Features Class Of 2012: Sunless 97

With another EP on the horizon for 2012, the future sure looks bright for Sunless 97.

It has to be said, DIY are falling deep, deep in love with Sunless 97. Why? Well flash back to 2011, their debut ‘Making Waves’ EP came out from nowhere and it’s a wintry wonderland of ideas. Produced by none other than Kwes, it’s an astonishing statement of intent from the London trio. With another EP on the horizon for 2012, the future sure looks bright for Sunless 97. And yet we know nothing about them, so we sent Andrew Backhouse down the rabbit hole to find out more.

You’re quite a mysterious band. Who are Sunless 97 and how did you begin?

Hello, we are Alice, Edward and Matt. Ed and Alice have known each other for 10 years and started to write songs together around two years ago, going back and forth with ideas, sounds and beats until eventually some basis for songs were formed. We then showed them to a friend who helped us set up a home studio type thing. We met Matt through a friend shortly after, he happened to live a road down from us so he would come over late at night after his pub shift and listen to our ideas and give us feedback etc, it was clear we had a connection with him and we became Sunless '97...

How did you come up with the name?

It’s the English translation of the name of a very beautiful and visually overwhelming film by Chris Marker, plus a year in the 90's that felt significant to us for many reasons. Also we discovered there were a few Norwegian death metal bands with the name Sunless so we wanted to make it feel our own some more.

Your debut EP is the first release from the Abeano blog. How did it come about?

Imran who runs Abeano contacted us, he happened to be in a football team with our now manager Chris but I think he heard about us through another friend. He came over to our flat and we showed him a few more songs, and he offered to put out our first EP. We hadn't been familiar with the Abeano blog previously but yeah it's really good... award winningly good!

What interesting facts can you tell us about yourselves?

Matt has a gold tooth and several veneers.

What inspires you as a band - both musically and non-musically?

I guess we all like film a lot and invest a fair amount of time in that...swimming is pretty good too, especially in the sea or in fresh water. We see the Sunless project as sort of multi disciplinary, Alice does our artwork and we enjoy being completely involved in every creative aspect of what we are doing. So we are inspired by all of the kinds of things- an urban rumour, a painting, a Robert Bolaño book, we love Jonas Mekas and his films, Ethiopean music, contemporary music, a religious object, in fact the best possible answer to that question must be this...

What other artists are you enjoying at the moment?

So many, there is so much amazing music at the moment and we feel really open to all of it, we are just trying to absorb everything past and present. Maybe our mix-tapes are the best way to get an idea of that. We have a lot of love for The Ethiopiques volumes at the moment, Mahmoud Ahmed in particular. We like Clams Casino loads and Peaking Lights who we had the pleasure of doing a remix for recently.

What do you enjoy outside of music?

The same things that inspire us I suppose, we don't like to stay in London too long without some adventures abroad planned, we get a bit stir crazy here. Our main hope is that we will be able to play live all over this place.

What can we expect from Sunless 97 in the future? Are there more releases or even an album in the pipeline?

We are working on our second EP at the moment which we are really enjoying. An album, yes we really hope so!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Universal love and acceptance.


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