Universal - Volbeat's Michael Poulsen discusses the impact guitarist/producer Rob…
- Posted on Sep 10th 2009 5:00PM by Denise Sheppard
The original lineup were together as a foursome barely long enough to record two legendary albums: 1994's 'Diary' and their 1995 follow-up, a title-less CD nicknamed 'LP2.' (Two additional studio records were later released with a slightly different lineup.) Their sophomore disc was recorded amidst an emotional whirlwind -- lead singer Jeremy Enigk became a Christian and questioned his existential musical path, guitarist Dan Hoerner preferred country living to city life, and bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith were offered a gig playing with the Foo Fighters. Expectations -- from their label and fans -- were high, but band tensions were even higher.
"Looking back on this period, it seems like a vague dream," frontman Enigk tells Spinner. "We were just sort of going through the motions. But we still were friends and we still had fun. Most importantly, the passion of the music was still there, and I felt passionate about doing my absolute best, even though it probably wasn't going to pan out with the band. I don't remember too much about that time, to be honest. But I do know that I tried to give the songs what they deserved."
Like any unfinished love story, the magic that was Sunny Day remained embedded in the minds of the four members as each moved through their different musical projects. To the amazement and delight of their devoted fan base, rumors started circulating the Web early this year that the original fab four might reunite. In June, the reunion was confirmed. A series of live dates were planned, and their first two CDs, it was announced, would be getting a makeover. "The albums were re-mastered, which is basically like a new shiny coat using updated technology," Enigk tells Spinner. "The additional tracks include songs recorded for 7-inches such as 'Thief Steal Me a Peach' and a recording we did for Pushead [Brian Schroeder] who did the artwork and packaging. Also included is a song we recorded, 'Bucket of Chicken,' meant for 'The Crow' soundtrack but never ended up on it since the band split up."
As far as the genesis of the reunion is concerned, bassist Nate Mendel admits to Spinner that it happened because he "was a bit of a pain in the ass to Jeremy and William. I had tried before, but thought it wouldn't harm our relationship too badly if I called and tried one more time." Enigk recalls that there were a few discussions in recent years, but that things started to really gel in the beginning of 2009 when Nate initiated conversations again. "Next thing we know, we were playing our songs again and had a major tour booked," he says. "The biggest deciding factor for me in a reunion was the fact that it would be all original members."
Neither Mendel nor Enigk have any specific plans to commit to anything further at this juncture. "We have come into this with the attitude that it is about having fun," Enigk says, "allowing us to take things slowly and not burden ourselves with a mountain of expectation." Mendel agrees. "This is being as something that we're doing for fun, basically, because there's a lot of good music in the past and we wanted to go and revisit it, wanted to go have a good time on tour," he says. "If something comes out of that, great, but I'm kind of doubtful. William is in a new band, Jeremy is focused on his solo stuff, I've got a band, Dan has a fairly large family. I would love to make new music, it could happen, but it would be difficult at this point."
Long-term plans aside, both men are clearly enthusiastic about the upcoming North American tour, which kicks off in Vancouver, BC on Sept. 17 and ends in Seattle a month later, and a second string of dates are planned for Australia in February. "When the four of us get together and jam, it just clicks," Enigk says. "There is an instant musical connection that you can't just create. It has always come from some higher unseen place with complete ease. Being able to recognize that now is a real treat."
"We didn't want to step into this and have it be a disaster, so we did a trial run in the spring," Mendel says. "We hinged the decision of the whole tour on how that worked out, and it worked out really great! It came together really fast. It had been a long time; we had all branched out and done other things. I personally wasn't sure I could still play that music, but we all had the same amps, same guitars and everybody had been playing for years. Things came together really fast. It reminds me that there's a history there; there's something between the four of us when we play that is kind of unique, 'cause it sounded pretty OK!"
Mendel admits that they all really want to bring their best to their upcoming live dates. "We're in the process of rehearsing for the tour. We're actually in the middle of picking songs and figuring out how we're going to do them," he says. "I'm excited! As much as this is a band that doesn't necessarily have a future, I still have a little bit of that cocky edge that we had back in the day. I want people to see this and get blown away."
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