February 2, 2009

Show Us Yours #11: Sun Airway

Sun Airway by Mike Fleming [2][Photo Credit: Mike Fleming][Alt Photo 1; Alt. Photo 2] We were as surprised as the next guy when Philebrity broke the news in October that The A-Sides were officially kaput and in its place had blossomed the relatively mysterious electro/psych-pop duo Sun Airway. The act is comprised of former A-Sides singer and guitarist Jon Barthmus and former A-Sides drummer Patrick Marsceill, and we've heard little from the duo since that initial announcement. So we figured it was high time to check in with Sun Airway and see what is going on via our recently resuscitated Show Us Yours series. Among other things, we learned that the guys plan to release a free EP to the Internet sometime in the relatively near future and a full length this summer; that their practice space is more aptly described as a recording space; and that the space is brilliantly monikered. So with our thanks to Mr. Barthmus for playing along, here is Sun Airway in Show Us Yours #11.

Why did you choose this space?

We didn't particularly choose this space... We were essentially kicked out of our last space because the building was trying to attract a more "normal" clientele, and of course these new tenants didn't want live music below them at all hours. There was something about theater companies complaining or something, but there was definitely porn going on somewhere in the building, along with some semi-sweatshops and other art studios. Anyway, the owners of that building had just bought up another random abandoned factory in an even more remote and desolate part of town so they offered us our pick of the new rooms, and then they built it up for us and put power in. There are still very few tenants which is weird because the building is HUGE but our space is amazing and surprisingly conducive to musical activities. Part of our space almost looked like a studio already with a window into what could be a control room. But we just have one band on each side. We currently share the space with Brown Recluse Sings, who are A) a good band and B) good roomies.

Explain how an idiosyncracy or quirk of this space or a former practice space has affected a song (or even your overall sound).

When we moved into the space, we were still The A-Sides and we were just all standing in a big circle trying to practice in the least noisy spot. But once that fizzled and Sun Airway started, we don't really practice. We just record all the time, so we shifted the space into a recording studio. We don't know what we're doing so we built a drum tent, which is now sort of a vocal tent and we kind of just move stuff around and set stuff up arbitrarily and record until we like what comes out. Also, at the moment it is oppressively cold in there so we're kind of just doing quick takes and going with it because it's too cold to harp on it. I guess that could be how the space is currently affecting the music! Too cold to labor over anything!

You walk into your space. What's the first thing you smell? Why?

You walk into our space. You smell mostly construction-type smells. Outside of our door almost everything is unfinished and there's crazy construction dust everywhere. Even though we painted our whole space to make it insanely awesome and even varnished our painted-black floor, the dust seems to get in. On a side note, walking up to our door you see a beautiful image of Phil Collins along with the name Sususudio Studios, Ltd. since that's what we named the place. And that my friends, smells like brilliance.

Getting what ended up being the final A-Sides record out into the world appeared to be a major hurdle for the band, but the relationship with Vagrant seemed like a very positive development. Will Sun Airway be able to benefit from that relationship with Vagrant in any way, assuming it ended up being positive for you guys as artists and touring musicians? When can we expect to hear a full-length from you guys anyway?

I can't say that the relationship between Vagrant and The A-Sides was really positive. I'm extremely grateful that they came along and paid for the record, etc. But something just seemed to be lacking with everything that happened since then. Once a label like that starts to see that they're not making their money back they become impossible to even get a hold of. I think they used up all their effort right away and then gave up. There will be no Vagrant involvement in anything we do moving forward. At the very least though, they did get Silver Storms decent distribution and they probably helped a little bit in getting us on the road. Although our booking agent even said we'd be better off without them, so take that as you will. As far as a full-length from Sun Airway, that should see the light of day hopefully by the summertime. First we're doing a 5-song free downloadable EP which is almost done. Just some more mixing to do. Then we'll just continue recording until we have enough songs for a full length. The songs have all been written, most quite a while ago, but since we're producing it ourselves it's much more of a process. It's not a matter of writing and practicing songs, it's a matter of building a song up until we're satisfied with the results, which is different for us. We're used to going into a studio and hoping for the best.

What do the next six months look like for Sun Airway?

The next sixth months for us will just be a lot of recording and once we have enough material to play a show, we'll have to figure out how the hell we're going to pull any of it off live. Since most of what we're doing is sample-based and electronic beat heavy, we really have no idea how this is all gonna work. But we'll try!

Sun Airway -- "Waiting On You"
The A-Sides -- "Here Or There" -- Hello, Hello
[right click and save as]
[buy A-Sides records from Newbury Comics right here]

Sun Airway: Internerds | MySpace | YouTube | Flickr

Previous Show Us Yours episodes:
Shapes And Sizes | Dirty On Purpose | Relay
Mobius Band | Frightened Rabbit | Assembly Now
Meneguar | Okay Paddy | Charmparticles | Calories

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