Ahead of an upcoming album, Niagara-based four-piece Stereo Sunrise have just released their latest single, “Come On Over” – a relatable song about unity, longing, and finding yourself. We caught up with the band to chat about the new song, how the band got their start, and each member’s superhero alter ego.
From The Strait: Tell us about the new single, “Come On Over”.
Stereo Sunrise: Come On Over is a song about unity, longing, and finding yourself. There’s a conflict between wanting to be with someone and getting lost in the moments of your life.
This song started out as two separate ideas. They just went together and it made sense. It’s not a verse, chorus, verse, chorus kind of song, it just progresses as it goes along and never turns back.
We recorded the vocals in a Canadian Tire parking lot near Toronto. Siegfried Meier drove down with his mobile recording camper van and met us there. We all squeezed in and it was a lot of fun.
From The Strait: How did Stereo Sunrise get together?
Stereo Sunrise: Back in 2010, Piero (lead guitar) placed a classified ad looking for a singer. Justin answered that ad. Arih was learning to play bass guitar for another project when he ran into Justin at a bookstore (holding a Learn to Play Bass Guitar book). We recorded and released three EP’s over the years, the first two with Tommy Metcalfe (Dammit Goldie, The Advancing Low-Lives) on drums. After Tommy went back to school, Mark joined the band to track our third EP. We’ve been a band this way for 5 years now.
As a band, we love the writing process. Just getting together and seeing what we can come up with by mixing our musical styles and influences. Piero is a 70’s child, whose past project, Marble Weed, was a fantastic Niagara-based alt rock band in the 90’s which landed a number of contracts, even one with FRE Records/EMI, but none of them panned out. Justin had been quietly writing songs in his basement and around the campfire for many years before deciding to join a band. Arih is a multi-instrumentalist and solo musician under Arih SK; plays bass in Pablo Paddy and Powerwalk; and created a popular online music show shot in his living room, called Band on a Couch. Mark has a place out in the country where we can be loud. He also drums for several bands, including Knife the Wolf, Charles J. Hunk & the Trainwreck, and Powerwalk.
From The Strait: Every band has their own way of creating songs – what is your songwriting process like?
Stereo Sunrise: It’s a bit random and fun. We usually have part of an idea or just get the instruments going and add in some vocals and try to record it live. The rule is to try any idea that someone suggests and withhold judgment until we listen back later. Then we can pick out the good bits. Lyrics often start as placeholders but a lot find their way into forming the final idea. Sometimes, like in the case of our song, Gold, it all came out in one take. That’s an amazing feeling.
From The Strait: What are some of your biggest musical influences?
Justin: Bands: Blue Rodeo, The Watchmen, Blind Melon, My Morning Jacket, my uncles played music around the campfire my entire childhood so they rate here too.
Arih: Simple Minds, Gin Blossoms, The Cranberries
Mark: New Order, Talking Heads, Dinosaur Jr.
Piero: The Cardigans, The Beatles, Sam Roberts
From The Strait: If you could play any music venue anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Stereo Sunrise: We’d like to play Red Rocks and the Hollywood Bowl.
From The Strait: If you had any advice for new musicians, what would it be?
Stereo Sunrise: Be free in your creative process. Just keep making things and don’t put too much pressure on it. Buy one nice guitar instead of several mediocre guitars. Drink coffee or tea at rehearsals. Follow through and don’t lose the original feel of the song!
From The Strait: If each member of Stereo Sunrise were a superhero, what would their names and superpowers be?
Justin: The Forgetful Dodger – able to lose any personal item anywhere
Arih: Mr Safety Man – always ready with words of caution
Mark: The Fantastic Farmer – speaks to vegetables
Piero: The Big Gig – can survive on three $80.00 gigs a year
Check out “Come On Over”, the latest single from Stereo Sunrise!