How did Sunna get
Jon - Ian auditioned for my first band back in '92 or '83,
and obviously he got the job! Then we got this deal that didn't work
out so Ian went off travelling and I started to write stuff on my
own, Ian came back and rejoined the new band as our guitarist and
brought all his guitar ideas onto the album, we went into the studio
to record it, and that's basically where Sunna started . . .
How did you actually
Jon - I was doing some work with Massive Attack - and just
to put the record straight I never played all the guitars on 'Mezzazine',
I wrote the whole album! No, I played bass on the track 'Mezzazine'
and played guitars on the remix of 'Rising Sun' - which was the better
version of 'Rising Sun'! Anyway, they heard some of my demos and they
offered me a deal which I declined for about a year because after
my fist experience of record companies I though they were all c***s.
I just wanted to make sure the deal was right for me, I just didn't
want to fuck around this time . . . so after about a year we decided
upon a deal I was happy with recording budgets, advances and stuff,
and here we are!
You're about to go
on a pretty big UK tour, is touring something that's important to
Ian - It's the main thing isn't it?
Jon - If you're in a rock band you tour, if you're in a pop
band you sit in a studio all day and watch them make your record,
and then go to a dancing place and look at yourself in the mirror!
Ian - We've had people in the industry, when we say we want
to go out on tour, say 'Really?' and are really shocked by it, and
when you ask them why they're shocked they say that a lot of bands
now just can't be arsed with touring . . .
How involved were
you in the choice of Crackout and Miocene for the tour?
Jon - Not at all! But I've checked out the records and I can't
wait to see them live . . . at the end of the day if we're all going
out together it helps for all three bands to be good because we can
help each other out.
You've done alot
of touring in the US haven't you? What do you like more playing here
Jon - We've done bigger tours over there, so it's a bit unfair
to say it's better over there. We did the A Perfect Circle tour which
was playing to about 4000 people most nights, and their audience had
done their homework and checked us out and were up for it, and that
was great, but we're going to do the same shit over here . . .
Is it weird, from
your opoint of view, to be scaling up and scaling down all the time
in terms of venues?
Jon - It's quite grounding I think to be doing something so
big and then suddenly being back in small intimate venues, so it's
Ian - We played Bercy in Paris to like 19000 people on The
Smashing Pumpkins' tour, and then the next gig was Aberdeen Glow 303
Club to about forty people, but that's the way it goes isn't it?
Jon - There was one gig we did - I think it was Wolverhampton
- and the energy there was just the same as playing to 19000. In a
different way obviously, but the rapport was there which is what's
important . . . getting the crowd / band connection; if you're playing
in front of forty people in a small confined space and you get that,
then you get that same buzz . . . -ish!
Ian - And as a spectator 19000 is just too big, I mean you
just can't go and see a band at Wembley Arena, and it's precisely
the reason why U2 are playing at the Astoria in a couple of weeks,
doing their secret gig . . .
Jon - But it was an amazing feeling playing to 19000 people.
But the audience at the back of the stadiums, they're all on acid
and mushrooms, because they can't see the band! They jsut drop some
acid and stare at the lights in the distance, take some mushrooms
so everything looks that much bigger, and stand and watch the sausages
play on stage!
What can people expect
from your live show?
Ian - I think it's got better, the album was finished eighteen
months ago and I think we've all developed since then, plus there's
three other people in Sunna now who weren't there when the album was
made . . .
Jon - There's a lot more energy . . .
Ian - There's energy in the album, but it's kind of controlled,
and I think our live thing is a bit more explosive. I hate going to
see bands where it's exactly like the album and there's no kind of
edge to it. It's like . . . well I could have just put the video on
. . .
You get compared
to a lot of people; Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, even tricky
- do you find that difficult?
Jon - I don't give a f**k!
Ian - The thing is that journalists have got to do their job
and how they do that, how they portray bands, is to say that it's
this angle and that angle, so we understand that they have to kind
of pigeonhole you. What pisses me off is when they go 'Oh you've so
obviously ripped that from . . .' some band that we've never even
Jon - Or when we do an interview and they get it all out of
context, like there was this thing that said I hadn't written a song
for over a year. It wasn't that I hadn't written a song for over a
year, it was that the last recorded song I did was '7%' and that was
over a year ago . . . I constantly write, but to actually finish a
song and record it down, that's when I consider it finished. I'm not
a lazy songwriter, I'm a lazy bastard!
Ian - I think we've definately been influenced by sounds rather
than bands. I think that too many bands get influenced by other bands
and you can blatantly see it, and that's why people find it hard to
pigeonhole us because it's more about the sound. We love that Nirvana
power-chord Marshall-dirt, and marry that with a kind of phat hip-hop
bass drops and that sort of thing, over the top of what are just basically
acoustic songs jsut played in this way . . .
Jon - We've reclaimed grunge music and turned it back into
punk again, so there's definately that punky edge to what we do, and
like Ian said, the techno and balladry . . .
You've got a new
single coming out . . .
Jon - Yes we have, 'I'm Not Trading' comes out after the tour.
We did the video for it a couple of weeks ago and it's f**king great.
We did the video for 'Power Struggle' which we had a bigger budget
for, and M2 played it alot - something to do with the bees surrounding
the car being to scary for MTV proper - anyway we did this video on
essentially half the budget we had before and it's basically a performance
video which I think carries the energy of the song really well. Basically
we play the song completely differently live so we went in and they
said 'ACTION!' and we were like 'Um, how does the song go?'. We literally
ahd to sit down and relearn the song because all my placement of vocals
live is completely different to the way it is on the record and the
arrangement is different as well so we had to go through it about
twenty times before we knew the song again! It was a bit weird to
start with and we thought it was going to be shit, but no-one had
really sat down and explained what the idea was, and we saw the first
draft and nearly died. Jon had to go down and sort them out, give
them a clip round the ear, and it's come back really good. . .