Interview w/ Toronto Twin Duo Low Sun
Kicking off your Friday with an interview from Canadian hardcore duo Low Sun. These guys have been crafting an intricate blend of music that can't quite possibly be contained, and really has a certain, unheralded beauty to it that captures the musical essence and message that the guys seek to establish with the audience. The guys were nice enough to do a quick chat as we strive to find out a little more about them, their experiences getting started in Toronto, how their creative process usually works, what it was like to record their latest LP, "Reservoir of Impermanent Bliss", and what life is like away from making music. Here is the transcript from our chat:
Give us your names and roles in the band?
Hello! My name is Rob and my role in Low Sun is to play the drums while occasionally answering interview questions. Peter plays guitar and sings while occasionally sending me interview questions to answer.
Take us behind the formation of Low Sun and how you all met?
Low Sun is a new incarnation of a project Peter and I had worked on for the past few years called Shahman. Lyrically, sonically and conceptually we began to migrate in a new direction so we decided that a name change would be fitting. Peter and I are twin brothers so we likely met in the spaceless void I will simply refer to as “pre-carnation”.
Describe your musical influences that really made you want to get into music?
We grew up in a small town in Northern Ontario where access to new and interesting music was almost non-existent. When our family got its first computer Peter and I would go down a rabbit hole on Limewire and other download sites, randomly coming across bands like The Get Up Kids which at the time blew our collective minds and were very punk to us. After high school we moved to the city of Ottawa, ON, Canada and started going to record shops and hanging with more musically learned folks; discovering bands like Fugazi and other Discord era bands that eventually became our greatest musical influences.
What is the music scene like in Ontario and were there alot of opportunities for you to play?
We have somewhat neglected the Ontario music scene over the years, opting to tour mostly around the United States. However, living in Toronto we’ve always been spoiled by a steady, dependable scene with a ton of great musicians and bands. There seems to be more shows popping up around southern Ontario and the musical climate looks increasingly promising in terms of opportunities for punk bands.
What is the creative process like for you guys, how do you two usually bounce ideas off of one another?
Nearly all songs are worked on together and emerge spontaneously through jamming on a small riff or idea that Peter will bring to practice. I’ve always written the lyrics and we will work on vocals together.
Recently, we’ve gotten into the habit of constantly demoing new songs as they come, which is nice because we’re able to build a project slowly and really hone in on a particular aspect that may need work. We’re obsessed with tweaking the small nuances within our songs, despite them being somewhat simple in structure.
Let's go behind the recording of your new song "Round Soul", and what the backstory behind it is?
Finding space to record uninterrupted in Toronto is nearly impossible so we decided to head to our friends cottage instead. It was late winter and a pretty awful cold snap came through the area we were recording. We ending up having to seal all of the windows with blankets we found and confined ourselves to one room to maintain some semblance of a heated space. We had no running water and could not use the oven since the breaker would overload due to the small floor heaters needing to much electricity. We ate cold food and slept in full winter clothing for three days. The tape machine we were using kept cracking and skipping from the cold, which you can hear on some of the songs. I suppose you could say it’s the sound of our near-freezing deaths being imprinted on 1/4 inch tape.
What are your live shows like and do you try to capture the energy in the studio?
We’re just two people and have always tried to represent ourselves honestly as such. Our philosophy in the past on recording has been to try to archive songs in their most honest and pure form. that being said, we’ve begun to take more liberties with our recordings and have experimented more with vocal harmonies and other odd vocal parts that we come up with throughout the process.
Besides music, what do you like to do for fun in your spare time?
Music basically devours my spare-time in many forms. I’m either jamming with another band, going to shows, or working with Peter for our label. Constantly working is kinda fun though, right? Oh and I like going to trivia nights with friends, although my knowledge of pop culture is abysmal and suggests that I shouldn’t love this activity at all.
What's coming up next for you guys, is there an album or U.S. shows in the mix?
Round Soul was just released on our first record entitled “Reservoirs of Impermanent Bliss” released on our own imprint Art of the Uncarved Block. We’re a few weeks away from starting a tour throughout Eastern Europe, Japan and Hong Kong. Hopefully we’ll be back playing the states soon and get to visit our American buds.
Lastly, how has making music brought you closer together?
I’ve often joked that being a twin is like being in a marriage you cannot and will not leave. We’re spiritually bound by and have grown together through music. Creating art and music has always been a natural act for us. We’re the Tegan and Sara of hardcore.
Thanks once again to Rob and Peter for being so awesome in taking out some time to do this interview! You don't really know much about a group until you read these in depth interviews, and judging from their creative mindset these guys definitely have a bright future on their hands, and this won't be the last we'll be hearing from them that's for sure. To check out their music and their latest LP, head on over to their Bandcamp site located here for all the musical goodness that is abound.