Tristan Brouwer – Vocals
Jordan Roe – Guitar
Joseph Floyd – Bass
Liam McLaren – Drums
FFO: Periphery, Monuments, Void of Vision, Diamond Construct, Northlane.
“Stillpoint is finding a place within your mind that is quiet”.
Newcomers Sunbound are releasing their latest single Stillpoint tomorrow. From the build-up of the opening riff that lays the foundation to unleash some damn insane vocals, the absolute relentless drumming and the distorted guitar goodness, Sunbound have given the listener a lot to take in. Accompanying the single the band are releasing a music clip which you can watch early here:
Tristan and Jordan sat down with me to talk about Stillpoint.
Holy shit boys!! After ‘Walls’ this was not what I thought I was going to hear…
Jordan: That is definitely the reaction we are hoping to get especially because Walls was more of a positive, uplifting song.
Tristan: We were actually just talking about it too with the songs, you didn’t really get a chance to hear the context in-between, there is definitely levels to it but you kind of just heard both the extreme ends.
Haha yeah there is no middle! It’s more we can do this and we can do THIS!
Tristan: There is defiantly a middle.
So ‘Stillpoint’ is your third single.?
Jordan: Yes. It’s our third single.
So I need to ask, are you guys fans of Periphery?
When I listened the first time I was like yep I can hear influences from Make Them Suffer, Northlane and Void of Vision. The second time I listened to it I was like nope this is very much Periphery style.
Jordan: We all listen to a lot of Australian metalcore, we are all big fans of bands like VoV, Northlane, Alpha Wolf so I feel that quite a bit of that inspiration shines through. But Periphery definitely has always been a core influence for the band.
Lyrically it was very Peripheryish (here’s a new word for you!)
Tristan: I like Michael Jackson too.
Haha. There is nothing wrong with having a wide variety of influences. I love the way the song builds up at the beginning.
Tristan: Yeah when Roe(Jordan) first played that riff it was one of those things that you immediately hear in your head and you think ‘Yep that’s definitely how it’s going to go’.
Jordan: The intro riff that you hear, that is actually a riff that I have held onto for a little while, it’s a riff that I would just play whenever I picked up the guitar. I literally played it to Tristan one day not long after I joined the band and he was like that’s awesome play it again. That’s how the song pretty much started coming about, then we really had the chance to flesh it out from there. Obviously Tristan, I think, has definitely been the main driving force behind the song in getting at least the main demo down.
Tristan: The arrangements and things like that. A lot of our songs start off digitally. I do a lot of writing with midi and stuff like that which I put together in a piano roll, then the guys can transpose it on the guitars. Then we go from there, they obviously add their part because I am not a guitarist. Sometimes I might make something that is a little bit unrealistic!
I need you to play this!!
Tristan: It ends up working out.
How did Sunbound come about?
Tristan: Where do I even start with that one? It started around three years ago, probably 2018, with our old guitarist Jordan Kasper. It just started with the two of us writing, we weren’t even fully serious at the time. We had been in a lot of bands in the past and we kind of got a bit burnt out from it. A lot of the members in the band were actually from a previous band. We all knew each other in high school. We started hitting up members one by one and it grew from there. It came together pretty organically at the start.
Jordan: I came to the band pretty late, I joined in 2019. I was playing in a metalcore band for a few years, same thing here I got very burnt out. I joined Sunbound while I was still in the other band simply because I found it to be something new and fresh. It is something that I have had creative input in from the get-go, as soon as I joined the band I had an equal input on everything. I’ve never really had that in previous bands. Sunbound was a fresh experience for me. Not long after I joined Tristan came up with the original idea for Walls.
Tristan: That was during lockdown. That’s why when you watch the video we are all recording separately.
Jordan: Yeah so I joined in late 2019 and we did up Walls not long after lockdown, so early 2020. We all did our parts separately and sent it to Tristan who is the engineer behind the sound. He does all the mixing and mastering but we all do our own production. I generally record from home.
Tristan: Yeah we are quite anti-social when it comes to that!
There’s no band bonding!
Tristan: I don’t want people coming to my house (laughs)
Jordan: We do some group recording sessions; we have to get back into it. The guys had a lot of songs already done when I joined the band, well not done but they had a lot of demos.
Tristan: There is a big chunk in the archives.
Jordan: Yeah we still have so many, there’s just too many.
Tristan: Let’s just say that we have more music after this.
Have you had a chance to play any gigs yet?
Jordan: We rehearse together very frequently and we possibly have a gig lined up, it’s still all in the air at the moment.
You said you listen to a lot of Australian metalcore, what other music inspires you?
Jordan: It’s a very wide array of influences. At the moment it’s definitely a lot of modern metal or djent. We listen to Monuments.
Tristan: Spiritbox is a band that has been making a lot of noise lately too.
Jordan: They are definitely a huge influence on us.
Tristan: There are also a lot of indirect influences too. I listen to a lot of hip-hop and 80’s music. You will hear some 80’s influence in future songs. That will poke it’s head out.
Jordan: As a guitarist I am pretty big on thrash metal and death metal. I love deathcore and metalcore. When it comes to what I bring to the band my biggest influences would be Void of Vision, I love their riffs. Diamond Construct is a big one for me. They have such a big sound.
Tristan: They are part of the reason that we use whammy’s.
Jordan: Yeah the Digitech whammy. I think that band and Alpha Wolf were two.
Tristan: We started with drop pedals because we change tuning from song to song, so we just use the whammy pedal to tune up or down. But we have started incorporating a lot more of the um..
Jordan: Actual high pitch sort of….
Tristan actually gives me a vocal demo!
Jordan: Yeah that kind of thing (laughs)
Tristan: The Tom Morello type squeal. Karnivool is another big one too.
Jordan: I think with Sunbound there has always been a lot of prog influence. Big fans of Karnivool. TesserAct, Caligula’s Horse is another big one.
Tristan: Northlane’s new sound has also been another influence.
You can hear that.
Jordan: Alien was a pretty big game changer for me personally. I remember hearing that album and just going WOW! Not really from a guitarist point of view but from a song writing and composition point of view. That album has so much depth.
Tristan: The production on it is absolutely insane. I’m pretty sure Nolly mixed it.
Yeah he did. He did Clockwork too. They are recording at the moment and I am very keen to see what we get.
Tristan: You can’t beat Nolly hey. He is that good that he left Periphery with a sound that they can’t replace. He’s kind of screwed them in a way, they can’t replace him now (laughs). Whenever you hear something new from Periphery it’s surprising but not surprising.
Jordan: I think a lot of their versatility comes from having multiple song writers too. Every member of that band is a song writer and they all bring something very different to the table. Like Misha, he doesn’t know music theory in any way, he just goes off feeling but he writes some really, really heavy and really good riffs.
Look at Clear, that is a classic example of how good they are. I love that EP and the concept behind it. I am also the biggest Matt Halpern simp, I could watch him drum for days!
Tristan: You can tell he has a lot of jazz influence in his playing. At least with some of the fills and stuff that he does, he’s incredible. He has so much groove. He commands that kit really well.
We talked about how diverse Periphery are as a business and the products that they produce.
Tristan: I am a sucker for that market.
Jordan: Honestly I think this whole band is probably built off Periphery products!! Seriously, I personally use Horizon strings which is Misha’s. I don’t have any Precision pedals but we get drum samples.
Tristan: What are you talking about they are real drums bro!! They are real drums!! Our drummer is a machine, he’s a weapon.
I did notice that!
Tristan: He will find a way to wiggle polyrhythms and all kinds of stuff that you didn’t even think was possible.
Jordan: We have some other stuff coming that messes with time signatures. We don’t want to restrict ourselves in terms of where we want to go.
Tristan: I think our drummer Liam is one of the main drivers behind doing the odd time stuff and the polyrhythms. We’ll write something that is relatively 4/4 and then he will just turn it into something that completely masks what it is in. He also writes grooves that you have no idea what’s going on! He’ll be like check this thing out I wrote and we all try and work out the beat, it’s sick. He writes something that is advanced and them we have to catch up.
Let’s talk about ‘Stillpoint’. I take it that the song is about loving yourself.
Tristan: Yeah. Stillpoint is a term that I stumbled upon while I was learning how to meditate. I myself have struggled with a lot of mental health throughout my life, and that goes for a few of the members of the band. It’s hard to explain, Stillpoint is finding a place within your mind that is quiet and at ease, where you’re not moving around so much if that makes sense.
Meditator with mental health issues over here so I totally understand that.
Tristan: It has been life changing, but it’s always up and down. Some months I will be really good and practising mindfulness and other times you just fall short, but that’s just what happens. The song isn’t so much me coming out of depression and many other things but it’s more so my journey of slowly learning about it and learning to find acceptance.
Learning those tools to be able to help you get through those times is so important. It took me a long time to get to that point. I still have to take medication but those tools are also invaluable in managing your mental health. I meditate, try to walk and spend a lot of time at the beach when I need to.
Tristan: I’ve recently brought an electric skateboard and I go for rides on the beach sometimes. It’s one of those things where you can’t think about other shit or else you will fall off; you have to focus. That in itself is almost meditative. So I guess that song is just my journey with mental health and depression and trying to find some form of content. It’s not one of those static things, it comes in waves.
Jordan: I think the main message around Stillpoint is not being at war with yourself and finding that inner peace. Obviously when things get on top of you and you are going through very heavy depression or anxiety as soon as you start turning against yourself that’s when you start to lose the battle.
Tristan: You can definitely make stuff worse for yourself.
That inner voice is a bitch.
Jordan: I guess the song is not really about depression itself, or coming out of it, it’s more about that turning point.
Tristan: When I was writing it, it was more just about being mindful.
Finding that place of peace.
Tristan: Learning how to find the calm in the storm.
Presave Stillpoint : https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/sunbound/stillpoint
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