Sun In Sound’ new single “Solmangel” out now via All Good Clean Records. Read the interview with Sigurd Vik and Magnus Ressem
Photo: Olga Bushueva/IHTLNY
So Sun In Sound was started as a studio-based indie project in 2006…
Sigurd: Cabin-based indie project actually. At that time I lived in Oslo and came back to Trondheim for a while. And I had some song sketches, so I asked Magnus if we could record them and he said yes. He has a cabin at Fosen. So he just said “We are going to my cabin, I’m building an annex that is not finished so it’s perfect to record a little indie there.” And we were there for at least a week, maybe two. There was also a jacuzzi at that cabin so it was very attractive to be there. So we started recording and it was the start of Sun In Sound that got its name at that time as well. And we made a four-track EP that we didn’t do anything about after
Magnus: But we made some songs that were released later…
Sigurd: Yes, some were on the vinyl that was released in 2009 on Sirkel Records.
Magnus: And we used drill and saw and lots of weird stuff in the recording…
Sigurd: Yes, drill we were very fond of. And saw. And some jack-noise. When we just set but didn’t bring the jack all the way into the amplifier but just almost. So we got some power-noise. I find that fascinating. And then we played a bit 60s inspired pop while we do drill and saw and some effects
Magnus: It was like a sandwich. If you go for example to Denmark they have extremely much on one. So it was like a sandwich with 20-30 cm toppings, just too much. So that was the project when we started because we were very interested in sound.
Sigurd: So it was cheese and jam and ham and marmalade. There were a lot of weird things on this sandwich.
Magnus: But at least it was exploring of sound that was really the base of the project.
Sigurd: And after a while two others joined the band. I was not in Trondheim all the time then so it took some time to come to a band. But in 2008 we became a live band consisting of 5-6 friends who helped us. We played a few concerts together but it was me and Magnus as the main core. After the EP from 2009 the band started to take some shape. And we became the four we are now. Then everyone lived in Trondheim and we had a rehearsal room and played together. And the music direction changed from lo-fi indie recording to more guitar-based and clear rock band. And we had a rehearsal room at Marienborg at that time, next door to Soup and a couple of others. Lovely little community
Magnus: So we got two music technologists who are in the band now. And we went from analog stuff with saws and lots of weird instruments to going more into computers. They created their own algorithms that shape the sound through the use of guitar and synth. Then we were a bit like “damn shall we just end up back towards blues and rock ..?”
Sigurd: It was a short period in music technology’s twists and turns. We were a bit of a personal disturbance…. But we came out of this as new and better human beings
Magnus: In the end we started playing blues things and thinking “it’s cool!”, so we started developing this style instead
Sigurd: I remember very well when we started finding the identity that became Sun In Sound as a band, we should really change the band because we dropped almost everything from the past and we could just start now. But we did not bother to change the name.
And when we started playing together the four of us who are in the band now, the first album by Tame Impala was a very important source of inspiration, some kind of exploded 70s sound. At the same time we had such a love for Flaming Lips and other sound-seeking bands with their sound that was exciting and different and a bit advanced. So we tried to keep us this way and explore here. And also it was very important to us to record our music ourselves. We had these two music technologists in the band and that was a tremendous luxury. And we eventually also got a room there then was Greener Productions, a small studio in Bakklandet. So we could use our own recording room when we needed this. And we were able to play with the sound unfortunately as long as we wanted to get the result we wanted. So it has always taken a very long time in the studio.
Magnus: But that was the whole thing. The process of recording, exploring. Sigurd is extremely fond of sound and pedals etc …
Sigurd: And old microphones, old recorders, mixing desks that were searched for on the second-hand market…
Magnus: Yes, so it was a very important thing all the way, right from the drill – the recording process. We just enjoy working with sound
You played live at Trondheim Calling 2013. How did it go? And were there more concerts..?
Sigurd: I had to travel to Northern Norway almost the same evening, so I just had to leave that concert and go to work. But it was a very nice concert. Unfortunately, as is often the case with us, so many other things happen with either work or other things. So we did not manage to play more concerts, especially right after that time.
But feedback we got there led us to continue in that direction there. We had just changed direction a bit in 2012 and released the new song “Tonguetied“. Back at that time we were very fond of retro sound from the 60’s, we listened a lot to bands like The Walkmen. And so we made a song that was more tight and hard hitting and a little more blasted in the sound and we performed it at Trondheim Calling in 2013. And the fact that it was so well received by the public was the reason that we continued with such direction
If we speak now about the EP from 2015. What happened to the sound there..?
Sigurd: Then it was really further development. I was in London with Kristian Krokfoss from the 1099 band and won at the casino NOK 5,000. So I went and bought a microphone in Denmark street, an old harmonica microphone. And it was important in the recording. At the same time Håkon, our guitarist and music technologist, really started to get the hang of the sound that he wanted to produce. He has also bought some audio equipment himself he works with. So we had both instruments, the ideas and the songs that allowed us to go in quite another direction. So there we were very much in the right place. We record something at Magnus’ cabin and then we have another rehearsal room in the industrial building where we could only set guitar amplifiers in the middle of the stairs and record from both below and above and play with sound. Then we also got to play a number of concerts at that time so we also got a good “live” experience.
And it was also a concert with Dungen…
Sigurd: The warm-up job we got through Kim Aasli and Byscenen who asked if we would be a warm-up band. It was a few months after the EP release and we had played some concerts in Trondheim both at what was called “Familien” and in Bakklandet and some others.
Then there was the opportunity we got and it was really a highlight. Dungen was certainly one of the role models we had at that time. And together with Tame Impala and Flaming Lips was one of the bands we all four in the band agreed was good. And it was a great honor and a great pleasure to play that concert.
And Magnus moved to Bodø quite soon afterwards due to work so it’s been a quiet time since then
So why did you decide to release new music now?
Sigurd: There were several reasons. Magnus came back two years ago. And we had some drummer sets from 2017 recorded. And also the music we play with English vocals .. There are many others who do similar things and then we are just a part of the genre. We were a little curious about trying to make music on Trøndersk. And the thing is that Norwegian is the language we know best. So switch to Trøndersk and see what happens. And we were very excited about how it could be – maybe it will be absolutely awful or we can not manage to hold on to it ourselves. Maybe the lyrics-universe become such that we are unable to recognize ourselves. But we thought it was so different and so fresh so we chose to go for it. But first we made that choice then we had to do everything again – all the lyrics that were written and all the recordings that were made. And it included many songs. But when we first started to crack some code on how we could do it on Trøndersk, it went faster. So we wrote new lyrics and recorded songs again. Then we had those songs just lying completed during the pandemic because we thought “now we can not release them, now it is not a good idea to release them…” But in the end we contacted Jakob of All Good Clean Records and asked him if he was interested in releasing them. So he was and we thought “now we just have to do this”
And we would like to release these songs in the summer. Probably it is not directly summer music but we felt that it was more summer than winter music. So we thought the late summer would be perfect.
What about your love for the sun..?
Sigurd: Well, the sun is nice. And it must be enjoyed at the right distance.If you get too close it burns and if you get too far it does not work. And it heats and boils and sprinkles and is full of the sound and energy that is really close to what Sun In Sound thing really is. It should be the sun in sound and something that works if you at the right distance, so if you put the microphone in the right place and you caught it in the right way then it was sun but if you were too close or too far away then it was not sure you like it at all
Do you have any plans for releasing more new music?
Sigurd: There will be at least one more single – “Ungdomstid på Overtid”. We have not decided on a date yet, but soon. We have recorded more songs and have more in the process. But it was important to us to release these songs now because we think they are really great and we would like to share them with the public and not just have them for ourselves
Will you play live again?
Sigurd: We hope so. Right now we are so rusty that it requires a little movement to possibly manage it. There has been a little family increase and stuff like that while we have been in hibernation but we definitely hope to be able to shake it off and play live again. We think it’s really fun