Sunflower Bean

Q&A: Sunflower Bean

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New York trio Sunflower Bean will be releasing their sophomore record Twenty-two in Blue, on March 23. Unlike their debut Human Ceremony, which was recorded in like a week, this time around, the band really took their time to showcase how far they’ve come since first playing together back in High School.

To tease the album, they’ll be playing at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco on March 2, as part of Popscene. In anticipation of their performance, we reached out to Nick and Jacob to talk about how the group first came together, how they came up with the name of the band, and what the music scene is like in New York these days.

For people that don’t know you guys, how would you describe your band?

Jacob: We are a three-piece rock band taking influences from many sounds and putting them together to create forward-thinking indie rock songs.

How’d you guys come up with the name for the band?

Nick: It magically just popped into my head one day. We weren’t thinking about band names or anything like that, we were just hanging out. It felt like saying abracadabra.

You’re a band that’s known for touring tirelessly. What’s the craziest thing that’s happened at one of your shows?

Nick: We were playing a house show at our friend’s house at Penn State a while ago and someone threw a TV down a flight of stairs while we were playing. And not like a new tv, one those old ones with the big backs.

I read somewhere that you recorded your debut Human Ceremony in something like a week. Why so fast?

Nick: We did relentless prep work and practice so that when we entered the studio we knew exactly what to do. We had a small budget so we had to be sure we weren’t wasteful with precious time.

You’re coming out with a new LP at the end of the month. What songs are you most happy with and why?

Jacob: We are extremely happy with the whole record, it’s too hard to pick favorites right now. Making this record was the most creatively fulfilling thing we’ve done up to this point and I think that translates into the songs.

What was your inspiration for the video “I was a Fool”?

Nick: We wanted to make a video with a romantic, youthful, nostalgic, feel. The setting of a school dance seemed perfect.

You guys are based in NY. What’s the music scene like over there right now?

Jacob: It’s cool! A lot of the venues that we grew up going to have closed down, but luckily there’s always people opening up cool new spaces that put on all ages shows. It’s just hard for young people to move to the city and start a band because of how expensive it is. So the scene is still there just not as thriving as it once was.

What do you think of musicians like Noel Gallagher that have said rock music may not be dead but it’s definitely gone?

Jacob: I think they are slightly out of touch, and that it’s a way to position themselves as some kind of savior. But in actuality that sentiment is the biggest hit rock music can take because it hasn’t gone anywhere and isn’t leaving anytime soon.

Sunflower Bean plays the Rickshaw Stop w/ The She’s, Dear Boy, plus DJ Aaron Axelsen (Popscene) // Friday 3/2 – 9:00 pm

Photo courtesy of Motormouth Media

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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