An Introduction to Suuns
I first discovered these Canadians a couple of months ago and blogged about them back then. A month later I decided they would be one of my picks for the zine I created with Kasper-Jan. On Thursday I could finally hand Suuns a copy and ask them a couple of questions too.
They’d just played an amazing, sold out show at Rotonde, Botanique and gratefully signed stuff for their fans at the merch stand afterwards. About half an hour later we headed back to Rotonde and sat down to have a chat. It was the first time for me in that building after a show. You could still kind of feel and see the aftermath.
Ben: test test. Alright, so you’re here with Ben and Liam from Suuns.
(Ben at the mic)
So you’re from Montreal if I’m not mistaken. What’s it like?? I really want to visit one day.
Ben: It’s a great town. It is one of the most European cities in the north of America because of the French – English. It’s kind of divided halfway down the middle. Great music scene there and a good place to be. It’s kind of like the Berlin of north America.
Liam: it’s a different town as far as Canadian cities go. It’s more of an aesthetic city, that’s why it’s so easy to be an artist there I think. A lot of other cities in the world are work cities, you know what I mean?
This is your first European tour, how long have you been here for?
Ben: this was our ninth show. We’ve been here for ten days. It’s been really good so far. France was amazing, the UK was really good or really not good and then tonight was amazing too.
Liam: it’s far exceeded our expectations. And the treatment here is incredible.
(Liam and Ben both seemed to be genuinely surprised the show is sold out and Ben keeps saying ‘we don’t know what the fuck is going on’)
Your album came out in the UK this month I think and it was released in Europe last year but people seem to have only been picking up on it now.
Liam: yeah I think that, because we got such good press in the UK that really filtered to the rest of Europe. I mean, we basically came from nowhere.
Ben: we were an unknown band.
Liam: after Europe we’re gonna tour with Crystal Castles.
Really? I don’t really like them… but they’re a big band so that’s a good opportunity I guess!
Liam (chuckles): everyone seems to say that but I actually don’t know their music very well.
Afterwards we’re gonna tour with The Black Angels and I think it’ll be interesting cause our only lengthy North American tour was opening for Land of Talk before our record came out.
Do you have any guilty pleasures you wanna tell me about?
(long silence, a lot of thinking going on)
Liam: last night we drove from the venue and a song by Take That came on the radio and I was like ‘man crank that song!’ and I legitimately enjoyed that. Max was sleeping and then he woke up and he’s like ‘what the fuck is that song? That’s amazing!’. At least half of us got really into Take That. That was also my first cd I ever bought, when I was 5 after seeing a commercial on tv.
If your band was a cult then what rules would the members have to live by?
(another long silence)
Ben: it would be the cult of laziness. There wouldn’t be much to do in our cult. I think we’re all equally…
Liam: I don’t think we’re lazy. I mean, we work very hard. But I think all of us really have a zen attitude. That’s got us where we are today. We don’t expect anything and I hope that attitude continues.
Ben: the rule in the cult would be that you have to check your expectations at the door. That would be the number one rule.
(Liam behind the drums)
If there was one country (or more specifically a city) where you could move to for one year without having to do anything specifically, then where would you choose to go? You could do anything you want and wouldn’t have to worry about money.
Ben: then it wouldn’t matter where I was, I’d go anywhere.
Liam: that’s true.
Ben: I think if you could have a year anywhere you could probably find something good about any country.
You could just go to any country of the world.
Ben: right, but that was not the question (general hilarity). Ok, but if I had to choose I would go with France. It was beautiful, a lot of history, a lot of variation, beautiful people, good art.
Liam: I would go to a Nordic country. There’s something fascinating for me about 24 hour daylight, 24 hour nighttime. It must really influence their country. They seem interesting people to me. I don’t understand it. I’ve been to Iceland but I want to see more.
If you had however much money you wanted to spend on stage props, then what would you go for?
Liam: the conversation has come up but right now it’s very hard for us to imagine. Off the top of my head I’m gonna say aquarium. One portion of the stage would be an aquarium with people in there.
Ben: that’s a good one!
(Joseph needs to get them to sign a record but they need Max for that too so they all start whistling to get his attention but he doesn’t really seem to hear)
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since starting a band / touring?
Liam: that’s a good question.
Ben: being patient… about everything.
Ben: because everything takes a long time, there’s a process behind everything. Even now, when things are taking off so fast.
Liam: for me it’s been a balance between having no ego and in another way, having the biggest ego for the performing side.
(Max hands both guys a cigarette and they start fooling around again. Liam suggests Max goes sit in the car and pack up his shit. Max then replies “yeah why don’t you go and pack up my shit? See what I did there?” Liam “you can quote him on that (laughs)”. I am then formally introduced and Max tries to pronounce my name, eventually in Hebrew. Before leaving again he says “you don’t understand but in my country that’s funny”
Liam: go in the car.
Ben: put your keyboards away and shut the fuck up.
(everyone laughs, again)
Ben: oh we got that on tape too
(loud laugh from Liam))
What you said there about the balance sounds pretty difficult.
Liam: it’s okay. Not as hard as juggling and I can do that so it’s fine.
I can’t wait to see Suuns again tomorrow at fabrIQ festival in Holland. Now, all I need to do is think of challenging items to bring so Liam can show me his juggling skills.