LITM) Hi guys, nice to meet you. What's been happening over the past six months? Update us, please!
SSBH) Hi! Well almost exactly six months ago we released ‘Comfort’ and ‘The Tide’ and time has flown since then. We have been gigging a lot and having a blast playing with loads of awesome band such as The Cheap Thrills, Peaness and Spinn. As well as that we have been doing loads of writing and we have been in the studio to get some of the tracks finished. On 29 August we released our newest track ‘Upside-Down’ and so far the response has been incredible! We are so happy with how it came out and everyone who has heard it so far seems to love it.
How did you all meet, was it love at first sight?
Myself (Matty) and Ben met while in school and just hit if off right from the start. We used to use break times to go into the music room and do writing. Back then we used to play pop-punk songs with a couple of other close friends. We needed a singer for that band and our bassist at the time invited Aphra and that's how we all met. It was absolute love at first sight so when Ben and I starting writing indie-pop “bangers”, Aphra was the only person we wanted to finish the line up.
‘Upside-Down’ has a super dream-pop indie vibe. Who have you been listening to of late that may have influenced this track?
Matty: I’ve been listening to a lot of Bad Sounds and I feel that had a big influence on my parts of the track. ‘Call Me When it's Over’ by Bayonet has also been a huge song on repeat for me at the moment, so that probably had some sort of influence somewhere.
Ben: I listen to a lot of Bombay Bicycle Club and so their guitar riffs had a big influence on what I play in general. While recording the track, all of us listened to a lot of Hippocampus, Pale Waves and Coin and so all of these quite “pop” indie bands have had an influence on us. Fickle Friends have always been a huge influence as they are a band that we all love and so we crank them up when driving to gigs!
Aphra: Apart from that, for me personally I listen to a lot of folk such as Laura Marling and Villagers so the singing style can't help but rub off. I also love easy/alternative Nineties songs as they have incredible backing melodies which are always great fun to a record similar style when in the studio.
What is the process involved in your songwriting — who is the driving force and how does it start?
There isn't a specific driving force as we all love writing music so we are all pushing each other to do stuff. We all bring something new to the table so the band wouldn't be the same without each member.
Me and Ben live really locally to each other and so we see each other all the time and generally we end up writing music even if we didn't plan to! Aphra is also ace on the lyrics and comes to practice all the time with new vocals for tracks me and ben wrote or even a new song every now and then.
Looking back on your career so far, there must be times you say to yourself: “If I only I knew that then.” Is there any advice you can offer new bands out there to help them on their way?
I (Ben) don’t ever look and and say, “I wish i knew that then”, as the whole band is just a massive learning curve. We all really enjoy the thing of making mistakes and then finding out how to do it properly or fix the issue. The only advice we as a band would give is just keep looking forward and keep going! You may make a mistake but it doesn’t matter, as everyone does. There is so much more that we know now that could have helped us in the past but the whole point of not knowing back then is learning and evolving.
A big thing I (Aphra) would say is don’t pack it in after a bad or empty gig. Everyone has bad gigs but it can only go up from there so just keep going. Also, be original. Try not to be the same as everyone else so don't be afraid to be a little different.
Have you had any memorable gigs around the UK? And can you recommend any cool venues for those keen bands wanting to tour?
We had an incredible night headlining a very full Sunflower Lounge [Birmingham] in February for our two track single release. Ben and I (Matty) drove home from it and barely talked for half the journey. We just sat there with massive grins on our faces. We also recorded the music video for ‘Comfort’ so we are able to look back on the night with fond memories
It was really nice to get our first out-of-town gig, which was at the Zanzibar in Liverpool. Tony was so nice to allow us on the line-up and we just had a great night and it is unfortunate Liverpool lost such a key figure in its grassroots music scene.
There are so many great venues around Birmingham. Our favourite is obviously The Sunflower Lounge as we have so many fond memories there and it always has a great sound! A couple of other noteworthy venues are The Actress and Bishop and The Victoria which we always have a good time playing but any gig in Birmingham, no matter the venue, is normally a jam.
Any gigs you have coming up that we should know about?
We have the 8th November coming up which is our Sunflower Lounge headline gig! We are super excited about this one as there are some wonderful artists on the line-up such as Briony Williams.
We are having a lot of time in the studio in the second half of the year so we are doing less gigs than usual. Although it's sad not to be gigging as much, we are so proud of everything we have been doing and hope the wait is worth it! Keep an eye out though, as we should have some fun announcements coming soon.
What's next for The Sunset Beach Hut?
We have a few more gigs and quite a bit of time in the studio planned this year. There isn't much we can say but there should be some big announcements soon. We can't wait for everyone to hear what we have been working on.