If you’ll all remember from my interview with indie band SHAYLEE, I have a deep place in my heart for artists who buck the trends of the mainstream and go it alone. MOTHER SUN is a band whose roots recall a time when music was experimental, and everyone was full of love and sunshine. The men of MOTHER SON took some time out of their schedule to answer a few questions for us!
Could you introduce yourselves to our readers?
We’re Mother Sun, a band from Kamloops, BC Canada, and we’re Jared Doherty, Jared Wilman, Alex Ward and Emilio Pagnotta.
Could you tell us about the inspiration behind the name Mother Sun? (Nice play on words, by the way!)
Emilio and I (Jared D) wanted something to do with sun for the name. Something that represents the warmth we wanted to convey with our music.
You’ve known each other for quite some time (being in different bands in the Kamloops music scene, and the Jareds knowing each other since high school). What made you finally decide to give it a go as a band together?
Emilio, Jared, and Jared were good friends and started writing some songs together. Alex and Jared W. played a lot of jazz gigs together and we wanted one more person to play bass or keys. Alex does both at once (bass on the organ) and we really clicked personally and musically once we all started jamming together. And we had a bunch of songs so we decided to give it a try.
Your music reminds me of bands like Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band and The Kinks. Who are some of the bands/artists that have inspired you?
We love those bands! Collectively we listen to lots of different stuff: ’60s psych-pop such as The Zombies and Jefferson Airplane, ’60s jazz like John Coltrane, Sergio Mendes, Miles Davis, Bill Evans as well as modern jazz like Alfa Mist and jazz electronica acts like KNOWER. Andy Shauf. Emilio and I got really into West Coast garage and psych sounds of the Allah-las and Ty Segall. A bunch of bands we’ve played with in Canada are super inspiring and all around great people: Speak Easy, Archaics, Dopey’s Robe, Teenage Wedding, Tanglers, Wrecked Beach, Volunteers to name a few!
What influences outside of music have inspired you?
Passionate people we are fortunate enough to know! Local entrepreneurs who are killing it running small local businesses in Kamloops. Aside from that, skateboarding, hiking, reading books, taking photos, cooking.
How did you hook up with Felix Fung? And how did he ultimately end up producing your debut LP?
Felix mixed tracks for several of our other projects in the past and did an amazing job. He needed his studio painted, so Emilio traded his painting expertise for two songs and we went from there. Felix pulled no punches and demanded the best performances we could offer, rolling dozens of takes of early songs as he whipped us into shape. We respected his brutal honestly and ability to push us to play with more passion, and we developed a close friendship with him, crashing at his studio.
You went back and forth to Vancouver to record your album with the help of Felix. What did the experience recording with someone who really pushes you teach you about yourselves as a band?
I think he showed us what we are capable of; putting more thought into song arrangement, objective honesty when something isn’t working in a song, playing collectively as a group better.
You said your goal this fall is to do some touring. Where are some dream places you’d like to perform?
We’d love to tour Europe someday, Australia, Japan, South America … this fall we’re being slightly more realistic and starting with Western Canada.
What kind of emotions are running through you with the release of your first LP?
We’re looking forward to getting it out there so we can move onto the next!! And we’re super excited to tour.
How do you balance your time between your daily life and the band?
Hanging out with our girlfriends, cooking breakfast, playing in other bands, working, going camping, recording, swimming, mini golfing, we’re big into mini-golf. Going to the movies from time to time.
Have there been moments when you were discouraged about continuing down the music route? If so, how do you overcome those moments of doubt?
It’s easier to get discouraged when there’s stretches of inactivity. It’s effortless to overcome when we’re rehearsing and playing together regularly and feeling confident as a band.
What advice do you have for bands or artists that start out local and want to branch out?
Record something cool in your basement, then listen to some artists working in new places you want to play, as well as possible venues. Send your favourite ones a message and try and set up a show. It’s easier than you think.
What can fans and new listeners look forward to from you for the rest of 2019 and beyond?
We’re working on new music and are excited to self record our next release, hopefully before the year’s end! We just recorded a few live videos of some new songs. We’re going to be doing more touring down into the US at some point soon.
Any final thoughts you’d like to share with our readers?
Check out our album “Caramel Clouds” out today, and have yourself a wonderful day!
MOTHER SUN is really a band with an incredible sound. Wonderful vibes, something you can let wrap around you. The summer sun without the unnecessary heat. Please, give them a listen!