During the 2020 lockdown many would be forgiven for kicking back and putting any creative urges into neutral. But not so Liverpool’s new psyche unit – SUNZOOM – who were busy putting the finishing touches to their debut album.
Then came the first two singles – The Million Dollar Game – followed by the remarkable Lay Down that swept to the top spot of South Africa’s Apple Music Rock Chart. The third single to drop on the 29th January is the sublimely titled GoodNight Godzilla, which continues the very high standard. We touched bases with SUNZOOM recently….
Liverpool Noise: Album finished, three tracks released. What’s the plan – to drop a track a month?
SUZOOM: That’s the current ‘toe in the water’ approach yes. So far so good on the reception of the songs, really looking forward to finalising the running order for the album. There is actually enough material recorded for two albums (perhaps a bloated 70s style double concept monster..).
I’ve also commited myself to doing a favourite track once a week as a “Friday Lockdown Cover” but I didnt think the lockdown would go on so long….. I’m done in.
LN: Who comprises SUNZOOM?
SZ: Sunzoom is just me. An alter ego if you like. I did use some instrument tracks I recorded many moons ago with amazing players such as Hannah Peel (violin), Martin Smith (Trumpet) and Andy Frizzell (Flute) and I also managed to pull a favour or two from great local players like Pete Kirwin (lead guitar solo on Lay Down) and Geoff Sewell (Additional guitar on an album track)
The way the summer turned out, it was impossible to properly play with other musicians in any meaningful way although the plan is to pull a band up around me as soon as it looks like we can gig or get into the studio. Failing that its the old cymbals between the kness / bass drum on the back sketch!!
LN: Who was involved in the production of the album? Where did you record?
SZ: I produced the album in my home studio in the Crosby area of Liverpool, and I was lucky enough to have the help of a great mix engineer in Los Angeles Dan Konopka (who is also the drummer in American Art rock legends OKGO) and London mastering engineer Barry Gardner (Public Service Broadcasting).
Bewween us we were able to ping the music back and forth across the miles…however nothing can replace time in a proper studio, that’s where I feel most at home.
LN: SUNZOOM is a great name for a band. How did it come about?
SZ: No mystery here. I’m a big Captain Beefheart fan and I’ve always loved the track Sun Zoom Spark!
LN: What are your influences?
SZ: I wont list the golden era classics because we all know them (1963 – 79) but I’ve been listening to some amazing Australian artists in recent years such as Tame Impala, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, POND. I don’t know what they are putting in the beer down there but It’s working. Brian Eno is never far from the turntable, nor is Bowie, Grateful Dead, Steely Dan, Floyd etc…
I also just love the Liverpool sound of the 80’s/90’s with The LA’s, The Bunnymen, The Icies, The Real People, Shack,etc.
LN: Tell us about the video for GoodNight Godzilla…..it’s rather good!
SZ: Thank you! I just had an idea to do something in the dark. The track just felt like it need a dark, neon, nightclub vibe to it.
It was recorded in my living room, although the models were shipped in via the internet…I am enjoying making the videos as its just as important to me as the track. I love the image/music idea. I don’t think I can separate the two and videos/lights etc will be integral to our live show……eventually.
LN: Will there be a physical release of the album, or just digital only?
SZ: Absolutely yes! When the album is released the plan is for Vinyl and CD to accompany the digital release. I still love to buy the physical copy of music I love and It’s super important that we continue that for as long as we can. Vinyl sales seem to have rocketed in recent years which is a wonderful thing.
LN: Hope for 2021?
SZ: To gig! I mean that is the ultimate end goal at the moment. I can’t wait to get the full band together and get out there. The singles will keep coming for a month or two and then we will look at the album release for Summer 2021. I may need to pull in a label to do some heavy lifting on the album release but might keep it fully independent as Its amazing what can be done by artists alone these days. That said I have signed a deal under a different project label which involves the Liverpool legend Billy Kinsley (Merseybeats/Rockin’ Horse/Liverpool Express) All in all a busy time ahead!! So onwards and upwards!
And check out the SUNZOOM website for something very cool to look at!