Sunny Gang is an American gang who went the whole way into my heart with their record. Here´s an interview with them done in july-2016. Chris Bacchus and Joe sap have answered the questions.
Please tell me a little bit history of the group?
Chris Bacchus: I met Marshal and Nate towards the end of 2011 at a frat party. We started to hang a lot more and we realized we all had some sort of musical talents. By early, 2012 we wrote our first song, Jack and Blunts in Nate and Marshal’s dorm room. It was strictly guitar, drums and vocals. We needed a bassist to complete our sound and Nate & Marshal happened to know Joe Sap. Sap brought us into the campus recording studio and we’ve been at it ever since.
Joe Sap: We jammed on a song the guys had written called Jack and Blunts, and then shortly after wrote what ended up becoming Bloc Party, and the rest was history
Please tell me a little about every member in the group right now, age, family, work, interests and something bad about everyone? Earlier bands? Other bands on the side?
Bacchus: I’m 23, I work as an electrician when I’m not playing music. I’m an avid skateboarder and a lover of hardcore and punk. I try to go to as much hardcore shows I can, there’s really nothing like it. I’ve always been involved in a variety of small punk or metal bands. I also recently just started a hardcore act right now called Player Hater with a bunch of my friends.
Sap: I’m 24, I’m a sound engineer, and I work at a multimedia studio for kids. I’m big into TV and Movies, love going to shows, and I’m frequently drunk. My dad’s a musician, so I jam with him a lot on old rock and roll, jazz and blues stuff. He played organ on Downtown on our record! When I was in high school I was in a ska band called At The Ready!
I can hear much different influences , both punk, hiphop, ska, rage against the machine etc? Favorites from the past?
Bacchus: We all listen to a wide range of music and we try to incorporate all those elements in our music. I constantly look to the past for inspiration. I really look up to bands like Black Sabbath and Bad Brains for paving the way for me and all my peers. I really enjoy reggae too, I grew up listening to a lot of reggae with my mom and dad.
Sap: Sabbath was a big influence for me too when I first picked up the bass. RATM too. Some of the first songs I learned were Paranoid and Killing in the Name. I’m constantly looking for something gnarly to listen to and take inspiration from. I love that old late 50s/early 60s garage stuff, wild ass hip hop, hard electronic stuff, whatever.
Sunny Gang are you satisfied with the name? How did it came up? You weren’t afraid that some other band would be named like this. Which is the best bandname you know?
Bacchus: I hate our name lol. Sunny Gang is based off the show, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. We chose that name because we tend to find ourselves stuck in the same scenarios as the characters on the show. We’re constantly getting drunk and getting into a lot of unnecessary, yet hilarious shenanigans. The best band name I know is Deez Nuts.
Sap: Our band name is shit but we’re stuck with it. And our logo is cool so whatever. We did google it to make sure nobody else had the name. Only thing we found was some actual gang posting pictures on Instagram. The best band name I’ve ever heard is a tie between Smother Teresa and Ellen and The Degenerates.
What´s the best thing with playing live?
Bacchus: I feel at peace when I’m on stage. The best thing is looking into the crowd and seeing people move to your music. I really love to see people moshing at the shows, it makes me think we’re doing something right.
Sap: When everything is going right and you just hit this moment of total zen on stage. There’s utter chaos happening in the crowd, the PA is blasting and your mind is just clear. There’s really no feeling like it. Also one time a guy swung a sledgehammer around.
And where is best to play? And the worst place?
Bacchus: The best place to play is definitely a DIY punk spot. There’s so much energy and there’s a real connection between you and the fans. The worst place to play definitely a rap show. I just don’t enjoy them. I love rap but I don’t enjoy this new wave of bullshit that everyone seems to be so infatuated with.
Sap: DIY punk spots are awesome. Rap shows can be super hit or miss, but the worst place to play is a sadboy emo show where people get mad at our fans for moshing.
How is to play this sort of music in USA right now? Which types of bands do you have concerts together with?
Bacchus: I think it’s refreshing for the fans to hear this type of music. It’s therapeutic too because we’re able to let out all this bottled up aggression. I think people welcome criticism of politic with open arms. We play with a good amount of punk bands, some rappers and sometimes other hybrid acts that mix rock and rap.
Sap: We play with a lot of different kinds of bands, because there aren’t a LOT of people out there doing the punk/hip hop thing. But some that we’ve shared the stage with include our friends Ho99o9, Blxtpltn, Shinobi Ninja, Rebelmatic, and The White Mandingos.
How would you describe your music in three words?
Bacchus: Gritty, Groovy, Angry
Sap: Woke, Drunk, Fun
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
Bacchus: Punk to me is being who you want to be. It’s not about following trends. It’s about making your own choices and saying what you want to say, when you want to say it.
How do you see on downloading, mp3 and that stuff?
Bacchus: I’d like if people paid for our music but as long as they’re listening to it, I’m happy.
Sap: I don’t care how people get our music. Just get it, vibe with it, and come wild out with us at a show
How is it to live in Usa right now? Politically? That fucking thing in Orlando?
Bacchus: The U.S. is very divided. You have your liberals and you have your conservatives all pushing their own agenda. They’re are not looking for what’s best for the country, they’re looking at what’s best for their own campaigns. I don’t like politics, I think it’s a game. What happened in Orlando is extremely sad and that should’ve never happened. Our world is meant for people of all different creeds, sexualities and beliefs, there’s no reason to kill people because you don’t agree with their sexuality.
Sap: On our record, the song Animal ends with the words EVERYTHING IS FUCKED. I stand by that statement. And things seem to be getting progressively worse. Everybody has been so mad about so many things for so long that it seems like trying to change anybody’s mind is a fool’s errand. But you’ve gotta try. If nothing else, the old people driving the country to hell will die out eventually.
Is there any good bands from USA now? Is the punkscene/hardcorescene/metalscene big? The metal scene? How is it in your hometown?
Bacchus: There are a lot of great bands from the USA right now. I’d say my favorites are Blind Justice and Dissent. They’re too awesome hardcore bands from New Jersey. The metal scene is huge and definitely bigger than the punk and harcore scenes. There’s a good amount of hardcore and punk shows close to my hometown. It’s pretty much an underground movement, those who aren’t involved with this movement probably don’t know they’re happening.
Sap: A couple punk/hardcore bands I’ve been digging lately are Angel Du$t and Turnstile. There’s a growing trend of punk bands reaching out to other styles of music for inspiration, just like we do, and having a lot of success with it.
What do you know about Sweden?
Bacchus: I don’t know much but I know you guys have a booming metal scene.
Sap: Meatballs, Ikea, Viking Metal.
Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?
Bacchus: Amon Amarth!
Sap: The OGs of black metal: ABBA
Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you? Is it easier to do lyrics now or was its easier to do it when you was younger?
Bacchus: Our singer Nate writes the lyrics. We’ll give him ideas and things we’d like for him to write about and he’ll come back with a finished product.
Is there any subject that you never will write anything about??
Bacchus: I’d hope we’d never write about having a lot of money and cars. There’s no substance in that nonsense.
Sap: I hope we write about having a lot of money and cars, because that’d probably mean we had a lot of money and cars, which sounds nice.
Politic and music, does it goes hand in hand? Which is your most political song?
Bacchus: Music comments on politics. They may not exactly go hand in hand but conscious music will always point out what is wrong in the political sphere. Our most political song would be Godzilla
Sap: Music has always been a way to spread a message, so naturally its always had politics involved. Burn it Down is also a super political song.
Best political band/artist?
Bacchus: Rage Against The Machine
Sap: RATM, Woody Guthrie, Killer Mike
Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyones life, I mean people who listens to music?
Bacchus: It definitely can, I’ve sought refuge in music many times. I truly believe that music has saved me and gave me a purpose in this world.
Sap: Most definitely.
Your cover on your CD looks really nice, is it important to have a record cover which shows people which type of music you play? Your favorite recordcover? Who does your covers? And do you have any good recordstores in your hometown?
Bacchus: Thanks! I think having a record cover is most important to catch the person’s eyes. You want something that’s gonna pop out and make them want to pick up the record. My favorite record cover would have to be the Bad Brains Self Titled record. It’s such an iconic piece of art. There aren’t too many record stores around my hometown but there’s a really nice one about 40 minutes away. It’s called Vintage Vinyl and it’s located in Fords, NJ.
Sap: Mike Hinson, a graphic designer from NYC does all of our cover art. He’s the man, shout out to him. I fortunately have a big record store in my town called Jack’s Music Shoppe. It’s been there for like 50 years and is definitely mostly a rock store, but they have a lot of everything. I think Action Bronson has some of the craziest cover art in music right now, Saab Stories especially. My favorite album cover of all time though is probably John Coltrane’s Coltrane’s Sound. I once did drugs and stared at it for an hour.
Is it important to get out physical records of your stuff? Why or why not? Vinyl, CD, cassette, what do you prefer if you could choose whatever ?
Bacchus: Yeah it’s very important to have physical records. It’s way more personal than a digital download of a song. I prefer to have a physical CD. I always enjoyed the process of digging through the crates.
Sap: Physical stuff is very important because somebody will be able to buy it at a show right then and there. If you tell somebody “oh go look it up on iTunes” they’ll probably forget, but if you can sell them something right then and there you might have just got a new fan who’s gonna listen to your stuff all the time. Vinyl is great too, I love flipping through LPs and running the turntable and everything. I’m not really sold on this whole cassette tape revival thing, but some people really seem to dig it.
Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your career and under some gig?
Bacchus: There’s a lot of funny things that have happened. I think the funniest was when we played a warehouse show in Jersey City. I was all drunk and started pissing out a backstage window. It turns out the warehouse was owned by a biker gang. The biker saw me pissing out the window and he grabbed me by the hair and threatened to throw me out the window.
Sap: Like I said before, one time somebody came through the moshpit with a sledgehammer. And nobody got hurt! One time we made a life-size dummy of Bacchus and threw it to the crowd. It lasted about 30 seconds before they tore it to shreds.
How does your audience look like? Which people do you miss on your concerts? Which is the biggest band you ever have played together with?
Bacchus: Our audience is mostly fellow musicians, skateboarders, punks, hipsters and some hip hop heads. I think we really miss out when we play for a mainstream rap crowd. They don’t seem to be interested in what we have to offer. The biggest band we’ve ever played with is Living Color.
Sap: We also opened for Questlove doing a DJ set once, that was pretty gnarly. Our crowds are super diverse, which makes me really happy.
Please rank your five favoriterecords, five favoriteconcerts and five most important things in life?
Bacchus: Lifestyles Ov Da Poor And Dangerous- Big L, Kill Em All- Metallica, Ashes Of The Wake- Lamb Of God, The Right Time- Mighty Diamonds, The Doors- The Doors
My five favorite concerts would have to be Lamb of God and Slipknot, Suburban Scum at TCNJ, Afropunk Fest 2014, Dead Kennedys and Hot Blood, Fidlar at First Unitarian Church.
My five most important things in life are music, skateboarding, family, friends and beer
Sap: in no particular order
Records: Phoenix- “Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix” Kanye- “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” Daft Punk- “Discovery” John Coltrane- “Coltrane’s Sound” The Beatles- “Rubber Soul”
Concerts: Death Grips at Webster Hall, The Orwells at Bonnaroo 2014 (which ended in a near-riot), Fidlar at First Unitarian Church, Odd Future at First Unitarian Church in 2011, Bonnaroo Superjam 2014
5 most important things: music, family, friends, beer, and food. I don’t skateboard.
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
Bacchus: The first record I bought was On The Front Line By The Casualties. The last record I bought was Forced Order’s Vanishing Crusade. The most expensive record I bought was probably the Nirvana, With The Lights Out box set.
Sap: My first record was Daft Punk’s Discovery. Last record I bought was Death Grips’ Bottomless Pit on vinyl. I can’t really think of a particularly expensive record I’ve bought.
Is it boring with interviews? Is it much interviews??
Bacchus: Interviews aren’t boring I enjoy them. I definitely like in person or phone interviews the best.
Sap: I like interviews! Especially when we get asked unique questions like yours.
If you could choose five bands from the past and the history and nowadays and both dead and living bands to have a concert together with your band. Which five have you been chosen?
Bacchus: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors, The Roots, Incendiary and Lamb of God
Sap: The Doors, RATM with Zach De La Rocha, Run The Jewels, Death Grips, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (DJ set)
Is music a good way to get out frustration and become a nicer person outside the music??
Bacchus: Definitely, music is very therapeutic. Going to shows is a time for me to release all my built up anger. I feel like if I didn’t go crazy in mosh pits I’d probably hurt someone on the streets lol.
Sap: Yeah I definitely perform better when I’ve been tense or pissed off all day. Releasing that energy is great, I pretty much always come off stage feeling great, unless the show was ASTOUNDINGLY bad.
Which is the most odd question you ever have got in an interview?
Bacchus: We haven’t really gotten any odd questions yet.
Sap: This question.
Which is the question you want to have but you never get. Please ask it and answer it?
Bacchus: The question I want to be asked is what’s the most stressful part of being an independent musician. The most stressful part is the feeling of being in limbo and feeling like you’re putting in all this work with no immediate results.
Sap: I wish people would ask us about beer. We love beer. Let us talk about beer more.
Futureplans for the band?
Bacchus: Tour, put out more music and film more music videos
Sap: Right now goal numero uno is to hit the road and get out to LA. We’re also writing a bunch of new music and trying to put together a new EP for the Fall/Winter.
Bacchus: To be happy 24/7
Sap: find a better job that I can work til I can quit to do music full time.
Bacchus: It Good!
Something to add?
Bacchus: Bring us to play in Sweden, that would be fun!