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- Posted on Feb 9th 2010 3:06PM by Liz Raftery
Originally begun as a "bedroom recording project" by frontman Ben Daniels and his sisters, Philadelphia's A Sunny Day in Glasgow experienced a revolving door of band members last year while they were recording their second LP, 2009's 'Ashes Grammar.' Despite the lineup changes (which included the departure of Daniels' sisters), the dream pop sextet continued to garner attention from the indie rock blogosphere and plans to spend much of 2010 touring and releasing new material. Spinner recently spoke with founding member Daniels and singer/cellist Annie Fredrickson about the band's upcoming first trip to SXSW.
How did you come up with the band name?
Ben Daniels: When it first started out, it was me and a friend of mine, and he had lived in Glasgow while I was actually living in London, and he came up with the name. He's no longer in the band. He left actually before it became a band, but I just kept the name.
Describe your sound.
BD: I would say bluesy pop music with lots of melodies, and maybe kind of dreamy.
Ben, you originally formed the band with your sisters, who are no longer involved. How did the current lineup form?
BD: It was kind of like an evolution. While my sisters were still in the band, Josh joined the band. And then, while we were recording our last record, my one sister moved to Colorado and the other sister kind of just moved away from the band, just kind of wasn't as involved. So Josh and I were like, oh, we need to get someone else to sing. So we got Annie to join up, and then we played some shows with that lineup. Then my sister and her boyfriend [Brice Hickey], who was our bass player, didn't want to go on tour [after Hickey broke his leg]. So, we found another singer, another drummer and another bass player, because Josh had played drums but wanted to play guitar. It just kind of seemed a natural evolution.
Annie Fredrickson: I'd never sung in a band before. I have training as a cellist. I've been playing cello for, like, 20 years. I was nervous and not even really sure why they wanted me to sing in the band. But when it became evident that they did, then it was really fun after that point.
Who are your musical influences?
AF: That's such a hard question. I should probably think of a better answer. It's hard to think of yourself as having influences, because everyone wants to think that they're original, you know? And so, it's hard to say you're trying to be like [someone else].
What are your musical guilty pleasures?
BD: Coldplay is totally ridiculous. I mean, intellectually, I know that. But once in a while, I just want to hear 'Clocks.'
AF: La Roux. She's kind of forgettable. I can't remember any music I've been listening to all day today, but it's totally fun.
Who are some other SXSW acts you're excited to see?
AF: I know that [the SXSW] lineup isn't solidified yet, and so I don't want to get excited about going to a show and then find out that I can't go. So I'm gonna wait until I know what we're doing.
BD: Oh, that's a good idea. But I'm most excited just to go in general, because I've never been to SXSW before.
Any thoughts on how you're going to survive the week?
BD: I think it will be a test of stamina rather than performing ability. I don't even drink coffee, so I don't know how I'm going to make it.
AF: Yeah, me either. That's a good question. A lot of tea.
Is there a concert experience that had a particular impact on you?
AF: When I was younger, I was very much immersed in the classical world, and so it was probably going to see the orchestra when I was, like, seven or eight or something. I wanted to be a professional cellist for a really long time.
BD: They Might Be Giants. That was my favorite concert ever, of all time. I remember the exact date. It was December 30, 1995. I grew up in the Philly suburbs. It was cold and I think it was a little snowy. And we hung out, and we smoked pot, I remember, in this country club on the way to the train station to go downtown to see the show. They Might Be Giants have this song called 'The Statue Got Me High,' and so we kept making jokes about how, like, if we got arrested, we would just tell the officer that the statue got us high. Then we went to the show, and it was, like, totally packed. Everybody danced the entire time. It was just so much fun. It was like the best concert experience ever. It was awesome.
What's your craziest tour moment in recent memory?
BD: We did a video [for the song 'So Bloody, So Tight') ... in New Orleans on our last tour. The first day we were there it was 70 degrees and beautiful. And then as soon as filming started, it went to 40 degrees and raining. We got in a car accident ... Some of us were drunk for, like, 15 hours of the 20 hours of the shoot.
AF: I was covered in paint the whole time. It was crazy.
A car accident?
BD: We were driving to the set. And we were all like, man, we're gonna be freezing. And [guitarist] Josh [Meakim] and I were like, we need to get some whiskey, because that's the only way we're gonna stay warm. So at 8:30 in the morning, we were driving to buy whiskey and this guy ran a red light and hit us. It was a crazy day.
Liz Raftery is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.