Interview: Sun & The Rain Men

This last week I was sent the new single of Swedish indie-pop act Sun & The Rain Men, by none other than their singer Sanne Österberg. I took this opportunity to ask for an interview, which you’ll find below.

Sun & The Rain Men is a four-piece band with Sanne and her ethereal voice at the front. Thriving under creative freedom, S&TRM has managed to create some really stellar indie-pop that’s refreshing to listen to.

Q: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?

Sanne: Indie-pop drawing inspiration from American folk- and rock music; 70’s bands like Fleetwood Mac. Poppy and catchy music with elements of all sorts of genres; ex. rock and jazz.

Easy to listen to and enjoy, but still alternative, not mainstream radio. Organic and lively music with live instruments as a core element in everything we create, with deep and well-written lyrics.

Q: You’ve previously mentioned having influences such as Fleet Foxes, First Aid Kit, and Mumford & Sons, which is something that can be heard throughout your music. The new single takes a new direction, what inspired the more pop-oriented sound of ‘Fall a Little Harder’?

S: We go with our guts and create what feels right in the moment. Right now we’re in a more pop and synth-based period. We’ll see how long it lasts and how it passes into something completely different.

We have never limited ourselves to genres. If we’ve felt like creating jazz, then we’ve created jazz(Monkey), or folk(Hands), or rock(Come On Now Love Me).

Q: How has your music developed since you first started playing together?

S: At first, there were three of us, me, Erik and Jerry. Back then we were more acoustic and stayed for a long while within the indie/folk-genre. Later we started playing with new sounds and instruments, and the more songs we wrote, the more genres we explored. We don’t limit ourselves to one type of sound, we create freely and because of it – our music has sounded very differently throughout the years.
Though we’ve never made changes so big that we’ve sounded like an entirely different band. We seem to have created a sound which is S&TRM that’s found in everything we do, which is probably a good thing.

I would like to say that we have become even freer, we continually try new things and evolve, which always makes it fun and interesting. Of course, we’ve also become better, better at creating and playing together, better at everything we’ve been doing together for almost 6 years.

Our latest tracks are synth-electronic and we’re attached to that sound right now. We always try new stuff and it’s always exciting creating new music with the band.

Q: I’ve read that you use some unorthodox methods during the recordings of your songs, do you have any examples and what do you think it can add to a song?

S: Once we brought the entire drum-kit out into the garden outside of the studio, we dragged out 40 meters of cable and recorded. We couldn’t get the acoustics of the studio to match the guitar recording we had made in a giant city hall just for the feel of it. So we tried to remove all reverberation, luckily it worked.

We often have a varying order of operations when recording, sometimes it’s the entire band at once and sometimes we’re one at a time at the studio.  On the latest release, we programmed the drums and had our drummer perform drum fills, and then we mixed it up. This makes it sound very organic, like a band playing together, but tight and modern all at once. Neither are we locked into different roles while recording, whoever feels like picking something up may do so. It gets more fun that way.

Q: How often do you get the chance to play together when you’re not playing live, and what do you do when you’re not creating music?

S: Very seldom. When we’re not rehearsing for a gig, we’re recording. Two of us live in Gothenburg, one in Skara, one in Stockholm and one in Falköping. So we don’t get to see each other just to play. We also work regular jobs, outside of the music.

Q: What does the future look like for Sun & The Rain Men, I’ve gathered you got more songs in the making, is it a new EP or possibly an album on the way?

S: We’re touring in England right now and are releasing a limited EP here. A real CD in paper packaging, almost like in the 90’s. Vi released a single last Friday and has since marketed it to our best ability. The other completed tracks we are saving for an upcoming album. Unless we change our mind along the way, it happens.

The plan going forward is mostly to focus on the album and to spread our music as much as possible. When we’re not working on the album we are probably writing new songs or playing live.

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