Forecastle, KY Festival Preview: Sun Seeker

Louisville, Kentucky’s 15th Annual Forecastle Fest is almost upon us and Flush The Fashion will be live on scene for all the awesomeness!

Whether you’re excited for headliners LCD Soundsystem, PJ Harvey, Weezer or more, there are even more amazing upcoming and emerging bands at the fest that you either haven’t heard at all or are starting to hear about, but will soon be taking over your favorite music streaming app/site and destined to be a household name.

One such band is Nashville’s Sun Seeker, consisting of Alex Benick (guitars, vocals), Ben Parks (drums, vocals), Asher Horton (bass, vocals), and newest member, Rodrigo Avendano (keyboards, vocals).

Folk pop young bloods with a gift for sweet melancholy melodies, laid back strummin’ and drummin’ and just all-around songs and sounds you’ll love. Signed to Third Man Records, Sun Seeker’s EP Biddeford will drop Friday 14th and they will turn around and play Forecastle on Saturday 15th. Before things get all too real and crazy for the band, I was able to ask Alex Benick a few questions.

Hey, Alex. Thanks for taking the time out for this. Biddeford, your new EP out on Third Man Records comes out this Friday, July 14, the same day you’re slated to play at Forecastle. How do you feel about playing the festival vs. a hometown show/release party?

We actually have a release show in Nashville on the 14th and we play Forecastle on the 15th, so we get the best of both worlds!

Ah, my mistake. Very cool! Are you going to be able to catch any of the other bands on the bill? Who are you most excited to see?

We are only going to be able to catch the other bands playing on Saturday, but it’s going to be the most stacked day of Forecastle. We’ve really been digging all the new stuff from Joseph. Of course we will stay up way past our bedtimes to catch Sturgill and LCD Sound System as well. DUH

Is it safe to say there is a special bond or brotherhood/sisterhood between the two cities Nashville and Louisville?

I won’t speak for anyone else, but I know that I always feel great about our shows in Louisville. We get a lot of support there and always feel welcome. We are spoiled boys for sure.

What kindred spirit Louisville band would let you crash on their couch? Same one you would let crash on yours?

I would have to say My Morning Jacket. They always have a cozy bed in my couch. I also have almost certainly fallen asleep on one of theirs…

It’s 2017 and there are still op-ed pieces and people proclaiming the death knell of two things: guitar bands and music festivals, and here you are, a band that plays guitars and plays music festivals. How do you feel about shattering expectations or going against the conventional wisdom?

I don’t think we pay too much attention to it. There are always changes in what is marketable or “popular” but it doesn’t have too much of an influence on what we do. If we shatter expectations, then hell yeah! But we are probably just going to be some good background music to someone ripping a bong somewhere. And that’s not a bad thing!

I remember hearing “Georgia Dust” on Aquarium Drunkard and thinking it was such a great song, there was something really refined about the sound, and I thought for sure it was made by a much older band. How do you account for that?

I think it’s because that song, and “Won’t Keep Me Up At Night” are examples of really strong, classic songwriting. They’re very “old soul” but still contemporary.

How do you skirt that line between making music that pays homage to your influences and making music that sounds like it was made by those influences? (Embracing past/recognizing present)

Thank you! I think that it is just that we have so many different influences between the four of us that span over generations and genres. We can listen to a Zombies record, a Townes Van Zandt record, and an Ariana Grande record and draw from each of those influences equally. We also all really love Slipknot, but I don’t know if that really counts for anything in this question.

Very cool. Everything counts for something.

Coffee or Tea?

Definitely coffee. But tea is second out of the two!

You’re all 21 now and of legal drinking age. What’s your poison?

Water in between every drink!

You started as a band by playing in each other’s bands first. Did they all have a similar sound and vibe or were there drastic differences? (Spacey Americana, Synth Pop, Thrash Metal?)

Nothing drastically different. Everything has been easy, breezy, and pretty. Working on our new vapor wave band now though.

Haha, I’ll keep my ear out for that one… From there though, you busked around together playing Camper Van Beethoven and Sun Seeker was born. For those unfamiliar, busking is performing on the street; this time-honoured tradition among musicians in Nashville, London, and all over the world. So, was the take big enough to cement that decision? Besides that fateful night, was busking pretty common for you?

If it hadn’t have been “Take the Skinheads Bowling,” what would it have been? Euro Trash Girl?

Maybe an Ariana Grande song?

I think we busked a total of two times, so it was something we almost never did. But it was how I got to play with Ben and Asher for the first time. I think if we were to busk now, it would almost certainly be Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” in its entirety.

You grew up in the Nashville area, correct? Living in Music City, were you always interested in making music? Was there ever a time where it wasn’t in the cards for you?

I think we were involved in music very early on (sans Rodrigo) because our parents were players and music lovers. It’s always been our “thing” I think.

What’s your earliest, most vivid, or happiest music memory from childhood?

My earliest memory was going to see the Goo Goo Dolls with my dad and really wanting to not be at the Goo Goo Dolls with my dad, because I was a tiny baby and wanted to nap. But now I wish I could go see the Goo Goo Dolls with my dad.

There’s been a change in the overall feeling or thinking about Nashville in the last decade or so.And all or at least a big part of that is Jack White and your label, the label he founded, Third Man Records. What impact did White’s move to Nashville have on you? White Blood Cells came out in 2001. How long would it be before you heard or became aware of The White Stripes/affected you in a bigger way?

It didn’t really have too big of an affect on me until we were signed to Third Man. Since then, his move has had a pretty substantial affect on my life (in a good way). If he hadn’t moved here, I probably wouldn’t be doing this interview. Thanks Jack!

Yes, cheers to that! Thanks, Jack!

You’re a part of a vibrant music scene. What other Nashville acts does the world need to know about right away?

A list:
Pujol
Lylas
Datenight
Liza Anne
Dreamwave
Gnarwhal
Erin Rae
Becca Mancari
Tristen
Steelism

Thanks again, Alex. Looking forward to the Biddeford release and the band’s set at Forecastle.

For more info on the brilliant Sun Seeker visit www.sunseekeramerica.com

For more info on Forcastle Fest Visit www.forecastlefest.com

I'm a writer who knows more about music, film, and pop culture than I do about load bearing walls, stabilized population growth, or animal husbandry.

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