Pet Sun may sound like some fluffy indie band by their name, but this four-piece crew of shredders from Ontario are about as far from that spectrum as you can get. Their blend of heavy, sludgy, fuzzed out rock with notes of doom and laden punk will take you on what they call a “sonic moonlit trip from grunge dungeons to melancholic landscapes,” all the while embracing a chill attitude about their journey.
Led by singer/guitarist Stephane Senecal-Tremblay, with guitarist Sam Rashid, bassist Nic Arbour and drummer Parth Jain, Pet Sun released their first tease to the world in 2014 with the four-song EP Feel Like I’m Going Away. Since then, the crew disappeared in the woods for a bit and steadily geared up their self-titled debut Pet Sun with the help of producer/mixer Dave Plowman (Michael Rault, Islands). And if you hear a hint of METZ in their sound, it’s because the album was mastered by Alex Bonenfant (who also masters Crystal Castles).
Though Pet Sun can sound familiar at times (reference Fuzz), their nuances come through in their arrangements, their shifts in tone and their ability to keep an oftentimes overdone genre incredibly fresh and exciting. So listen up.
Pet Sun drops tomorrow — March 11th — on the Hand Recordings. And in an exclusive on What Youth, you can stream the full album right here.
“We’ve had these tracks locked away for a while now and couldn’t be more excited to finally release them,” the band told WY. “It captures all sides of our sound, the heavy riffs, surf poppiness and melancholic ballads. Themes of self-examination and judgement are prevalent, and the cover art, ‘Know Your Enemy’ by Francesco Tortorella, expresses it completely. Pet Sun is a record to be turned up loud and smash things to.” I couldn’t agree more. –Maya Eslami
What Youth: Tell me about Pet Sun. Where’d you guys meet? When did you first start playing together?
Pet Sun: Pet Sun is a stoner garage band from Hamilton, Ontario. We’ve all been best friends since grade school and early University and naturally we’ve been writing music forever. Over the last couple years we reverted to our raw, sludgy pop, alter egos which is what Pet Sun is.
Your debut Pet Sun goes through some tone and mood changes as the album progresses, starting off with the crushing, fuzzed out “The Dawn” and wandering through deeper, darker paths like “Dark Planet” back to psychotic punk screamers like “Wish It Was”, and even plunging into a seemingly acoustic lament on “My Mind’s A Sofa”. How did you guys decide on the final mix of the album? Was it a conscious decision to have different kinds of songs on the album?
Since it’s our debut album these tracks are a collection of a bunch of styles that make up our sound. We write heavy rippers, riffy surf tracks and throw in a ballad or two when we’re feeling mellow. In our shows we shred the whole time so you’ll rarely hear a ballad but they definitely have a place on our album!
Who were you guys listening to when you wrote the album? What other bands inspire and influence your writing?
Our main influences with this album would have to be The Vines, Nirvana, The Kinks, Black Sabbath and much of the modern garage these days like Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall. We grew up on classic rock so the riffs and fills always come out in our songs.
Do you guys write the songs first and then write the lyrics? Like the song “Empty TV”, you sing about how boring watching television is. Were you watching TV thinking, I should write a song about how boring this is? How intuitive is your writing process in that sense?
Our songs usually start out as guitar and vocal demos on shitty ‘voice notes’ with stream of consciousness vocals. Lyrics are an afterthought but we still follow the original theme of the demo. With empty tv we wanted to talk shit on the reality TV garbage that gets forced down our throats. Keeping up with the Kardashians? More like shit in my mouth and like it.
I read that you guys built your own practice space in the woods. Pretty fucking cool. Tell me more about that.
Pretty much my dad thinks he’s a nomad. He runs around a lot and loves nature and so do we. He ended up buying this property in a forest that had a big school portable for extra storage. We cleaned it. Painted it. And turned it into a jam space. That’s where our stuff goes down. Mega chill vibes out there.
What’s the future like for the band?
We have a second LP written and it’ll soon be on the way. We wanna play more and write as much as possible. Future looks good if it means chilling out writing songs with each other, and making new friends on the road.
Upcoming Tour Dates:
03/11 – Shark Tank – Tallahassee
03/12 – Sluggo’s – Pensacola
03/13 – Saturn Bar – New Orleans
03/14 – Satellite – Houston
03/18 – SXSW
04/02 – Doors Pub – Hamilton
04/07 – Le Quai Des Brumes – Montreal
04/08 – Nino Panino – Oakville, ON
04/09 – The Studio @ Waiting Room – Buffalo
04/15 – Silver Dollar – Toronto
04/29 – The Aquarium – Philadelphia
04/30 – Pianos – New York City