"Big Picture Lies", this is an album with a bold title and enormous rock sound. This impressive young Gold Coast four piece have forged a world class debut.
Following the success of their debut EP Society Anxiety, Sunk Loto have built a loyal fan–base that follows the group's every move. After wow-ing live audiences with their exceptional musicianship, Sunk Loto's mature song writing has now spawned a stand-out debut album BIG PICTURE LIES.
Musically, Big Picture Lies has its genesis in the rock of ages. Listening to the album you'll hear touches of the eastern modes of vintage Led Zeppelin up against classic gnarly rock sounds (thanks to the handiwork of US producer Mike Barbiero, who worked on both the 80s rock classic – Guns N' Roses' 'Appetite For Destruction' and mixed this millennial rock monolith). That's in a blender next to the dicing edge of new metal heroes like Tool, Korn and the Deftones, and the hip-hop style of Rage Against the Machine and Eminem.
The initial release of the album includes a VERY LIMITED bonus disc with un-released track "SFA" together with a CD Extra containing the bands three music videos plus an incisive day-in-life video - 'SUNKCAM'.
Driving north from Sunk Loto’s Gold Coast home, you are confronted with yet more of the Queensland government’s beautification projects, noticeably an incredible mural on the 10 foot high walls which separate the buzzing highway from the brick and tile homes. The murals show people, hundreds of people, men, women and children. Confronted with these stereotypes, Sunk Loto have always looked to scratch beneath the surface when addressing their environment and the people around them.
Sunk Loto have been impressing people everywhere since they came to the attention of the broader music loving public a few short months ago. Having already gained notoriety, airplay and adulation through their debut EP ‘Society Anxiety’, Sunk Loto (vocalist Jase, guitarist Sean, bassist Luke and drummer Dane) have already established a fan base that are well aware of their strength in sound and solidarity in intention. Something which their sophomore release ‘Make You Feel’ is going to expand on. Produced by Paul McKercher it is the first taste of the new material the band have written for their debut full length.
"Good music is good music, and when it comes to the crunch it doesn’t really matter if it’s rock or metal or hip-hop," says Jase of the incredible variety of folk who already dig on the Sunk Loto sound. "This song is more layered, more textured, but it started out as a full on joke song. It was a song about something rude."
‘Make You Feel’ is far from a joke song, the scathing lyrics taking a general broadside at the mega-corporation mentality and lack of individuality, but as Jase says most of the songs start out that way.
"The songs start out as something really foreign and it takes a while to work out where it’s going. You hear it grow up, you get to appreciate it, appreciate what the songs mean to you and then what it might mean to other people." And what will it mean to other people.
"When they first hear it…"He contemplates, "It’s not as full-on, in your face aggro, but I think they’ll like the groove, it’s fuckin’ hard hitting."
Speaking of hard hitting, Sunk Loto have just completed a 30-date run of shows with fellow nouveau metal mates, the TESTEAGLES. It was an opportunity to traverse the land, play their expanding repertoire in front of an ever-expanding crowd and also to learn more about people.
"We played outback shows and we played city shows," Jase explains, "hicks and rednecks and cool people and what not. You can still go the cities and meet out of touch people and you can get in the middle of the country and meet the most switched on people. You can just never tell what’s going to happen."
With performing night after night, something which the band is becoming hardened to, particularly with more touring including recent dates with A Perfect Circle, the busy summer schedule just around the corner looks like more fun for Sunk Loto.
"We’re more durable now," say Jase with a laugh, "Night after night you’ve really got to be fit."
So let’s just hope the crowds are too!
The first song that Sunk Loto jammed on was probably a Pantera song, but the last song they listened to was probably by Jeff Buckley. Which at first appears to be contradictory it goes a long way to explaining the Sunk Loto mandate.
Formed in March of 1997 after a chance meeting in a local music store, everything started out fairly straightforward and low-key, "I was just jamming on some song," recalls guitarist Luke McDonald, "and Jase (vocalist Jason Brown) just came up and said, 'We should jam'." And along with Jason's younger brother Dane on drums, jam they did. Some Pantera, some Nirvana... stuff that young fellas with a penchant for loud guitars would play in a garage.
They added bassist Sean Van Gennip shortly after and got seriously into writing their own material. Based on new releases by bands like the Deftones, Faith No More and Korn, they originally called themselves Messiah and started playing in front of people on the Gold Coast. After impressing all and sundry with their powerful, melodic and emotion charged groove tunes, the quartet quickly grew together.
What started as two shows on last summer's Vans Warped Tour, became eight shows as the band impressed the organizers as well as fellow touring bands, Pennywise & The Deftones. Before long, their phone line was running hot with record company action, the band ultimately signing to Epic Records.
"Everyone contributes," explains Jase, "Someone comes up with something, a riff, and everyone has an input. It's really important thing that it says on the CD, 'Written by Sunk Loto'," Jason continues. "This is not just one person's band and with each song we want to be able to try and do something different."
This is already apparent on their debut release, the EP 'Socitey Anxiety'. Recorded by Paul McKercher at Festival's Sydney Studios and with two tracks mixed by Ulrich Wild (Deftones, Grinspoon, Testeagles) the songs display an amazing maturity. Not to mention a hefty amount of brute power and groove.
"Everyone seems to like what we've shown 'em," says Jase. "You've got to try and make the music timeless. People will look back and say that was done at that time," reckons Luke, "But if you've been emotional and captured that moment". We anna be able to look back at what we've done and know what that emotion was about."
"We're spontaneous in the studio," says Jason taking up Luke's theme. "Shit comes out that we never planned." "And we don't want to limit ourselves," expands Luke, "there's only so much we can do with this line-up. We've already started looking to other musicians and ways of making new noises."
But for the time being, Sunk Loto are more than satisfied with the
noises they are already making. So are the hordes of punters who may
have caught them supporting Suicidal Tendencies or on the Vans
Warped tours, or the further faces who will catch them at one of the
outdoor festivals they're lined up to play over the Australian summer.