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Interview: The GATRS talk to The Sulks about Being in the Recording studio, Their new EP, and so Much More…

First of all, tell us a bit about each of you and a bit of back history on the band

It’s actually somewhat of a new era that’s just begun for the band. James and Rhys have been playing together as The Sulks for just over a year now, although a recent reshuffle has seen the introduction of Matt O’Hara-Ball on bass and Matt Cumner (James’s brother of all people) on drums. Together we’ve been practicing between Swindon and London for just over 2 months now in preparation for the recording the debut EP and for a number of upcoming shows in the new year. James, Rhys and Matt C are all born and bred in Swindon, although Matt O’Hara offers something in the way of Irish luck with his Northern Irish roots. Matt C and Matt O’Hara are both based in London, having just graduated and currently studying at university respectively, whilst James and Rhys are looking forward to making the move to the capital in the new year in the hope of expanding the band’s performance opportunities.

You’ve had an exciting 2017, things are really beginning to happen for you. Has your life changed any since the year began

Collectively it’s kinda hard to explain what’s been going on since the beginning of the year for each of us. In the way of The Sulks as a band, however, we’ve been working a lot on really discovering and defining the identity and sound of the band – something that we feel we’ve really started to nail more recently. Hopefully, we can now take this forward even further and start to discover new heights in terms of our music and performances. One thing is for sure though, individually we’ve all been a lot worse off since committing to this ‘band thing’! P.S. Please visit pledge music to help the cause…

You are in the studio working with the legendary Gordon Raphael on your first EP, which is impressive, not only is he a fantastic producer but also a performer. Can you tell us how this all panned out and if he has given you any worthy advice?

To be honest it’s pretty early days still in regards to recording, although his expertise and excellence are already well apparent. Our manager, Rob Baker (who deserves a lot of credit for getting us into this position), got in contact with Gordon after Gordon had shown some interest in us as a band on social media. He contacted us through Rob and after a Skype meeting or two we booked the dates in the diary and now we’re here. It’s sounding pretty bloody good so far so hopefully some really good things to come

All the music you have released thus far has differed from the last. Are you attempting to find your place in a genre or do you like to take chances with your writing

As we mentioned earlier, we’re still working on truly defining our sound although we feel it’s something that’s definitely begun to settle more recently. I guess we enjoy exploring new ideas and not restricting ourselves to a single style or sound. Experimentation is key to our development as far as we’re away. 

How much material are you sitting on that could be used for an album at a later date

We’ve got a fair few songs under our belt but since the reshuffle and hearing about the EP, we’ve been focusing far more on perfecting the tracks we’ve chosen. Going forward, with the new dynamics and ideas that the two Matt’s have bought, we’re hoping to further experiment and keep writing new songs that let all our influences become apparent.

How did you settle on the final four tracks that will be on the EP

Essentially it was by way of a democratic vote. We all sat down and chatted about which songs each of us liked and enjoyed playing the most and then considered which we thought would sound best together and express the diversity of our sound. We’re all pretty happy with the tracks we’ve chosen but are keen to hear what feedback we get once it’s released.


At what moment in the future will you look at each other and say ” This is it, we’ve made it “

When we get a slot on Jools Holland! We’ve all grown up watching the show so it’d be amazing to see ourselves on there one day.

You can open for any musician dead or alive, at any venue. Who and where

We couldn’t collectively decide on one artist or venue, so here are each of ours…

James – Jeff Buckley at the Royal Albert Hall
Rhys – Mystery Jets at Koko
Matt O’Hara – Velvet Underground at CBGBs.
Matt C – Queens of the Stone Age at Glastonbury.

Your earliest memory of music

Obviously, we don’t all have a collective memory, but Matt C says that he remembers getting his first drum kit at 3 years old and waking up in the middle of the night to smash the shit of it. However, sadly the dream wasn’t to last as a long list of complaints from neighbors coincided with it mysteriously disappearing until he turned 11!

When you are selling out stadiums in the future, what is the strangest thing you will have on your rider

A Dyson air blade.

The top three songs to any road trip

XTC – Making Plans for Nigel
Fleetwood Mac – The Chain
Odyssey – Roots suite

Where do you want to see yourselves in five years

Sounds pretty typical of most bands I guess, but hopefully pretty high up the bill of a major festival with a platinum-selling album or two under our belt

Why should our readers be listening to The Sulks

I guess it’s kinda hard to tell a wide audience exactly why they should all be listening to us. From our perspective though, we’re trying to revive sounds of the past that all influence the music we play. From the energy and charisma that go into each song that we play to the raw and robust sound of the tracks we record, we’re just trying to express ourselves the best we can whilst making music that we believe people will want to hear.

Parting words for our readers

Well…sorry we can’t give you the 5 minutes you’ve spent reading this back. But now you have, you might as well give us a listen. We hope you all enjoy!

** A big thank you to Rhys and Rob for the pictures of Day 1 in the studio**


If you would like to take this exciting journey with The Sulks they have started a Pledge Music fund, here is what they had to say about it…

“Our PledgeMusic goal isn’t to cover the production of the EP, it’s to create the platform for getting the music to you. As a fan you can not only purchase the EP but also get unseen pictures of the band in the studio, exclusive living room shows, but also it’s a way for promoters to book the band at an exclusive rate. It’s about creating a journey in which you reading this right now can get involved in!”

Read all about it here, and GET INVOLVED in the excitement of new music!!



About Teri (2738 Articles)
You can usually find me traveling, queuing, or at barricade for a band. I am most likely doing all three things in a day. If I'm not at a concert you can also find me digging through crates for that coveted black disc of vinyl.

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