Interview With Gone Sugar Die
Interview with Canadian/American supergroup Gone Sugar Die. Gone Sugar Die blends synth punk, indie pop and dark romance to make music that is “equally danceable and cryable” but outside of that has no set rules. You can listen to their debut single below and find out more about their music at www.artisthq.com/gone-sugar-die
You guys just released your debut single Heartbreak Jewelry, a track that “nearly didn’t exist”, can you tell us about it?
Patrick: I’m so neurotic that I can’t be trusted to make decisions on what constitutes a good or bad song. Luckily, Mike stopped me from deleting it. The lyrics are from times I’d given a necklace or bracelet to exs in the past, and how it’s all worthless metal (to be honest, plastic) now.
Is the synth infused indie pop/punk rock sound heard on this track the sound that fans should be expecting from future songs on your upcoming EP Blaack Heaart?
Mike: Yes and no. The whole album lives within the punk pop (not to be confused with pop punk) world, but we definitely take it in different directions with each track. We like to keep all our songs equally danceable and cryable but outside of that no set rules.
Can you tell us about the making of the eye catching animated video that accompanies the new single? You two had hand drawn the scenes, what was the inspiration behind the styling of the video?
Mike: When we made our first “Gone Sugar Die” t-shirts, we just did some sorta doodles that we thought looked pretty cool. We both are fans of minimalistic art; we enjoy things that cut to the chase and capture an essence rather than portray reality. Then we took some of the stick figure ideas we had come up with for the shirts and combined it with some of the ideas from the lyrics and some personal experiences and came up with a storyline we told through our own minimalistic doodles.
The two of you had met over email, but the original topic of conversation was a record label. How did that conversation turn into forming the canadian/american super duo Gone Sugar Die?
Mike: The record label was really just a means of introduction between the two of us. It’s a conversation that didn’t get very far but we stayed in touch because of a mutual admiration of each others talents. We almost met in person a couple times after the first emails while we were both living just a couple hours from each other in the Pacific Northwest, but it just wasn’t meant to be. It was a couple years after those first emails that we reconnected on social media talking about doing a tour together and then we thought, well, if we are gonna tour together why not just do a band together. And so it was decided.
Patrick: I nearly died on New Years Eve last year in a car accident, and after that I had an “I need to do something with my life” moment. Mike was one of the first people to comment on being glad I was still alive.
When you two are writing music together, what is the goal you have in mind? And what does that process look like?
Patrick: Really, it’s a more fun and painless experience than 99% of bands I know. Lots of coffee is consumed, some playing around with effects and sounds, and a lot of conversing about themes and ideas. We watch a lot of cartoons, too. At the time I think it was Bojack Horseman and Courage the Cowardly Dog, so that probably inspired the darkness in the songs. The intent is always to make people dance.
Heartbreak Jewelry features producer/guitarist Marshall Gallagher (Teenage Wrist, 3OH!3) and drummer Anthony Burulcich (Weezer, Morrissey, The Bravery). What’s the energy like when the four of you get in a room together?
Mike: First off, Anthony is a beast. That dude just rolls in and nails it in ways you didn’t know it could be nailed. And Marshall is about the coolest hang they make. We had a great time in the studio with them it was about easy and fun as it gets and we think you can tell in the output.
At this year’s CMW you guys played covers of both Deadmau5 and The Ramones…what a combo! What genres would you say most influence your sound?
Patrick: Definitely raw music, like the way John Lennon’s stuff was recorded for example. The Clash are big for me on bending the rules of “punk” music. Lots of British music too, like the Smiths and Oasis. I think seeing two dudes like us make “electronic” music and interpret it our way, not as EDM producers, makes us “Gone Sugar Die”. I love dance music as well, though, like Deadmau5, Daft Punk, Justice, Duke Dumont and Yacht. I could go on forever.
(Mike) Gone Sugar Die is bringing back together members of the New York indie band the Bravery back together for the first time in 10 years, how does it feel picking things up together after a decade?
Mike: Has it been that long? Anthony and I are like brothers, felt just like old times.
(Patrick) The Cut Losses hit “Spending Time On My Own,” racked up over 100,000 Spotify streams in 72 hours, can you tell us about how you pulled that off?
Patrick: The song was released right before my 21st birthday, and I stayed home alone and missed going to Las Vegas with all my family and friends. I was having panic attacks all the time then and felt like shit. When I woke up after and saw it on a bunch of blogs, and multiple official Spotify playlists, it was crazy. I guess someone heard it somewhere, totally by chance. Things like that don’t happen to small town Canadian boys, and I’ll forever be humbled by how it changed my life.
Patrick, in a past interview you mentioned that you were advised not to go into music for “lack of talent”, and oh boy, look at how wrong they were! Do you have any words of advice for young musicians who might not have the support they need around them right now?
Patrick: Yeah, that sucked. I don’t think you realize art is subjective when you’re young, and it’s easy to be talked out of things. I was made fun of for the indie bands I listened to in high school, at a time when 50 Cent and Nelly were topping the charts. Now it’s the “cool thing” to shop at Urban Outfitters and listen to the 1975 or the XX, so remember you’ll always get the last laugh if you stay true to yourself.
When you’re writing a song, how do you know when it’s finished?
Patrick: When Mike says it’s good, or if it survived an hour without being deleted.
What are a couple of bands that both of you love?
Mike: John Lennon
Patrick: The Cardigans
What are a couple of bands that the two of you don’t quite agree on?
Mike: Paul McCartney
Seeing as both of you are from opposite sides of the border, do you see any difference between making, playing and touring music in Canada as opposed to in The States?
Patrick: I almost died going from Vancouver to Edmonton for a music festival in the winter, only to have them tell me after a 14 hour drive through an avalanche that I wasn’t getting paid. Yeah, that’s touring Canada. I wish there was better music coming out of the country to balance out the horrible shows.
What is your favourite sugary treat?
Mike: Sour Mambas
What do you guys have planned for the rest of 2019?
Mike: We got tons planned, including playin’ some shows on the West Coast and making our way to Germany to support our EP release out there. We’ve also been working on more songs and hope to get back in the studio sooner than later.