Interview: Sunstained Break Down Their New Record ‘Quiet My Demons’

Posted: by The Editor

According to my iTunes, Sunstained’s latest release, Quiet My Demons, is my most listened to album of 2019 so far. At only seven songs and hovering around 25 minutes, it’s a fairly quick listen, but it manages to feel as weighty as a record double its length. Bouncing fluidly between plaintive emo rock, energetic punk, and caustic post-hardcore, Quiet My Demons tackles faith, family, and self-doubt in stark and candid language. I spoke to the band a little bit about the record, which is out now on Honest Face Records.

The Alternative: Quiet My Demons is quite a bit heavier than “With You,” I Can Do Without. Why is that?

Sunstained: When we went into the studio and recorded “With You” nothing was planned out. We had some songs that we tossed together in anticipation of having studio time booked and rolled with them, so a lot of the material on there wasn’t very fleshed out or cohesive. With the new record, we really wanted to make sure everything was absolutely perfect. I’ve always enjoyed mixing abrasive and elegant sounding chord structures/rhythms/harmonies so we just naturally leaned more in that direction with this record.

There was a nearly four year gap between Quiet My Demons and “With You.” What was Sunstained doing in that time?

Following the first LP we did a little bit of touring and played locally while working on new material. We were dealing with some member swaps during mid-2016 and settled on a new lineup and started working on Quiet My Demons. We began recording the new record in late 2016 and it was nearing completion when I accidentally wiped the hard drive containing all of the files for it. We were all really devastated, I had put an incredible amount of effort into engineering the record and having it ripped away like that really took a toll on my interest and commitment to music as a whole. The stress of the album deletion and constant member changes lead us to breaking up in early 2017. I abandoned music altogether after that and spent most of 2017 taking a breather and figuring out where I was at with music as a whole. After messing around in a few side projects in early 2018 we decided to start Sunstained again with a modified lineup with the sole intent of recording and releasing Quiet My Demons. This process took the entirety of 2018, about half of it rewriting and prepping for recording and then the second half tracking and mixing the album.

Almost half the songs on Quiet My Demons mention sleeping, dreaming, or waking up. I was wondering if those actions have any special significance to you?

I find myself talking about most of these actions because they symbolize “resetting” or “healing” to me. I can remember many times where I was very emotionally torn over something and the only thing I could do was sleep for as long as I could and hope that things would reset themselves by the time I woke up.  

A lot of the songs reference God or faith, but “Ouranos” specifically mentions the Greek god of the sky. What’s the significance of the reference to Ouranos in that song?

I’ve always been interested in Greek/Roman mythology. Ouranos is known as the primal god of the heavens or Father Sky. The song is about my father and how I feel that no matter how hard I try to make him proud I always fall short. It doesn’t have anything to do with the actual myth specifically.

I really love the cover of Quiet My Demons and was wondering how and why you chose that.

The album cover was a photo taken by my friend Philip, I came across it on Facebook at one point and knew as soon as I saw it that It would fit really well as the cover.

What’s next for Sunstained? What can fans look forward to in the future?

As of right now we are gearing up to start playing live again and do a (late) record release show. Definitely planning on doing quite a bit of touring as well once everything is lined up correctly. As far as new music, I haven’t really thought about anything else aside from these seven songs for a few years now, so it may be awhile before we get back into the groove of writing.

If there’s anything else you’d like to touch on that hasn’t been mentioned, feel free.

Nothing else, thanks for the questions!

Thanks for your time!

Zac Djamoos | @greatwhitebison

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