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Sunpilots - Set A Course For The Sun

Author: 3D
Thursday, 27 September 2007
3D spoke to guitarist Robert Spencer from local rock act the Sunpilots about the band’s rocket ride to success.

Your music is described as “bittersweet poetry wrapped in unashamedly guitar-driven rock” – what are some of your closest musical touchstones/inspirations-

Well we all have different influences but two of my most influential bands are the giants of the ‘70s: Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin. Also The Planets by Gustav Holst – it’s an orchestral suite written in 1916 – obviously there are no electric guitars in it, but the power and drama is amazing. The orchestra would have been like a 1920s version of a big rock concert – there could be thousands of people there and as there were no amplifiers or PAs the only way to make things louder would be to have more players. Radiohead is a big one for me and I know they are one of Raj’s favourites as well (Raj is our singer and illustrious leader). But the band thing is often about the chemistry of the group – everyone bringing their different influences together and creating something greater than the sum of its parts. Hopefully you create something new out of this and all those frustrating moments of disagreement about where a song should go are worth it in the end!

The Sunpilots won Best International Artist at the Canadian Independent Music Awards and have been added to playlists nationally on the strength of your debut single – how essential has your online presence been to your success-
The Canadian award was brought about solely through internet contact, and a lot of people worldwide have heard our music who otherwise wouldn’t have had access. We have sold CDs online in a number of countries that had no other way of hearing us. Those are some clear examples - in terms of general exposure it’s hard to know exactly who heard what where, but it does feel like it’s snowballing towards a critical mass point and the online presence has played a big role in that.

What’s on the horizon in terms of your debut LP-

We’re looking at releasing it in March/April 2008 and are very excited to finally have an album. Were mixing at 301 with Phil McKellar (producer for Silverchair, Grinspoon and Kisschasy) and having it mastered by George Merino at Sterling Sound in NYC, so it should be sounding pretty good.

How about in terms of local shows and touring-
We’ll put together a tour to the major cities in Australia. The size of the venues depends on how radio play is going so how we go in the upcoming NA2R competition will make a difference. We’re one of three bands nominated for the rock category so we’re in with a good chance. Internationally a tour of Europe next summer (June/July) is starting to come together. There are a few festivals and venues we are finalising now. They seem to be wanting Australian rock bands over there so we are happy to help them out!

WHO: Sunpilots
WHAT: Play the Lansdowne
WHEN: Friday 5 October