Coming together in 2010, after being with multiple groups in the local music scene 2000 -2010, Sundown Superhero was originally established by founders Emile Sabga (guitar & vocals), Craig Haniff (bass & vocals), and Philip Norville (drums) in an effort to return to their roots in skate/surf and punk rock culture.
CEM got the chance to talk with the band about their debut single and a lot more and I must say you will definitely love these guys. Check out the interview below and definitely be sure to check on social media.
How did your band Sundown Superhero first come to be?
Emile: We’ve all known each other for a very long time and been involved in the Barbadian music scene for years, playing in various other bands along the way. The band was actually formed back in late 2010 as a passion project, where we spent most of our time writing, jamming and liming. We didn’t take anything too seriously. For us, it was about the music and the good times.
Looking back on how you all decided to form this band, what do you think first made you all think you could do this and make music together?
Emile: To be honest, we didn’t think we could! I moved from Barbados to Toronto in 2011 to pursue my studies, while Craig and Phil were back on the island working full-time and playing in other bands. But funny enough, our unique dynamic has forced us to make the most of the time we have during my short visits back home. We’re able to rally around the limited time we have together and tend to produce some of our proudest work when we’re under the pressure of this time crunch. It’s a long distance relationship, but it works!
Describe each other using just three words each.
Emile: Craig: creative, passionate, attention to detail
Phil: rational, calculated, and driven
Phil: Craig: Creative, resourceful, adventurous.
Emile: Meticulous, ambitious, and confident. Bonus: funny af
Craig: Emile: Eager, full-hype, thorough
Phil: Quiet, low-key hype, loyal
How do you think you have all been influenced by being from your home in Barbados?
Craig: Barbados has a pretty well-respected music scene and subconsciously, as a musician, it forces one to the raise the bar and standard of their work(s) produced. For us as a band, and especially in a genre like ours that’s not very popular in Barbados, we find ourselves taking those extra steps and time to make sure that whatever we put out there is something we can be proud of and that represents the high-standard of music most Bajan artistes & bands produce.
Tell us about your debut single?
Craig: The debut single is called “California Dime". It was one of the last songs written, at the time, out of about 8 or 9 songs and is by far our poppiest song yet. In a nutshell, it essentially explores the ups and downs of falling in love from different perspectives and it’s gotten a lot more traction than we were expecting. We’re just super grateful that people have been receiving it well and enjoying it. It’s available to download for zero dollars and zero cents on our website, www.sundownsuperhero.com/listen where you can also stream it, or on YouTube - soon to be on Apple Music, Spotify, etc.
Any plans for a follow up music video?
Emile: As of now, we don’t have any plans to shoot a video for our debut single, ‘California Dime', but we do currently have one in the works for our next single that is set to be released this summer!
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Craig: The message of our music varies from song to song. We write on different topics ranging from love, friendships, death, and even global affairs (on a very subtle level). However, generally, we hope to be able to connect with, and relate to, anyone who listens to a Sundown Superhero track. Ultimately, if our music can help people through life, or help people with relationships, or just simply help people to have a good time - then we’re happy.
How do you think your hometown/island has affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create?
Phil: Barbados definitely had a positive effect on the way we as musicians perform. The island is filled with talented musicians and bands that are constantly playing in St. Lawrence Gap. Growing up that was the place to go watch and learn. When we started playing, there was a real sense of friendly competition amongst the bands which kept everyone sharp, especially when the older and very intimidating musicians came to watch. Another challenge with performing in Barbados is trying to get the crowd to move and from our experience, we’ve learnt that you have to bring lots of energy to your performance to get any reaction from a local crowd.
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music?
Craig: Blink 182 & Foo Fighters are my favorite bands of all time. They’ve both inspired my style of song-writing and my playing style. I still religiously listen to both bands almost every day.
Emile: There are too many to name them all, but if I had to name one, I don’t think anybody has influenced me more than Green Day’s frontman, Billie Joe Armstrong. Green Day was my introduction to punk rock music in the early 2000’s, and so began my obsession with this genre.
Philip: Queen, Muse, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers are some of the most influential bands I listened to growing up. Roger Taylor from Queen and Dominic Howard from Muse would be my two favourite drummers.
What has been your most memorable musical moment so far?
Craig: For me personally, it’d have to be meeting the lead singer of Simple Plan - Pierre Bouvier, and having the chance to chat with him for quite a while - he gave me some solid advice and shared some hilarious stories. As a band, finally being able to achieve the things we set out to do - i.e. getting our music finished and out there, shooting our music video, etc, has been one of most rewarding moments to date.
Emile: Probably my first time going to the Warped Tour in Montreal. It was over 10 years ago, and although I’ve been to many music festivals since then, I have very fond memories of that first one.
Philip: So far, the most memorable moment would be the music video we shot not too long ago. We had loads of fun on set, not to mention it was extremely ambitious considering the limited budget that we had. It has multiple scenes, multiple locations, and multiple guest appearances.
Do you have any weird rituals before going on stage?
Craig: Not really a ritual per se - but for me personally, before any gig I usually play video games or watch live vids of my favorite bands, have some food and drinks, and pray to God to have a good gig. Lol.
Emile: I stretch! Our music is super high energy and we really get into it. Wouldn’t want to pull a muscle.
Philip: Not really, the most I do is probably drink a beer and pee (LOL) but I’m trying to get in the habit of stretching and warming up before any performance.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Emile: We’ve focused our plans for 2018 around writing and releasing original music that we love and that we hope others will love too. Our next single is set to be released mid-summer, and our first EP will follow later in the year.