Sunrise and Ammunition is an interesting rock trio who recently released one of my favorite indie rock songs Movers in 2020. We discussed several issues regarding their latest and previous releases along with the music industry situation and how it affects their upcoming plans. Let’s find out!
Hey guys! I’m so thrilled to chat with you today, I read that you all gathered through the internet. How did it happen?
We met each other at a public intermediate school in the 8th grade, and we all lived less than a quarter-mile from each other in the same neighborhood. At that point, we each had about two years’ worth of experience on our instruments. So we all learned and improved together after that. The thing about the internet as we were part of the first generation to largely grow up online. Learning to play by YouTube, discovering bands online led to a lot of variety and niche sub-genres. We met our producer and record label owner Alvaro through mutual friends in the music community in Houston.
When I checked your debut Tesseract, I felt it’s like a concept album. Tell me more about the album theme.
I don’t think we planned to have a concept album, but about halfway through we started piecing things together and it made sense to us. Especially because of the things we were listening to at the time, Mars Volta comes to mind. I think we felt like we were trapped, living in the suburbs with shades on our whole lives. We wanted to emerge out of that normalcy and do something expansive and beyond ourselves as individuals. We wanted the music to teleport people into that next dimension! We liked the idea of the physical CD being something special, like a continuous journey. There isn’t an overall theme for the album but a few main themes- like apocalyptic premonitions, self-transcendence, and odes to space, like the colors of Jupiter and the cosmic metronome of a pulsar. A lot of it was inspired by Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and personal experiences of transformation and coming of age since we were all about 18 when we made it.
Back in 2012, you preferred to release it physically. In your opinion, do people still care about physical releases?
I think people will always care about physical merchandise from bands, but I think CD’s will likely be comparable to VHS in a few years, especially while shows are no longer a thing. If shows don’t make a full recovery, then I see streaming taking over for good. Although I still think that there are music lovers that will always be vinyl collectors. Vinyl sales were higher than CDs in 2020, the first time since the 80s! Hopefully, physical music stays in the form of vinyl many years into the future.
I noticed that you didn’t classify your music with a specific genre. And I can tell there are various rock elements over here, or you guys follow a certain genre?
We try to keep our antennae open to anything, as long as it has a tasty and honest expression. We definitely don’t write music imagining the genre of the song in advance. Maybe we don’t like to box ourselves in and so we’re never shooting for a specific genre as a band. I think in the past specific genres were a result of specific locations, cultures, and time periods. Because of the internet, we were exposed to much more than someone would have been in the past. We enjoy listening to specific genres but we love too many to stick to one. One definition of creativity is just combining things that have never been combined before. Even in our single Movers, we were calling it J Hella because it was a novel combination of a math rock band and instrumental hip hop (Hella and J Dilla). We definitely have our strong roots in prog rock, but we’d like to be able to continue to expand our sound. Maybe we’ve drifted away from over technical stuff a little and are more into a spacey psychedelic sound overall now. There will always be ventures into other areas.
You just released Movers which is a stunning indie hit, guys! How did you work on it during a touch year?
Thanks! We’re so happy you enjoy it. We actually wrote this song in 2017 and recorded it in the last couple of years. The only thing we did in 2020 was mixing the song and some finishing touches.
So are you planning for an album soon?
We still have a lot of material and will compile tracks into complete releases, but so far we are planning to release a 4 song EP with Movers being 1 of them. We’re looking to follow that up with another EP or LP.
As usual, artists use live gigs to promote their music, but it’s difficult for sure based on the current situation. Do you have any alternatives to promote for your releases?
We definitely used to try to use live shows as our main way to promote, which is a bummer because I feel like that’s where we could really stand out. Play-throughs are a good alternative and I’m sure we will think of other unique ways. We’re going to try to be more consistent with releasing music and content supporting that music.
2021 still unclear for the music industry. Do you have a specific plan to deal with it?
Going to play it by ear! See how things unfold and if shows will make a comeback. If it’s still looking grim then bands will have to pioneer new ways to stay relevant. It seems like the music industry is broken up in two, where you have the big mainstream artists pioneering their own way while the underground DIY scene will have to figure out their modern approach to staying active musically. The situation is bleak for everyone but we humans always bounce back!