Interview: Suuns

Adam Corner chats to Secretly Canadian's Suuns on the eve of the release of their second album.

Interview: Suuns Bearded: Firstly, where are you and what are you up to right now? Is the new album completely ready to go, or is there still work to do?

Ben: Right now I am in Montreal. I'm writing these words on my lunch break at work.

The album is done as of a couple months ago. We are just sitting on our hands waiting for the record to come out officially. Though, everyone I talk to has heard it already... As far as the music is concerned, its wrapped.

We are working on new videos, coordinating remixes, rehearsing a lot and generally getting all of our ducks in a row before hitting the road. Hopefully it will be a busy year.

I'm looking forward to catching the band live again this year, I last saw you play at the Green Man festival in 2011. How do you rate British festivals - have you played at many? Do you have a favourite? Are you playing any this year?

Green Man is great festival. Very clean and friendly. Family oriented which is nice. Also the setting in Wales is just stunning. It's one of the nicer festivals to play - nice vibe. We haven’t really played that many British festivals. We just did ATP in November - is that considered a festival? That was cool.

Most of the biggish festivals we've played have been in continental Europe. This year we are doing Glastonbury, so that's really exciting. People talk about Glasto all the time, so its cool that we got invited.

Would you say the new album is a change in direction or picking up from where the last one left off? I guess one thing that makes Suuns stand out is that its equal parts electronic and scuzzy guitar/drums (not necessarily all in the same song). But are you taking things more in one of those directions?

I'd say it still very much sounds like us. Its not a totally new direction, but its more developed, and more crafted. We have a lot more experience this time around so we took a little more time making sure it was a tight record. There is still a balanced ratio of electro and noisy guitars - you can't change who you are in your heart. The keyboard is pretty heavy handed on this record while the guitars keep their minimal riff-making style.

The vocal is more prominent which makes the new songs more 'traditional' in the sense that there is a clearer entry point for the listener.

Mostly, we are more confident as a band and feel like we can take chances with the production and songwriting. We only have ourselves to please, which hasn't changed from our first record.

Finally, can you say a little bit about the circumstances this album was created in - where were you? How did the recording process for a song typically go? Is it easy to translate your material from the studio to a live setting?

We recorded Images du Futur here in Montreal. Same studio as our first record, again with Jace Lasek at the console. We tracked and mixed it all relatively quickly, all said and done in about 3.5 weeks. We wanted to do it quick, make sure we knew the tunes well enough not to second guess what we were playing. We tried to perform all the material before hitting the studio. Some tunes we had been playing for a year already. As far as recording process, its nothing special. The usual bed tracks, trying to have everyone playing together as much as possible. Overdubbing lines, vocals last. I don't know. I don’t think its particularly different than most bands.

It’s never easy to translate from the studio to the bandstand. But in our case its more the reverse. We really approach the material and play the music first as a live band, and then as a studio band. So the challenge is translating the live band to the studio. That’s where Jace comes in. He is our translator. He captures the sounds and puts in on tape. The live show is much more different than the recorded material. I've always felt we were a live band first and the studio was a secondary thing that we did.

Watch the video for new single '2020' below and scroll down for tour dates...

04/29/13 - Rome, IT - Lanificio 159
04/30/13 - Modena, IT - Mattatoia
05/02/13 - Zagreb, HR - Culture Factory Club
05/03/13 - Krems, AT - Donau Festival
05/04/13 - Munich, DE - Atomic Cafe
05/05/13 - Berlin, DE - Comet
05/06/13 - Cologne, DE - Studio 672
05/07/13 - Metz, FR - Les Trinitaires
05/08/13 - Zurich, CH - Rote Fabrik
05/09/13 - Paris, FR - Trabendo
05/10/13 - Lille, FR - Grand Mix
05/11/13 - Brussels, BE - La Nuit de Botanique
05/12/13 - Amsterdam, NL - Melkweg
05/14/13 - London, UK - XOYO
05/15/13 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club
05/16/13 - Dublin, IE - The Grand Social
05/17/13 - Liverpool, UK - Kazimier
05/18/13 - Bristol, UK - The Exchange