. The instrumentation and the layering and the arrangements and the sounds that are picked, I think is what delivers it in a slightly more... I don't want to say sophisticated, but it's not like a Ramones' song." He pauses for a minute on the phone and clears his throat before pulling a 180.
"In actuality the songwriting is like a Ramones' song," he says. "I just think the layers really hide it. But its nuts and bolts - if you write out the chords, it's just three chords."
Son of the Sun and its three chords came together with Stocker and vocalist-guitarist Zak Ward in 2007. Ward was on the left coast, but the two worked via internet.
"I would send him instrumentals," says Stocker. "I would write all the music and record all the music and he would write lyrics for them."
It's when Ward returned to Buffalo in 2008 that Stocker says things began to flourish. "We put out a 7'' EP and people really liked it," he says, referencing the "Before the After" project. "So we put a band together." From then on the band included Stocker, Ward, guitarist Jeremy Franklin, bassist Steve Matthews, and drummer Brandon Delmont. Son of the Sun played its first show at The Hard Rock Caf� in Niagara Falls, which went over remarkably well.
"We were kind of shocked it didn't flop," Stocker says. "So we booked another show and it just snowballed."
Son of the Sun released its first full-length album, "The Happy Loss," (produced by Mike Brown) in 2010.
What is both beguiling and intriguing about this band is the blending of influences, almost to the point of anonymity. Where is the sound coming from, exactly? The genres and predecessors to Son of the Sun's wail aren't readily apparent, though Stocker is ready to rattle off a list.
"Personally," he says. "I do like older music; 60's stuff, obviously. The Beatles, Dylan, Bowie. But I really love pop like Roy Orbison and doo-wop, The Everly Brothers, stuff like that. Some bands have an immediate retro sound, and I love that kind of stuff. But I love modern records, too, like Wilco and the Flaming Lips and The National. You can really go both ways, you can totally make a lo-fi throwback kind of sound, but we try to blend them both."
Still, Stocker believes the pursuit of originality may be in vain. "It's a funny thing," he says. "Whenever you get three chords together and it's apparently a new song, really it's a Buddy Holly song. My only rule is, it has to be simple." Simple as in, this band doesn't jam.
"Everything's arranged in practice or in recording," says Stocker. "I feel we really don't go too far, we just really try to put a lot of energy and emotion without sounding like ‘American Idol.' We just try to put everything we have into it at the time. We really don't doodle."
Son of the Sun is wrapping up work on its forthcoming CD, tentatively called "Almost Not There." Then the band plans on putting rubber to the asphalt.
There are two ways of deciphering a band or predicting its path; listen where it is or listen to where it was. Son of the Son is so steeped in its own sonic elegance that it is perhaps easier to listen to where it could go if given the option to go backwards 10 or 20 years. Stocker hazards a guess.
"I don't know, man" he says. "I'd like to have been something off Creation Records. American music was obviously pretty bad until Nirvana. British music was still cool; Oasis, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Smiths, Echo and the Bunnymen. I think it would depend where you lived. I think just good pop music with a little twist."
Like Son of the Sun does now. "Yeah, we're trying," Stocker says. "Underneath all the crap, it's just a pop song."
w/Animal Pants, Auld Lang Syne
Saturday, April 16
Bug Jar, 219 Monroe Ave.
8 p.m. | $6-$8 | 454-2966

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