SECOND SUN is a Swedish band that I just found out about. Jakob – guitarist & singer answered the questions. Anders Ekdahl ©2018
When the band came into creation what was the main purpose for it?
-Well, you could say that the band started on new years eve 2010 when me and early drummer Micael sat on the floor in a friends house listening to that early Pentagram singles compilation. Me, being first and foremost a drummer at the time, really wanted to play guitar because Micael was such a killer dude but also a drummer so we had never had a band together. We started rehearsing with Marcus shortly after and I guess you could say that the main purpose for the band at the time was to try to learn to write songs, explore musical territories unexplored to us – 70’s heavy rock, space rock, David Eugene Edwards worship, post rock and so on – and to some extent to have a few beers and blow of some steam and play around since our main bands were already pretty defined genre/style-wise.
How hard is it to come up with a sound that is all yours? What bits’n’pieces do you pick up from other stuff to make it your sound?
-Not that hard actually, we’d have a harder time trying to sound like anyone else I think. Whenever we “expand” the sound it sounds weird for a week or two and then it starts to feel like home and it sounds like us again. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking, haha. Chances are we’re just a bunch of dudes thinking that our music cannot be labeled – wouldn’t be the first time that happened…
On ‘picking bits’n’pieces’:
Everything I write and all the melodies I hum are built on the same foundations – being Iron Maiden, Jethro Tull, irish and swedish folk music, Camel etc – and the material that comes out at a certain time is normally inspired by things I listen to or experience at that time. If you had consumed the exact same stuff I had you would probably be able to pinpoint where a lot of stuff I write comes from. It can be a few notes from a speed metal solo, a chord change from a pop song or a phrase turned backwards from a book I’m reading. I try to get inspired by everything, being like “WOW! What a cool thing to have a second part of the song with a whole new set of verse/chorus, like a song within a song, I want to do that too!” is a great way for me to write stuff! Sometimes it turns out to be a bad idea, but better having too many ideas I’d say, as long as you know how to filter out the bad ones, haha.
I have no idea what kind of creative process you guys go through but how hard is it to record and release new songs?
-Not that hard! We’ve got our main guy Olle that has done a lot of recordings with us by now and we know how we like to do things. Normally we work in bursts, where we do 4-5 songs over a weekend or two. Two such sessions make up the new record for example. I love being in the studio, so on one hand I’d like to go away for two weeks and just focus on the recording, but on the other hand it’s really nice to have a graspable work load in front of you instead of going from blank tapes to finished recordings on 10-12 songs all at once. Plus it’s easier to get four weekends into people’s lives than twelve consecutive days.
Today technology allows you to record at home and release your music digitally. But in doing so is there a risk that you release only single songs because that is what is demanded to stay atop and therefore you end up killing the album for example?
-Naah, I don’t think there’s a risk of killing the album. Maybe in mainstream music, but from what I’ve understood the album has been dead a long time over there. Since a large portion of the people consume music in 1-song-portions, maybe bands will be more prone to release a lot of digital singles, but I don’t see a problem with that. Good tunes are good tunes – hopefully a band with a lot of succesful digital singles eventually releases a cool album too. My guess is that albums will always exist in rock music, it’s a dear format to a lot of musicians, me being one of them.
I for one feel that the change in how people listen to music today, by downloading it and expecting to get it for free, will kill music as we know it. What kind of future is there for music?
-Maybe so, but “music as we know it” has been killed a lot of times (electricity, recordings, the music video, etc) and it has turned out pretty good most of the times. With the thing you mentioned above, that everyone can record at home and releasing music virtually free, maybe we’ll just have a lot of really good music to enjoy. Or maybe we’ll see more shows, since bands need to get out to make money from tickets and merch sales, or less, because bands have to get regular jobs because the music is not bringing the mone in. I’m sure that as long as people need to make and spread their music, there will be ways.
What kind of responses do you get to your music? What has been the thing that has gotten the most attention?>
-A lot of people don’t know how to react to it, do you airguitar? Do you headbang? Do you stand around eyes closed, nodding your head? Either way is great for me. As long as there is some kind of reaction. The thing that got us the most attention I think is when we played Muskelrock in 2016 – great show! Hopefully this new album is going to get us some fame and fortune as well!
We live in a world where there are no real distances between people communicating anymore. What has been the most surprising contact so far?
-That we were featured as ‘album or the week’ or something like that in a japanese record store. Also the fact that our first album, sung in swedish, is released on an american label, that is pretty futuristic when you think about it.
Does playing in a band make you feel like you are a part of a greater community? What has music brought with it that you would have otherwise missed out on?
-No, not really. I like some people, and some of them play music, I don’t feel like I’m part of scene or a community in that sense. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that such scenes exist, where people make each other try harder and also support each other, I just don’t feel like I’m part of one. Maybe I’m getting older and more caught up in my daily life.
Music has brought me a lot! Happiness, an identity, something to hold on to when life is bleak. Plus a lot of friends, trips and good times from being a musician.
What is the live scene like for you? Do you feel that playing live helps building a bigger following?
-It is really important to me. With some bands you just want to record and make the best songs you can in the studio, but for Second Sun I feel like we need to be on stage – that is part of the reason for even releasing an album, to be able to come out and play it live! I feel like it adds to the following, yes. People bring friends or see cool live shots online and hopefully, you gain a follower or two.
What plans do you have for the future?
-Release our new album ‘Eländes Elände’, september 21st, play some live shows, and continue to work on a really cool thing we’re already writing!
Cheers and thanks for having me!