INTERVIEW BY SHELBY BAKER
PHOTOS PROVDED BY JOEY SAUCIER AND BRANDON HAMBRIGHT
Having fun and feeling good is the core driving-force for Richmond-based pop punk act SUNBOX. They want listeners to enjoy listening and seeing their music live, just as much as they enjoy playing it. This has served them well, as they’ve been featured on local radio stations and festivals, and have even opened for NEW POLITICS. We had the opportunity to talk with frontman Sam McCoig about the band’s evolution since forming in June 2010 and the new music they are writing with their current lineup.
How did you guys form the band?
When I was 13 and a freshman in high school, I started playing acoustic shows. Then, I found people to jam with me, and we turned into an acoustic band. A year ago, I lost four members. At the time, there were a lot of shows coming up, and I didn’t want to just drop them. So, I asked [the current members] who were in a band previous to this one who weren’t playing anymore. Drew [Selequini, bassist] joined — I got him to join first — and then I got the other guys. We’ve known each other since high school. We joined up together and basically from then on, we’ve been a band.
What do you hope listeners take away from your music?
When they listen to [our music], I want it to sound really fun and something that makes them feel good. Something that they’re like, “Wow, we’d like to see this live.” What I want them to take away is that our music is a lot of fun to play, and to listen to live.
How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
It’s evolved a lot. When we started, we were acoustic and played JACK JOHNSON and JASON MRAZ covers. … From there, it’s gone from full band electric, to pop punk, and now our music has been on iTunes. The music we have now has evolved to a more poppy side and then a punk side. At first, I wrote a lot of the music, and its all combined writing now.
What is the meaning behind your band name?
Sam: It’s kind of stupid, but my sister was the one who came up with it. It’s from a box-shaped sun room.
Could you briefly describe the music making process?
Sam: It all starts with either a lyric line, or guitar riff, or a guitar lick since it’s easy. I’m the one who usually does lyrics, but [the other band members] send me ideas that they have. Then I’ll write it on an acoustic guitar, and I’ll record it on my phone. [After that], we’ll try to piece it together. … Once everyone puts there own piece to it it becomes something everyone likes and likes to play.
Are you guys working on new material?
Absolutely, we are so excited for our new stuff. We’ve been working on new music for about two months now. We had a little time when we were really busy. We were playing the same five songs from our old EP. They were fun songs, but it was so repetitive. They were made by two of the past members. These new songs have been written by the members that are in the band right now. We’ve finished three new songs, and we have another song out now. We are going to record a bunch soon, and we’re going to be playing them at the next few shows. We have shows in March and May, and it’s going to be a bit of time until it’s online for people to listen to.
For more updates on SUNBOX, be sure to “like” their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter and Instagram, subscribe to their YouTube channel, and check out their music on Reverbnation.