The Sundials Release Debut Single ‘I’m Down’

Hot damn! Adelaide band The Sundials are an exciting proposition and having released their debut single I’m Down the sky is well and truly the limit. Inspired by 60s and 70s rock ‘n roll, even down to the wardrobe as well, there’s plenty there to get hips shaking and feet shuffling as the gig around town. Toby (drummer) from the band gives a little more insight to The Sundials and the single.

How exciting is the build up to the release of the single I’m Down and the launch the week after?
We are absolutely itching to get our baby out into the world! It’s our debut single, and it could be a huge step to get in touch with a wider audience. To capture the energy we give on stage and share it with people is something we’re pretty jazzed about. We’ve gone big and put together a huge Adelaide lineup for our launch featuring Witch Hunt, Funky C Funky Do, Violet Harlot and Mum’s Favourite. It seems a fitting festival style celebration for such a party track.

Can you believe how much work goes into a new single?
Actually a big part of our effort has been building grass-roots relationships with Adelaide’s rock scene, usually in out-of-the-box ways: Going to shows and saying hello was one thing— we also started up “The Sundials Podcast” to interview the artists we’ve had play at our Crown and Anchor front bar residency. Both of those were a great way for fans to check out different sides of their favourite local bands. It was great fun, so we’re going to continue on with the podcast even after our release.

…Of course, then there’s sorting merchandise for our launch party, securing our Spotify artist account, organising radio play, and then lining up more podcast guests. It is a LOT of work.

What’s the story behind the single I’m Down?
I’m a big fan of intricately explaining an emotion or feeling without actually naming it— I’ve done it a lot with “love” before, but this song is definitely not about Love haha. Sonically I love throwing in interesting stops that catch listeners off guard. It was a traditional blues rock track, but we told Toby (drummer) to have a field day with the rhythm and what he came back with absolutely electrified the whole track. It was alarming at first, in the little jam room – but on stage, with all that air to fill out, it goes off explosively!

Sonically, how would you describe The Sundials?
It’s Flare-pant-party-rock®. Next question? (I jest) The premise of the Sundials was always to get people moving at shows, or making music to empower – so all of our numbers have to be high energy, and built on a great groovy rhythm section. Our lead guitarist Christian’s first band “The Mors” was very much 60s Garage rock, so it’s been a bit like gluing garage rock to James Brown or The Beatles, for explosive results.

How did the band meet?
Most members knew each other playing in various bands in Adelaide’s Rock scene, but we actually only formed after Arthur Art-bar’s owner Cas contacted the members individually to organise a one off tribute show for Charlie Watts; the Rolling Stones’ late great drummer. (Huge shout out to Arthur Art-bar for that). It was so much fun we knew we’d have to make this a real thing.

What was the energy like in those initial jam sessions?
Unreal. We were all just on the same page from the first rehearsal. It doesn’t take long at all for us to spontaneously launch into a twenty minute blues jam, often unintentionally coming up with cool riffs. We have borrowed quite a few of Dieter’s tunes, (who quite often refers to himself as a folk singer) but as soon as we get hold of them, the soft songs become groovy soul tracks, the bluesy ones become energy filled bangers and the sounds out of the rehearsal room are unmistakably The Sundials.

Who are some of the biggest musical heroes for The Sundials?
Bearing in mind our debut, the Rolling Stones must take the cake – But otherwise love all the usual suspects of classic/garage rock: from The Beatles and Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, to The Velvet Underground, The Kinks, and many others from that window of time. We have drawn quite a lot from the late 60’s/early 70s.

How did you come up with the name The Sundials?
I have an A4 page full of all sorts of names; “The Switchblades”, “Pundit Chrome” – none of that would fit. It was important to me to find something not only unique, short, and punchy, but something bright – where it feels like it’s glowing. Something sunny. “The Sundials” not only works for that, but also has a definite “vintage” quality to it, just like the band itself.

Is the band working towards an EP/album?
There are definitely songs ready, and others that are being worked on. It’s still early days for us and we’re excited to see the response that we can get from I’m Down.

Are there plans to tour around the country?
Definitely. Daisy and Toby (Sax and drums, respectively) are from rural South Australia and we’ve played a show over in Bordertown before, so a nice little rural tour would absolutely be on the cards for us. Otherwise, it looks like Melbourne will be our first port of call…

What’s next for The Sundials?
After our Launch show we’ll be at Arthur Arthur’s huge “the Aquarian Garden” festival on the 22nd of April. May’s also looking good for us, supporting some other Bands’ single launches and playing at the Crown & Anchor some more… Besides that, We’re enjoying working on our podcast and giving insights into everything music industry related, so stay tuned for more episodes! If
there’s any locals in the industry keen on jumping in for a chat with us, we’d love to hear from you as well!

Interview By Rob Lyon

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