Always Sunday is a great new indie band from Mississippi, of all places. I’ve heard three tracks so far off their debut album, Beautiful Disgrace, (follow link to download MP3’s) and I’m impressed so far with what I’ve heard.
What follows is a conversation I had with singer Trent Dabbs via e-mail.
How did you get your name?
This will be a short answer. Always Sunday happened to be the only name our old drummer and the band could agree on…it is the best day of the week though…a day of rest and gladness. Don’t you wish it was Always Sunday?
Who would you say are your primary and secondary influences?
Everyone in the band would have different answers, but my primary sources would be Jeff Buckley, Red House Painters, Marvin Gaye, and Teenage Fanclub and my secondary sources Morrisey, The Posies, old Van Morrison, and Neil Young.
The song “Take A Shot” has the line “There’s no pictures of eternal things / Take a shot for me if you find one.” I got the impression that it’s about wanting to hold onto life as it passes by. What were you thinking about when you wrote it?
I agree with your thoughts…the song has much weight behind it, being about a young death in the family…I thought that if I held a Polaroid of heaven and I could stare at the picture daily then maybe I would approach life differently…so basically it is about longing — and who doesn’t have a yearning for what is not present any longer? I miss my brother and the song stretches my heart out every time we perform. Hopefully it can do the same for others, and we have recorded the song again with a bridge that says “how far away from this sincere love?” For me it’s too far.
On your website, one member is quoted as saying the songs are “about all the women that reject me.” Another says “It’s interesting how you cannot escape your personal life in your art.” How much of your personal lives actually bleed into the lyrics?
Well, I write the lyrics so I can attest to the fact that it’s definitely not all personal. I mean, several songs are playful as I’m sure you can tell. However, the more personal songs that evoke more emotion are the more solid songs that have surfaced during difficult times. I try not to put myself in too much of a vulnerable position so I’ll also write about others around me. The difficult part of writing is that I never want to shortchange a great melody with an impersonal lyric, so I’m sure at this rate our next record will turn into biographies if we go for more intensity and less tongue and cheek.
Are your songs written at the moment of passion, or after you’ve had time to sit back and analyze what’s happened?
I have never understood how a song could take someone a long time to develop. [I’m not sure] whether that says something about the song, or perhaps I am [just] prolific…but to answer you, it’s usually passion and stream of consciousness, and as a matter of fact, I just wrote a song about answering questions from interviews after I finished this sentence. Bad joke. Good question.
The Deep South is known more for turning out anthem-driven bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd than intelligent, emotionally honest pop rock. Did you have to reach outside of your local environment for influences to cultivate your sound?
Absolutely. No question. I would probably search for other influences even if they were here but I am terribly attracted to beautiful sounding melody and noise. Those two don’t meet very often in the south, although we have shared a few shows with bands that can hold there [sic] own. We are far from Morrisey down here, yet I have watched an eighty year old man play acoustic and been on the verge of tears.
How would you characterize your relationship with the South? (Do you sometimes feel restrained, etc.)
I am unsure whether feeling restrained is attached to the south or just being an unheard artist. I am convinced that there are painters with their most beautiful work under their bed with the understanding that the dream will never come to life. Most days, I don’t think our music is a dream or at least an unattainable one. So I listen to my wife, believe my work, and I press on…the south brought my wife to me and I hope I can bring the music to the listener and without being pretentious, maybe, to the frustrated artist.
And finally, what other up-and-coming bands would you recommend?
Leaves, Longwave, The Walkmen, Interpol, Sigur ros, Reindeer section, [and] nada surf.