Do it your way and let the chips fall where they may. And having cool merch doesn’t hurt either when you want to be remembered. Talk to Jimmy Reeves of Sunndrug… that’s what we did.
Jimmy Reeves (vocals), Chris Raines (drums), Junior Favela (keys), Clint Kesler (guitar), and Matt Beck (bass) happens to be Virginia Beach, VA’s own Sunndrug. With big plans to support their new album, Exit Wounds, throughout 2017, the guys are going to be busy.
We managed to get Mind Over Matter Records to give us a few minutes with their big fish, Jimmy, to talk about the band, the new album, and who they would love to play with live just once. So, buckle up children and enjoy the ride. We might even get a Norma Jean reference if you’re paying attention. Hit up our Facebook or Twitter feeds after your mandatory reading and let us hear your thoughts.
NRR: Thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for National Rock Review. What’s been going on with the band, Sunndrug, so far into the last parts of 2016?
Jimmy Reeves: Hi Erich, no problem thanks for having us. We’ve been really busy this fall playing shows and preparing to support our first full-length album Exit Wounds. It’s out now, we released [it on] vinyl, cassettes, and digital. You can also stream it on Apple Music, Spotify, etc.
NRR: A lot of bands are going the D.I.Y. route these days because the lucrative record deals are so hard to get it seems. How did the deal with Mind Over Matter Records go down and how has the relationship been so far?
Jimmy Reeves: We feel really fortunate to be working with Mind Over Matter. We sent the record around hoping to find someone to work with that had a similar mentality. When we talked to Austin at Mind Over Matter, it seemed to just be a really good fit for our band and also on a personal level. He has gone above and beyond for us already so we are really happy to be part of the label.
NRR: Your latest project, Exit Wounds, came out Oct 31, 2016. What makes this effort special for the band and what would you hope fans, new and old, might find special about it as well?
Jimmy Reeves: Its been really special to work with the guys in the band to bring this album to life. It has a lot of nuances and brings in a few different influences. We’re really hoping people give it a chance and listen through the full album. We put a lot of thought into every aspect from the writing, recording and mixing process to the album art. There’s been a lot of mention of the prior bands associated with us, I hope fans of bands like Norma Jean and Spitfire give it a chance.
NRR: Now for those that haven’t heard the stream for “Shining,” we highly recommend taking a minute or two to check it out. With what inspired the song, was it a normal experience putting the track out for the second single?
Jimmy Reeves: One of the problems when picking singles for this record is that its got a few styles meshed together throughout. “Shining” is one of the songs that gives a glimpse of what we’re trying to do, but is pretty different sonically than a song like “Stilts.” It was the last song we wrote for the record and we love how it turned out, so it was one we were excited for people to hear early on.
NRR: For those that haven’t checked you guys out until now, how would you describe the uniqueness of your sound, to a sonic virgin of the Sunndrug cult to be?
Jimmy Reeves: I would say its electronic rock. We have a few influences happening but at the core its an aggressive, dark rock band.
NRR: Every band has a story of how they got together, some more interesting than others and some more real than you might think. Where does this outfit fall into the frey and how did you guys come to play together?
Jimmy Reeves: Sunndrug started with me making demos in my studio on Mercer street in New York. I had been living in Brooklyn for about nine years and was ready to leave. I really wanted to work with Chris Raines again, but he was living in Virginia Beach, VA, so I started sending him ideas. The songs “White Ladders”, “Denial”, and “Halo”, were some of the first ideas we began forming the sound of the band around. I started busing back and forth to practice and eventually moved back to Virginia about two years ago. From there it was really about finding people who got the vision for what we were trying to do. Junior Favela is an amazing musician and someone I really wanted in the band. He was instrumental in the writing of “Blackout” and is an insane performer. Clint had already been playing music with Chris, and was a perfect fit on guitar. Matt was the final piece for the band and brings so much to the table aside from playing bass guitar and guitars live.
NRR: What influence(s) would you be able hear in your style of play regardless of the genre that might have hatched it/them?
Jimmy Reeves: I think we were shooting for something between NIN and Queens of the Stone Age stylistically, but also Radiohead, Black Sabbath, etc. We grew up loving everything from the Beatles to Dillinger Escape Plan.
NRR: If you were in the crowd after your set, and heard two people talking about Sunndrug, how would you hope the conversation might go?
Jimmy Reeves: “Those guys ripped, I loved it!”
NRR: Where do the ideas for songs come from for the group or how does a “normal” session go when you’re trying to write new material?
Jimmy Reeves: For most of this record I would bring ideas to Chris and we’d flush things out and complete the songs together in my studio. We didn’t have a full band yet or any sure idea if we’d finish the record when we were making it. I’m really looking forward to working on the next record with the band. It will be a whole different animal, I can’t wait to start writing.
NRR: Are you still music fans outside of being on stage, and if so, is there anyone you’d be excited to catch live or play with, and if so who and/or why?
Jimmy Reeves: We are all huge music fans. I would love to see, Meshuggah, and a Mars Volta reunion. As far as bands to play with… we’d love to open for NIN or Queens of the Stone Age! We’ve done some really fun shows with Must Be the Holy Ghost, We Were Black Clouds, and Demons. We’re hoping to play as much as we can to get this record in front of people.
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Mind Over Matter Records
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