JANUARY 18, 2017
I chatted with The Sunbathers about their involvement in the local music scene, and their new music video “Intimacy.”
Q: How did the band form?
Tim and Sean met while attending the University of Maryland and have been playing music together for years, but it wasn’t until we moved into D.C. with our other guitarist Pete that we got serious about forming a band. Tim was fatefully seated next to Shohsei, our drummer, at a work event shortly after our D.C. move, and from there things really took off. We soon added a mutual friend on bass to fill out the group, started playing some house shows and bar gigs in the DC/Baltimore area, and have been at it ever since.
Q: What is the hardest part about being in a band?
Maintaining deference. Any group of people will have its dynamics and natural roles, but its important to let everyone have a fair share at every aspect–be it songwriting or the business side of things. We always look to respect one another as much as possible because, like any relationship, ego has to be checked at the door in order to get to the heart of things.
Q: What was it like playing at WTMD’s First Thursdays this past June?
Truly a dream come true. We’ve been attending First Thursdays for years now, from when it was in Mount Vernon to when it outgrew that area and scaled up in Canton. Its an incredible event and was an unparalleled moment of both exposure and thrill for us. The opportunity to play for such a massive crowd in such a gorgeous setting was amazing and we can’t thank WTMD enough for that chance.
Q: What is your favorite part of performing live?
The thrill, simply put. There is nothing more exhilarating but also nothing more nerve-wracking. It requires you to put forth unequivocal concentration while, at the same time, let loose and exist within the moment.
Q: I love your song “Intimacy.” What is it about?
Intimacy is largely a narration of a relationship. The beginnings and ends, the ups and downs, the elation and the desperation. It reflects on the quieter, more private moments of intimacy with another person as well as the wilder moments of both passion and heartache where you’re bursting at the seams with love and despair, maybe even at the same time. I wanted to recount a history of two people but also zoom in on the presence of mind within those smaller moments sitting in between those greats highs and lows. It ends on a climax as well, and I go back and forth between considering that moment as optimistic or not so much–I guess it depends on the day and I think it makes the most sense for the song to remain unbound by one single interpretation.
Q: What was it like filming the music video? Where did you film it?
The music video was more of an independent project with a friend of Sean’s. We worked with him in developing a concept and, once that was established, we let him take the reins and execute the project. We could not have been happier with the result as we love his interpretation of the lyrics and his talent for narration and and direction is very evident.
Q: What is your favorite part of being a part of the Baltimore/DC music scene?
Both cities have music scenes deeply invested in lifting up local and independent bands. Venues are willing to give bands a shot and people actually come out to shows. Both cities have established themselves as havens for national acts but it incubates its own artists and gives them ample opportunity to develop their sound and their art in spaces that are worthy of the the largest acts but simultaneously inclusive of their own local bands. Also, the DIY spirit running through both cities is so unique to each place but also so equally well-established and maintained.
Q: Are you guys excited about your show at 8×10?
Super excited. The 8×10 is very kind to us and has great hospitality and sound engineers, and we always have a great time there. This particular bill is all local Baltimore bands and some good friends, so it’ll be a great night.