DAUGHTERS OF THE SUN

6 Apr

DAUGHTERS OF THE SUN

“Here Comes the Sun”

by Ryan Muldoon

Perhaps the most extraordinary thing about the ambitious and cohesive (and criminally out of print) album “Visions of the Ocean Head” by Minneapolis’ sons, Daughters of the Sun, is that it was followed by another album that was just as ambitious and cohesive (if not more so) in 2009’s “Rings.”

Both albums contain song-cycles at once other-worldly and completely familiar, a place where tribal drums, lethal-levels of guitar feedback and alien tape loops never overrule the great vocal or memorable hook that’s right around the corner. There’s timelessness to the music of Daughters of the Sun that’s hard to explain. It may be the ancient sound of the future; it may be the future sounds of the ancients. It may be what happens when Hawkwind, Guided By Voices and Napalm Death albums are readily available to Minnesota’s youth.

We’re not sure – and neither is their drummer, Bennett. But he’s answering our questions anyway.

Does the name Daughters of the Sun have anything to do with the 2004 Iranian film of the same name? Does it have anything to do with Robert Plant’s assertion in “Going to California” that the “Children of the sun begin to wake”? Is it possible there is a connection to the Billy Thorpe concept album, “Children of the Sun”? Or perhaps even the final track from Hawkwind’s “In Search of Space” LP? Am I looking too hard for meaning in the name … or not hard enough?

 

Set the controls for the heart of the Daughters of the Sun

 

The name of the band is actually a Tyrannosaurus Rex lyric off the album Unicorn, I think.

I find the visual component to both the “Visions of the Ocean Head” CD-R and the “Rings” LP to be complimentary to the music contained therein – memorable, with an almost unending source of inspiration. “Rings” in particular, from the cover alone, could tempt the listener as a lost Nigerien rock album from the 70’s, a free-jazz skronk-fest, or an outsider folk gem (and at various times, the music nearly meets those tortured descriptions as well!). Is there any desire for on overriding theme to your artwork? Is there any history of graphic design by any members outside of the band’s projects?

For both of the album covers we conceived a basic idea of what we wanted to do for artwork. Once the concept is alive we have friends of ours illustrate and the printing commences. For “Visions” we had our friend Brent illustrate and some other friends screen print them. And “Rings” we had a super talented guy here in Minneapolis named Josh Journey-Heinz illustrate and screen print. Some lettering and illustration was done by the band as well. We try, like a lot of bands, to hone the title and illustration to the music directly. Each recording is different and therefore artwork is always different. We do love the handmade approach to screenprinting so we tend to keep that throughout. As far as any history of graphic design in the band … nothing really besides making flyers.

Minnesota’s musical history is as notable as it is varied. Are you from Minnesota originally? Does your location inform your sound in any particular way? Are there any other Minnesota-based artists that you feel deserve greater recognition?

We’re all from Minnesota and met in Minneapolis.  There are four extreme seasons here so that has to have some effect on the band … we’re not really sure we can pin it down to a science or anything, but there’s something happening.  As far as other local artists, there are a ton.  The music scene is bursting with new bands and bands that have been at it a while that remain active.  I suggest the Moon Glyph tape label and Modern-Radio Record Label rosters which are both based here in Minneapolis.

Daughters of the Sun is one of just a handful of artists making a return appearance at APF3. What was your experience like at last year’s Austin Psych Fest? Was there any one band that you particularly enjoyed from last year?

Psych Fest 2 was a blast.  We were really honored to share a bill with such great bands in such a great city.  We love Austin and have since the beginning.  We always get treated really well and have a great time.  Getting to play with Sky Saxon from the Seeds was a huge honor.  I mean, legendary stuff.  Indian Jewelry is also always great to play with.  We’re also really looking forward to Yah Ho Wah 13 this year.  We got to play with them in Chicago last summer and they were fucking great.  We’re really excited to see those guys again.

What’s the background on the track, “Field Recordings: India ‘08” included on the “Rings” album? Who in the band has spent time in India? How has that time influenced your perspective toward the music you create? Towards life in general?

Our band mate Nick went to Rajasthan, India for a five-week motorcycle trip a couple of years ago and just brought along a shitty dictaphone and just recorded little snipets that he liked.  We really wanted to put it on the full-length.  People who reviewed it usually liked the record and DISLIKED the field recording track.  We love it and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from listeners.  People always want to know the story behind it.

I want to read a book while enjoying “Rings.” What book would you recommend for the journey?

Read Russell Means’  “Where White Men Fear to Tread.”

Do you wish to hazard a guess on the overall number of headbands at this year’s Austin Psych Fest? Does your guess include or exclude actual members of Daughters of the Sun?

Headbands are gonna be a little down from last year seeing as that fashion is fading.  Soooo last year.  Our theory is that the poncho ratio’s gonna be way up this year.  Way up.

What are the odds of a new band forming out of APF3 – “Daughters of the Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapors”?

New hybrid jam sesh name mash up?  No idea.  Maybe?

What can we expect from your upcoming split 12” with Vampire Hands?

Our upcoming split with Vampire Hands is something that we’ve been talking about for years now. They’ve been our good friends and practice space/tour mates for a while and it’s about fucking time. The VH side is five boogie rock soon-to-be classics and our side is one song clocking in at almost 18 minutes. Think early Tangerine Dream with a DOTS song in the middle. We’re super proud of that track. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time but have never had the space with a full length. No double LP’s in sight any time soon. Gearing up for tour=HECTIC. We’ll see you down in Austin and thanks for doing the interview.

Daughters of the Sun – www.myspace.com/daughtersofthesun

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