Sunny Day Real Estate
Sunny Day Real Estate were one of the bands that both profited and were hindered by the explosion of activity and attention that centred around Seattle in the early – “90s. Coming from that town they were immediately subject to forensic attention from the media and lumped in with what was being termed – “grunge’.
The reality was quite different, as the band were coming from another place altogether. Their sound wasn’t derived from garage and punk rock, nor was it influenced by metal. It was a more dynamic sound that stemmed from teenage years listening to the likes of Slint and Fugazi and a chemistry between the band members that resulted in a democracy of their instruments and a kinetic energy in the combinations of their playing.
On the eve of their first ever visit to Australia, the newly reformed quartet are amazed that they have the opportunity to play in this part of the world. “I’m are so looking forward to getting over there, I can’t wait,” says guitarist Dan Hoerner.
“We have this really great team of people [Foo Fighters management] that put this thing together for us. We would probably never have been able to do an Australian tour like this because we never would been able to meet anyone who would set up the tour for us. Right now we are getting to do things we would have never been able to do before. The USA tour we did, like 17 of the 21 shows were sold out and some were places we’d never played before.”
The touring over the last six months has given them a chance to revisit many old songs and one in particular has taken on a new lease of life. “There was a song on our first record called Grendel and it is one of my favourite songs,” Hoerner says. “We could never get an arrangement that worked because we wrote that song in the studio and it was a conglomeration of a bunch of different things and we never really had been able to figure out satisfactorily how to play that song.
“This last time we got together we all sat down and it was the first time we got to play with Nate [Mendel] again since the Pink era. We realised that with Nate we were able to play Grendel again and I think we played that almost every night on tour and I loved it. I think that’s one that does really well live.”
Reunions often begin as a warm and fuzzy experience, but has the reformation lasted with the excitement it first generated? “It just feels like things are going really well for us now. Things are moving forward of their own accord and its something we’ve never really experienced as a band before with things going well. I’m waiting for something to break,” laughs Hoerner.
Too often the first step of playing live gigs together is the only step so fans will be over the moon to hear that Sunny Day Real Estate are moving forward together. “We’ve been working real hard the last couple of months just writing a record and thats just been really fun. We’re in the writing and demoing process right now and we’ll probably go into the studio after we’ve done the European/Coachella tours,” Hoerner estimates.
“We want it to be good, we don’t have expectations about doing anything in particular or sound like anything, we just want to make a record that appeals to us,” he explains. “That being said, we’ve always tried to do the best we can do when it comes to making a record and this time’s not any different.”
The chemistry between the band members is something that caught the ears of fans when they first heard Diary and LP2 (The Pink Album). They were able to weave drama and intensity with guitar, drums and vocals – and they weren’t afraid to do it with both a delicate and brutal touch.
“We have this particular alchemy with each other and there’s no way of telling why or what it is. Whenever we look too closely at it or try and pick it apart and figure out how we did some of the best things we’ve done, invariably we miss the mark. Luckily this time around we threw off all caution and just started playing songs and not caring if they were even good or not and so that has been really freeing and fun,” admits Hoerner.
“That’s the thing about writing now that I love, that we just started going for it and I think that’s why those things worked in the past. We did not care if anybody would be listening to our music and we didn’t care that our stuff was really weird and had no chance of being on the radio or anything and we just sort of did it.
“I think that’s the way we need to keep doing it because we could never sit down and intentionally write a song that was going to be a hit. We’re just not that kind of band,” Hoerner proudly states.
Sunny Day Real Estate plays Soundwave around the country, as well as a pair of sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne.
Saturday 20th February – Soundwave Festival Brisbane
Sunday 21st February – Soundwave Festival Sydney
Tuesday 23rd February – UNSW Roundhouse, Sydney
Thursday 25th February – The Palace Theatre, Melbourne
Friday 26th February – Soundwave Festival Melbourne
Saturday 27th February – Soundwave Festival Adelaide
Monday 1st March – Soundwave Festival Perth