Sulky Boy (Interview)

Dan (Vocal) from Sulky Boy kindly welcomed BAL to ask about their music and the life in Brighton. You will see how he is humble yet passionate about music. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why their songs can make us so emotional.

1. Would you introduce yourselves?

We are Sulky Boy! Consisting of Dan, Sam, Ben and Andrew – a mix of students and graduates who have all found ourselves living in breezy Brighton.

2. When/How did you guys start the band?

The band started in the summer of 2014 as I (dan) had the opportunity to record and release a song for the first Beech Coma compilation some of my friends were already contributing to ( I recorded the song without a band and put it online where it was pretty well received, so I took that as a cue to find some band mates and start playing live.

3. Why did you name the band “Sulky Boy”?

I wanted a name that was reflective of the songs – something sarcastic, self-deprecating and a little bit whimsical.

4. What kind of music did you grow up with? Do you have a particular song which led you to be a musician?

I grew up listening to heavier music, I’d cite Reuben’s “Racecar is Racecar Backwards” and Queens of the Stone Age’s “Songs for the Deaf” as two of my favourites – neither of which sound anything like Sulky haha!

5. When did you write the first song? What was it like?

I wrote our first song ‘Carmela’ when I was watching the TV show “The Sopranos”. The song is way too long, but I’m still fond of the imperfections in it’s recording.

6. You often sing about boy’s feelings fussing about a girl, which is less idealistic for boys. Why do you keep writing that kind of songs? Have you ever thought you’d better change the style?

I think we write these songs a lot because they’re quite simple musically so it’s appropriate to sing about something simple and universal. It’s also because it’s easy to inject my own voice, something that is often quite sarcastic and whiny, and give it a sense of humour. I think the style is changing slightly as the band progresses, which is something I don’t want to force, but let happen on its own.

7. What do you care the most when you make songs?

For me personally it’s the lyrics and the story of the song, which I always try and make focused and a snapshot of a certain feeling at the time. These days the song writing is shared more equally amongst the whole band where the instrumentation is more important, which I think is having a really positive effect on the music.

8. How is the music scene in Brighton comparing with that in London?

I think the music scene in Brighton is a lot more tight-knit which is obviously to do with size of the city. It’s generally a good thing, we’re constantly meeting and bumping into other bands at the same venues and the atmosphere is always one of mutual support and interest, regardless of genre. I think that’s because everyone’s life-styles are very similar, everyone knows the grind of working a crappy job to fund themselves, living hand-to-mouth or schlepping gear about – but are always happy to do so because Brighton is one of the better cities to live in as an artist.

9. Is the video of “Aunt Julia” reflecting the ideas of the band members?

It’s mainly a summary of the Mario Vargas Llosa book “Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter”. It’s one of my favourites and I thought it was the perfect fit for a simple Sulky love song with a twist of the bizarre.

10. What are you up to this year?

More songwriting and more shows!

11. What kind of impression do you have on Japan?

I fall in love with Japanese culture a little bit more every day. I recently read Norwegian Wood and 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami which were both beautiful and watched the anime Deathnote which was super cool. Regrettably I don’t know much about Japanese music but I love The Pillows, and on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, I think Maximum the Hormone are the most exciting band ever.

12. Please give a message to Japanese listeners!

Be patient and we will come visit you soon!

Cheers, Dan! 

バンドSulky Boyから、Dan(ボーカル) がBALのインタビューに快く応じてくれました。彼らの音楽のこと、ブライトンでの暮らしぶり等、色々質問しましたよ。彼は一見控えめだけれども、音楽に対して熱い情熱を秘めていることを感じとっていただけるはず。彼らの歌が私たちの心に響く一因はここにあるんでしょうね。


僕らは、Sulky Boy! メンバー構成はDan、Sam、Ben、Andrew。


バンドを始めたのは2014年の夏。僕がBeech Coma (レコード会社) のファーストコンピのために曲をレコーディング、リリースする機会があったんだ。すでに何人かの友達が曲を提供していてね(。 僕はバンドなしでこの曲をレコーディングしてオンラインにあげたんだけど、なかなか好評だったから、バンドメンバーを探してライブ演奏を始めるきっかけだと捉えたんだ。

3.どうしてバンド名を “Sulky Boy”にしたの?



ヘビーな曲を聴いて育ったよ。好きな曲を2曲挙げるならReubenの“Racecar is Racecar Backwards”と Queens of the Stone Ageの“Songs for the Deaf”。どちらも全然Sulkyっぽくないね!笑


初めて書いた曲は’Carmela’。“The Sopranos”というTVショーを観てる時に書いた。この曲はすっごく長くてね。でもレコーディングの不完全さが今でも好きだよ。







9.“Aunt Julia”のミュージックビデオはバンドメンバーの意見を取り入れて作ったの?

あれは Mario Vargas Llosaの本、“Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter”を要約したようなものだよ。僕のお気に入りの一つで、僕らのシンプルなラブソングにぴったり合うって確信したんだ、僕ら流の奇妙なアレンジを加えてね。




毎日少しずつ日本が好きになっていくよ。村上春樹の「ノルウェイの森」と「1Q84」を読んだんだけれど、素晴らしかった。それとアニメ「デスノート」を見たけど、最高に良かった。残念なことに、あまり日本の音楽に関しては詳しくないんだけれど、The Pillows は大好きだよ。完全に対極な感じだけれど、マキシマム ザ ホルモンは断トツで一番かっこいいバンドだと思う。




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