As much attention as the electronic music world gives DJs and producers these days, instrumental-based groups continue to thrive – and not just those that have been around for decades, like the Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode.
One such act is Suntalk. Based in New York City, the group sticks with the standard rock format – guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, and vocals – but adds prominent electronic elements.
Vocalist Demetrius Subbaiah and guitarist Raanan Adler met in 2012, and finding a connection writing and creating music, the two hit it off. After assembling the rest of the group (guitarist Jeremy Peters, bassist Lior Koren, and drummer Igor Zunjic), they headed to the Electric Lady to record the Darkness EP. Coyle Girelli of U.K. band The Chevin, Boris Muzychuk, and Adler produced the EP, while Michael Brauer and Ryan Gilligan mixed it.
The release comes out in February 2014, with tracks now available for listening on Suntalk’s Soundcloud page. We caught up with Subbaiah to talk about the upcoming release.
How did you start creating music together as a group
As a group, it was really me and my guitarist, and the way it started was, my guitarist, he basically had some songs ready that were from his personal stash, and he shared them with me. I added my touch to them, and so that’s essentially how and what the Darkness EP is really going to be – a collaboration.
What was the songwriting process for the Darkness EP like?
The songwriting process was, it was very meditative. It was very reflective on our past. So, essentially, Raanan, his dad had died, and that’s the essence of what went into it, and I had a lot of stuff going on, as well. So, it was just a very reflective moment for us, and a dedicated time, as well.
Darkness was recorded at the Electric Lady. What was it like recording in that well-known studio?
It was almost – it was mind-blowing. Just the energy of the place alone – it has this vibrant energy of greatness, like you come there, and every time I was there, I felt humbled to be there. I felt, even walking on the floor, I didn’t want to stain the floor. It was very humbling, an amazing opportunity, and I felt that every time I was there.
How did Coyle Girelli end up producing your album?
A friend of mine, who has given me some advice, his name’s Sean Glass (he’s from the family of Glassnote Records). He had been advising me and literally I was like, “What do I do? I’ve been trying everything, and I really want to take this to the next level,” at a sushi meeting. And, just by chance, Coyle Girelli was having sushi. Coyle and Sean knew each other. Coyle, being from England, had been in this field of music – the darkwave vibe, very alternative rock, English sound. I played him the music, and – I played him essentially what the songs were before – he heard potential and that’s when he took us on and joined the Suntalk team.
How do you plan to promote the Darkness EP?
Essentially, there will be a lot of shows, and some remixes going out. And, really, a lot of self promotion, because we’re not signed yet. So, yeah, a lot of self promotion, on top of our publicist Meah, etc., etc. It’s basic self promotion, as well as, we’re going to be working on the next EP now, too. So, that’s going to be the one that we really put full force. The Darkness EP is our ticket into the world, so it’s essentially like, “This is who we are.” And the next one’s going to be, “Hey, listen to us.” You bump up on it, you’re going to love it, and I think you’ll like it, and the next one is really going to be the one that we put that energy where you have to stop and listen.
How did you come up with the name Suntalk?
The way it came up is, it’s actually not me – it’s my partner, Raanan, who, when he was creating the music and he was also sending the music and checking it because he was in Israel. When communication would happen, we would only talk when the sun’s up. So, when the sun’s up, and then talk – that should be the opposite.
Who are your musical influences?
E Street, The Cure, Coldplay, Depeche Mode, Joy Division – and that’s more where we start. We have a very dark core – a Coldplay vibe, Essence. When I sing sometimes, I give a give off a very powerful, Queen Freddie Mercury, kind of strong frontman vocals, and I have a background – I studied opera as a child, so my voice is really out there in the live performance.
With DJs as the most visible faces of electronic music right now, where do you think you fit?
It is electronic rock, and when you hear the full EP, there’s a song on there, “Mirrors,” where we use EDM synths in the music. And don’t get me wrong – on the next EP, that’s going to be also something that’s going to be very prevalent in the music – because I love electronic music. But right now, people that are really going to enjoy this are people that know rock music and can vibe with the time of quality of our sound. That’s really the theme of Suntalk to me, is the timeless vibe. I really wanted to be able to play it five years down the road, 10 years down the road. If I went into a time machine, it would be able to blend and play it six years ago.