Sundiver are a fantastic space rock band from Kansas City. If you need a stronger and verbose argument than the previous sentence, we’ve got your back with this here review.
Anyways, we got in touch with the band to have a little chat (via email) and here’s the conversation in full:
1.- For those of us in the nosebleed section, would you like to tell us the story of Sundiver? How did you all met and where does the name come from?
Sundiver was founded in 2010 by John Agee (guitar, vocals) & Bobby Bayer (bass), who met playing shows with other bands in the Kansas City area. They added Joe Wells (guitar) just prior to recording their debut EP Vicious. In 2013, they re-entered the studio to make their first LP The Pull with Neal Brown as engineer; he would up replacing original drummer Nick Organ in 2014.
The name Sundiver is taken from the title of a book by author David Brin.
2.- I’ve seen the genre “space rock” thrown around several times, but I have to ask: why do you think this genre works for you?
We never set out to be a “space rock” band, or any sort of band; the sound of the band flows naturally from the style of the players. The Kansas City sound tends to feature heavy, tight rhythm sections with melodic, shoegazey frontlines. That’s the sound we hear and that’s the sound we’re ultimately going for. We want to blend well written songs with inventive riffs.
3.- Production wise, Vicious and The Pull are quite different, former being punchier and the latter sporting a rich atmosphere. If you have any releases in the future, which production would you go for? Or will it be a different take to keep things interesting?
We’ve just recorded two songs at Westend Studios with Justin Mantooth. You tell us.
4.- The Pull has a very science feel, with those interludes preceding songs with names that relate to each other. Any of you guys is a science geek?
All of the members of Sundiver have advanced post-graduate degrees in multiple obscure fields of scientific endeavor. We are anticipating receiving many ridiculously prestigious awards in the near future. Also, we do like sci-fi.
5.- Is The Pull a conceptual album? It just clicks together as a novella too well , both in sound and themes.
It’s not a concept album in the sense that the lyrics are all telling one larger story, but it’s true that the songs and the samples are meant to segue seamlessly. The title track is about the law of attraction, which the music of the record is loosely based around. But it’s not like there’s only one story that the album tells.
6.- With Hum, Failure and The Life and Times being active this year, do you think the Space Rock genre will get a push into the limelight like Shoegaze did a couple of years ago?
The border between shoegaze and space rock is blurry. What’s interesting is the Kansas City connections of all these bands. Hum‘s new drummer is Jason Gerken, who played with Allen Epley of The Life And Times in a band called Shiner. Sundiver‘s first drummer Nick Organ is Jason‘s younger brother. TLAT’s drummer Chris Metcalf played in a band called Simple Lines with Neal Brown. Chris also played with John Agee and Joe Wells on the newest Vast Robot Armies record, which was tracked in Chicago with Allen and Eric Abert of TLAT. Chris also played in the Stella Link with Dave Gaume, who it just so happens is Failure‘s touring FOH engineer.
Got all that?
7.- Any plans for new material this year?
We’ve already tracked two new songs, and we’re continuing to write new stuff with our new drummer. We plan on doing more recording later in the year.
8.- So, I hear you are opening for Failure. You’ve opened for The Life and Times too. Would it be fair to say these are two off the bucketlist? Which other bands would you like to perform with?
Obviously, we love both of those amazing bands and we’re thrilled to get the chance to share a stage with them. We’re open-minded and just want to play as many killer shows as we can.
Sundiver open for Failure on July 2nd at the Liberty Hall Cinema, Lawrence, KS. Tickets available.