by Delmar Prescott Conklin
It's Sunday, August 3rd and I'm on my way to la fiesta de punk rock numero tres to see local up and coming band Sunday Driver, who have recently been signed to Doghouse Records. The weather is hot and dry with no sign of breeze or overcast in sight. The time is 5 to four and Sunday Driver are just minutes from playing the main stage outside. Sunday Driver, formed in mid-1995, consists of founding members Alex Martinez (guitar and vocals) and bass player Arnold Nese, with the additions of second guitarist Charlie Suarez and last bandmate Paul Trust in 99, on the drums. Four 'o clock finally arrives and with that so does the high-energy indie rock sound of Sunday Driver. What starts off as a dozen kids quickly turns into a patio filled with bobbing heads all bouncing up and down to Sunday Driver's first song of their set. Their music and live performance is a perfect mix of aggression and passion taking the audience for a ride that no other band on this day has been able to do. The weather is unbearable but the band does not seem to be affected, performing at 100%, each band member feeds off of one other and off of the crowd. The band's 7 song set list (which consists of songs that can be found on their latest release A Letter to Bryson City) is played out over the course of what feels like 10 minutes. Their stage presence as a whole is full of energy; and best of all, has no exaggerated movements. Their show is full of passion and sincerity. As amazing as their full length album is, it does not do their live show justice.
Right now you can enter to win a copy of their new release A Letter to Bryson City. We're making this one easy, no trivia. Simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Sunday Driver" as the subject. We'll randomly draw one of the names on Sept 15th to win the CD.
MillionairePlayboy.com: How has the band grown since your 2001 release Third place prize and your latest release Letter to Bryson City?
Sunday Driver: Well when we recorded our first ep (tpp), our drummer, being the last member to join, was sort of thrown into recording with no real time to get a feel for the band. Where as prior to the recording of our full lengthm the band had the opportunity to play together and practice together allowing the band to redevelop how we played as a whole.
MPb: How was it being apart of Doghouse Records' meet-and-greet dates for the Florida and Georgia Warped Tour dates?
SD: Well we had posted the information on our website but to be honest we were still really surprised to see how many kids showed up. Even as far as Georgia, we had kids coming up to us telling us how much they loved the CD. All of us in the band were like You've heard of us, you have our record? It was very cool. We were completely blown away.
MPb: Has being signed to a label as popular as Doghouse changed you or your expectations in anyway?
SD: Expectation-wise no, we have no expectations for anything. Being on Doghouse is amazing, Doghouse has helped us out a lot but right now we're just going to do what we do and what ever happens will happens.
MPb: How was it making the video for your first single Forever Again, and was it the band's or the label's choice to have that as your first release off your latest album?
SD: It was Doghouse's choice for Forever Young to be the first single release from the full-length but it really didn't matter to us. Making the video was a little tedious, having to do everything over and over again but at the same time still tons fun. They had a crew for the video carrying all of our equipment and they had caterers there to feed us through out the shoot, it was fun.
MPb: You guys have now recorded 2 albums, done a good amount of touring and meet-and-greets, and now are making a video. Looking back, what do you guys enjoy most about being a band?
SD: Playing live is the most fun. Seeing kids singing the words to our songs or rocking out to the band's music is awesome.
MPb: As a band, do you guys enjoy playing a more intimate setting or a larger showcase like La Fiesta de Punk Rock or Warped Tour where you have to "compete" with other bands playing while you're on stage?
SD: We have no preference, as long as kids are watching the band we'll play anything or anywhere.
MPb: With all the touring you guys have done do you have any stories you'd like to share?
SD: Well we were on tour with Feeble Weiner, our label mates from Doghouse, and while playing a show in Alabama a drunk lady come up on stage while we were playing and kept trying to kiss Charlie (guitar player). Anyway, after the show she decided she wanted to party with us so we drank a little bit and smoked a little bit, ended up, her bra is now hanging up in the Doghouse Records' office. One cup signed by us the other cup signed by Feeble Weiner. What made it funny was the lady was 48 and had a cast on her right leg.
MPb: What are you currently listening to this week?
SD: Mars Volta, Limbeck and Quicksand.
MPb: With the band being played on the radio and also being in Rolling Stone what do you have to say to kids who think you guys might be "selling out?"
SD: Well the reason we make music is not so only a certain group of people can hear us but so we can have as many people as possible hear us.
Article © 2003 MillionairePlayboy.com, All images © Doghouse Records.