Sunflower bean. 20.2.18

Sunflower Beans first LP, 2016’s ‘Human Ceremony’ sent excitement around the indie and cool kids by blending new wave sounds with knowing lyrics about adolescence and having fun.  Ahead of the release of new album ‘Twentytwo in blue’ and supporting tour, Damian Robinson caught up with Bean drummer Jacob Faber to find out more about the new record, the colour blue and keeping ticket prices down.

Hey Jacob, I wanted to start the interview by saying we were at your last gig in Newcastle and it was amazing

Thank you, that was at Think Tank? right? That was a really fun gig I remember it well, we loved the Newcastle crowd

Your first single from 22, Crisis Beat, was very upbeat and glam rock whereas your new single ‘I was a fool’ is a lot more introspective.  How would you describe the sound of the album?

Principally we wanted to make a dynamic record, and a one with different moods and feelings.  We all love albums which can be a companion in different times of your life.  We were listening to a lot of albums like ‘Tusk’ where the album is one destination, with different stops along the way.

And the underlying theme of the album feels like its about being young and growing up in a world which is completely new to all inhabitants, not just the young.

That’s right yeah, the album is about being 22 in this cray, volatile, time.  We came up with the title because we were all 22 and because blue is a very melancholic and sad colour, yet blue is also the colour of the sky or the ocean so it can be a hopeful colour too.  We wanted to make an album which was more introspective than our first album but also more existential and thoughtful about the world we live in.

Interesting, so it’s about resilience as much as hopefulness?

That’s right, some people have picked up on its political themes but it’s also about enjoying life and making the most of what is presented to you.  Particularly when you’re young.

And you’re out touring the record now, how’s that been going?

I get really excited about playing the songs live, and watching the songs continue to grow when they’re played live.  That’s probably been my favourite part of the tour, particularly when the album has an expansive sound in its production.

I was going to ask about how easy it’s been to reproduce your sound live, when some of the tracks are pretty layered.

It’s certainly been something on our minds.  We like playing live as a 3 piece so we’ve tried to build our sound around the three of us.  For example I’ve got a sample pad now which I can use to replicate some of the sounds on the album, so it’s been good trying to figure out how we can use our guitar bass and drums but expand it out.  There’s certainly power in a trio and we certainly want to do the new record justice.

Finally, you’ve got a reputation for keeping the ticket prices as low as possible, which is great for live music.  Why’s that important to you?

We grew up as music fans and try to keep the prices as affordable and inclusive as we can.  We want as many people to come down as possible and we’d rather have more people come and enjoy live music.

‘Twentytwo in blue’ is out 23rd March.  Sunflower Bean will play Newcastle Riverside on March 28th.