Bristolian drone rock psych-onauts Captain Suun tell it to Joe Whyte for LTW.
Well, I’ve learned something new from this article; how to type an umlaut on a PC. There seems to be a glut of bands in the modern psych and indie-rock scene that like the old umlaut as well as extra vowels. It’s probably just to annoy old hacks like myself but to be fair, it does align a certain type of band with a certain scene and that, for me, is a good thing.
I had heard of Captain Süün before; they’re a four-piece from Bristol who’ve recently released their debut EP called Beach Burrito on Stolen Body Records and it’s a real stand-out in a genre that seems to have bands appearing like the proverbial breeding rabbits.
The EP is a winner from start to finish. The four songs sit gloriously together and are appetite-whetting for a full length album which should hopefully be hot on its heels. If you’re a fan of A Place To Bury Strangers, Spacemen 3, Roky Erikson, Goat and even BRMC, this will definitely get your vote. Sun-dappled jangle-chords enveloped in washes of fuzz bass and circuitous drumming vie with vocals that are ghostly and melodic in equal measure. There are hints of early 80’s indie-pop as well as shimmering surf guitar and bolts of blistering noise appearing as if from the ether.
This is a band with a big future. Keep your ears peeled for them.
I spoke to Nathan and Dan from the band and they kindly filled me in on the bands history and plans.
LTW- Tell me a little about the band and how you all got together?
Nathan: I was talking to a guy from my university on the bus once and Harri overheard us talking about guitars. Harri and I started hanging out, then I met Dan outside a show and it turned out we were both from Cambridge but didn’t know each other back then. We went through two bassists before meeting Luci. We met him after he was playing guitar in another Bristol band. And here we are.
LTW-Who are you all and what else have you previously done (musically obs!)?
Nathan: I play drums. Dan plays guitar and sings, Harri plays guitar and synth and Luci plays bass (and sometimes does some nice harmonies). Hm, I’m not sure if everyone would be so happy with revealing our previous bands… This is my first band, though I’ve been involved with music as a photographer.
Dan: I used to play in an indie band called Glue with a couple of homies from Cambridge but I quickly fell out of love with the music we were playing and started toying around with a couple of projects in my bedroom. One of those projects is now Captain Suun.
LTW-Is there much of a psych/garage scene in Bristol- tell me about that?
Nathan: Bristol can be great and pretty bad at the same time. It’s fairly clique and closed off with some of the bands, you gotta know the right people kinda vibe. It’s pretty clear to see and a bit embarrassing. The psych scene is fantastic though. We have the Psych Fest every year which is always fun and there are loads of shows from some great promoters throughout the year.
Dan: Yeah, there’s several psych/garage bands around Bristol. A lot of them have large egos. We’re lucky enough to have a decent support from local bands. I still can’t help but get mad about how much better and tighter Bristol’s music scene could be. Especially with the younger bands we cross paths with.
LTW-The EP sounds huge-what are the plans for an album or further releases?
Nathan: Thanks so much, glad you dig it. Honestly, we are yet to think about further releases. We want to get back in recording new stuff as soon as possible but things have been busy. Hopefully after summer, we can get back into recording something else.
Dan: We’re pretty keen to try out the older ways for writing new stuff. I’ve found it sometimes quite overwhelming writing all the stuff in DAW’s. It’ll probably be a separate production and writing for the next record.
LTW-What bands influenced you in writing the EP and forming the band?
Nathan: We all have various influences. I’m very much into bands such as The Growlers to fuzzy Ty Segall and Oh Sees, or Fleet Foxes to Lee Hazlewood, but it’s a very broad spectrum of artists and genres that bring influence to the table.
Dan: The first demo I wrote was Skyline on the upcoming E.P. It was meant to be more post-punk but it ended up being a bit more rowdy and droney. When I was working on it at the beginning I was listening to a lot of Iggy Pop’s “The Idiot” as well as Joy Division and Bad Brains’ self-titled record. I also was exploring new music on this great Youtube channel called Captain Beef Fart. It’s great! With this project it’s kind of just got a mind of its own, the diversity in our musical background and ability is what makes the music interesting, in my opinion.
LTW-How did you get in tow with Stolen Body records? Who else on the label would you recommend?
Nathan: I first met Alex pretty hammered at a show, he probably thought I was a bit of an asshole. We got chatting after though and started hanging out. He’s been with us from the start and put on our first show and has given us great shows since. When we revealed our recording plans he just seemed to jump on it straight away and we couldn’t be happier. The amount of support we’ve had from the label has been overwhelming and great and it’s so good working with someone who gets you and likes to drink beer like we do.
I’d say everyone on the label are amazing, Alex has a great ear. Most notable is our favourite French trio Dusty Mush. They’re absolutely perfect. I’ve been playing a lot of the new Ouzo Bazooka record. We adore Paul Jacobs and his crew of Big City Babies, and our heavy hitting headbanging favourites are none other than Yo No Se. Just do yourself a favour and listen to everyone on the roster. You’re in for a treat.
LTW- There’s a myriad of sounds on the EP- drone rock, jangle pop, surf guitar- do you all have input into the songs and how do they come together?
Nathan: Gotta hand this one to Dan. Dan’s the real backbone and structure of the songs. We all have ideas and we all present them to each other, then we can work on them as a band, but it’s Dan’s ability at songwriting that really pushes the E.P. He’s a great songwriter.
Dan: Yeah, most of the songs were all written in my room, recorded by myself and then reworked in a rehearsal space and studio. That’s where the real magic happens. Quite honestly, who knows how those sounds all come in!
LTW- Touring plans and hopes for the future?
We are hitting three cities in the UK in May for the E.P release. May 24th in Birmingham at Sunflower Lounge, 25th in Bristol at The Trap which is the album release show and 26th in Brighton at the Hope and Ruin. All those shows are with our brothers in The Hungry Ghosts. Their singer Joe did our album artwork. After that we are heading out to Europe for two weeks or so, the dates are yet to be released.
Joe Whyte DTK