What is your name and role within the band?
Dan Walker. Writer. Vocalist. Producer, Recording, Mix and Mastering engineer. The whole gig.
How did you start?
Sunshine Gun Club started with myself on a guitar in a bedroom playing around with a bunch of songs that I ﬁgured would be fun to play live. I was toying with the idea of putting a new project together as a present project was winding down so it all evolved from there.
Where are you based?
Right now I’m based out of Queens, New York.
Please give an example of your music writing process?
Generally when I’m writing this melodic punk stuff it will start with messing around on the guitar. These songs will evolve really quickly. I’ll write and structure the song out in my head and then if I’m at the studio I’ll lay the idea down fast so I have it there to produce properly at a later stage. Or the song is ﬁled away in my head until the opportunity to record pops up . Once the rough idea is down I sequence the drums, play bass , add synths, organs and then track vocals. That’s essentially how the demos transpire. After sitting with the demos for a minute I’ll go back and properly produce the song. Re-tracking with the band where needed and locating all the correct sounds I’m after. Once it’s produced I’ll mix it and then step away to re-adjust my head. And from there when everything is ﬁnally sounding how I want it I’ll go in and master the record. One stop shop. That’s the Sunshine process in a nutshell.
What are you working on right now?
At the moment I’m working on 3 different projects. I have a new 5 track EP in the works for Sunshine Gun Club which is at the production stage. Another
completely new project which at this point remains nameless. It’s a work in progress. It’s some downtempo trip hip stuff inﬂuenced by artists like Amon Tobin/Flying Lotus. And then I’m also working on new music with my old band The Death Set which has again reared its head after an approximate 2 year hiatus. So super busy on a lot of fun stuff! Super psyched!
What is your gear setup?
So I have a recording studio here in Brooklyn called The Submarine. I have a bunch of fun toys and gear I’ve managed to acquire over the years which all get used in some way shape or form on the records that get made here including the Sunshine album. As far as Sunshine goes when I track guitars I use a peppermint 6 string Fano electric with p-90s going through a Roland Jazz Chorus and a boutique circuit bent distortion box I picked up from Noise Kick FX in Baltimore. The Fano is a beast. Those guys make amazing guitars similar to Fender shapes but cross breeds essentially of their various models. Mine appears to be a mash between a Fender Mustang and a Strat. One of a kind. For tracking I have a bunch of great mic pre-amps from RETRO and Chandler EMI and a super esoteric modded vintage piece by Bruel & Kjaer pulled from a military airbase circa 1970s. As far as the band goes when playing live the bassist Denis Red Scare uses a
Rickenbacker with an Ampeg rig. The guitarist, Rex Weaver uses an SG and a Mesa rig and drummer Will Broussard usually uses whatever kits available on the night or we use the Gretsch I have here in the studio. Then also the band is playing over the top of electronic beats and production that gets played off an iPad.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
Well when I’m not working on my own music I’m working on someone else’s music here in the studio. My life is primarily spent working on music which is great! I ﬁnd other peoples projects inspire my own and vice-versa so it’s an ongoing world of sound and artists due to this overlap and essentially just being consumed by my passion for creating music. But I do have to unplug from time to time. I love to travel. I travelled extensively in years past when I was touring maniacally with The Death Set so I deﬁnitely acquired a passion for that outside of playing shows. Seeing the world keeps you inspired and as amazing as New York is you have to remove yourself from its grasp occasionally to get a fresh perspective on things at the risk of going down the rabbit hole. I also meditate Vipassana daily. This I came back to about 2 years ago after having managed to create a much more conducive lifestyle that could accomodate the discipline needed to integrate this kind of meditation effectively into everyday life. This totally affects the music in a very positive way. Not so much like my music is suddenly all happy! But deﬁnitely in the sense of being able to shed old fears and
insecurities that over time has allowed me to approach creativity in a much more honest and open way. I feel super inspired by that daily.
How would you describe your music genre?
Skuzzy melodic punk rock.
Do you know any music theory?
I was versed in theory at a young age when learning piano. I’ve retained the basics over the years. But a lot of how I work is by ear for the most part. Picking apart and building chords and progressions in my head and then creating them with a piano or guitar.
What are your plans for the future?
For the moment I’m going to remain based here in New York and continue
running the studio which has primarily become my main focus over the years. I just see music right now and continuing to grow and better myself as a human being. As far as musical endeavors go I will keep putting out records for as long as it makes sense. After all that I’d like to vanish to a secluded tropical island somewhere deep in the Paciﬁc, live peacefully and continue meditating and creating in whatever new ways happen to manifest.
How did you get into music?
I got into music from a very young age coming from a musical family where my mum was always at the piano and my dad was always playing guitar. Though it wasn’t until I was 18 when the thought struck me to start a band. I was listening to punk music constantly. The Dead Kennedy’s, MDC, Angry Samoans, Minor Threat were always on high rotation. That ﬁrst band I started was inspired and motivated by many of those type outﬁts coming out of the states but we certainly had a love of Australian hardcore bands such as Massappeal and Depression who we were all listening to non stop. Then on the other side of the coin I was listening to RUN DMC, Beastie Boys and NWA. I was going to underground raves too and listening to techno. So just being young and fully investigating the world at that time I was pretty wide open to anything that was honest and real. Later on I found myself DJing for about 10 years. Drum & Bass ﬁrstly and then later moving into hip hop, funk and breaks. But to go right back to where it started, many of my early experiences and love of music came from when I was much younger where I was brought up with the sounds of Steely Dan, Frank Zappa, Paul Simon and Talking
Heads. I was also taught piano at a young age so it was deﬁnitely those two past elements that got me listening to and appreciating good music from the start.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Bleeding Knees Club
Who are your top 5 inﬂuences and icons?
When are you playing next?
I’ve been out of the live circuit for a quick minute so no shows lined up right now, but look forward to getting back to it soon when the time is right! Possibly once this new upcoming EP drops.