Sunset – Where the stage is really happening!
The band Sunset was off to a flying start last autumn, after years of inactivity. They recently had us suffer a musical “Heart Attack” too, a.k.a. their song Szívroham. Even though Dávid Hámori, Ádám Devecz and Zoltán Hunyadi were secretive about some aspects, we got to know quite a lot about them, their plans and what makes them go wild on stage.
Since you’re an up-and-coming band I’d like to ask you about your beginnings. How did it all start?
Dáci: Not only metal but time connects us as well. We’ve known each other with Ádám for 17 years now, and we’ve been friends since our days in primary school. We went to the same school and always beat each other up.:) It was cool.
As for the band, Sunset formed in 2007, and we did everything with full force for quite a while – we made a single and had more than a hundred gigs. After that, we had to take a break for almost 3 years because of the constant changes in the lineup. This hiatus ended last August when the current band got together. The addition of Zozi topped it all off, and we went on tour with Depresszió in September. So if we were to date the band, we could say two different things. Actually, we only started practising with this lineup a month before the start of the tour.
So you went on tour right away? Did you have a complete set of songs already?
Dáci: Ádám is quite a prolific songwriter. He was writing them non-stop, meanwhile we tried to put everything together. The songs reached their final form when Zozi & co joined the band though.
And you were done with all of this in one month, and off you went?
Dáci: Yeah, but we already had most of the musical base of the songs. In most cases we only needed some vocal melodies and lyrics. Our set consisted of 7 tracks in total – 2 from the single and 5 newly written ones.
What’s your process of writing songs? Is it always so instantaneous?
Zozi: First Ádám writes the guitar lines, then the whole thing. 🙂 Dávid spruces up the drums a little bit and it’s all done – and I write the vocals later. It’s also important to note that Dáci writes the lyrics in English first, then transforms those into wonderful Hungarian.
Dáci: Yeah, that could be a distinguishable point in our songwriting, that the songs first come into being in English. Zozi takes Ádám’s demo home and sings over it, and that gives me a certain line of melody and rhythm on which I try to create the Hungarian lyrics. On the one hand, it’s good that we have these constraints to deal with but on the other, it’s also pretty hard to find a balance. You see, working out the rhythmics in English is a lot different since the emphasis is in different places.
Zozi: And it’s also a lot more comfortable to sing in English than in Hungarian.
Will these English versions ever see the light of day?
Ádám: They sure will! We’re planning to release them but we want to “get over” the Hungarian ones first. Now we’re trying to establish a loyal audience who are interested in what we do and come to our shows. We’d very much like to open up to foreign crowds after that with the English tracks. It’s not just that though, we write these English versions to amuse ourselves as well since this type of music sounds better in that language. However, it is true that our domestic audience understands Hungarian lyrics more.
Do you remember the first band that made a huge impact on your life? How has your listening habits changed?
Ádám: I think we all opened up towards rock and metal around the same time. We got into music more seriously when we were like 14-16, like any teenager. My older sister played a big part in that, she had some Marilyn Manson besides all the trendy stuff. I started listening to Guano Apes at that time, and I’ve been a fanatic ever since. It’s surprising how that doesn’t really show in Sunset’s music.
Dáci: Out of the Hungarian bands I really got to like Depresszió but otherwise it was Linkin Park that had a huge influence on me – they were probably the first. What really intrigued me musically though was Metallica’s S&M live. I just adored the symphonic aspects, and I still think that it’s Metallica’s finest release to date. I could listen to it till I pass out.
Could you imagine symphonic elements in your own music, too?
Ádám: I do. Well, I had some things till last November, but then my laptop was stolen… We’ve been rebuilding everything since then. Nearly 2 years of material, studio recordings, samples, everything we recorded over the years for ourselves, all gone… Fortunately, all the sheet music of the songs remained but we have to make the other things from scratch again, and this takes a lot of time.
Dáci: And we want to do it more consciously, so that means an extra amount of time as well.
Do you only play as the opening act for Depresszió or do you also have your “own” gigs?
Dáci: We try to join random concerts as much as we can, be those gigs in Budapest or in the country, but we’ll have our first standalone shows in the summer. Although this expression, “standalone,” sounds a bit weird since not many bands can successfully perform a show on their own. Accordingly, more bands tend to join others, and that can be said for us, too. All our “off-tour” concerts have also been great so far.
Let’s talk a bit about your new music video Szívroham. I saw on Facebook that you’re looking for new faces to shoot a video – will this be something totally new or just an updated version of this?
Zozi: This is top secret. 🙂 You almost got it right though! For now, we’d just like to give a new boost for the video but there will be a new one in the future. This isn’t the primary concept but our aim is to motivate and stir up our circle of friends and acquaintances a bit, thus making it all more interactive.
What are your plans for the future?
Zozi: Making a new single, actually, multiple singles with different concepts at the same time but we can’t tell you anything about this yet. Well okay, I can talk a bit about one of them – it will be connected to our song Szívroham. For this release we’re going to record the tracks we currently play, of course in the studio. We don’t have a fixed release date for it yet but it should be coming out around the middle of summer. The other single only exists in our heads right now, that’s why it’s so secret.
Dáci: We’d also love to have a different kind of autumn tour. Of course, we’ll go to all the festivals we can go to in the summer, too. We entered some competitions and talent shows as well since we can get some good references out of those, not to mention the prizes themselves. Ultimately, we just do it because we love to perform. So we try to visit as many venues as we can, we don’t overthink it. A crowd of 3 is as good as a crowd of 300 after all.
But if there’s only 3 people how much moshing is there?
Zozi: There’s always some – on stage.:) We like to jump around.
Dáci: We like to say that “the stage is happening.” If you come to a Sunset gig, be prepared to work your eye muscles because there’s always lots of stuff happening, headbanging, jumping, the works. 🙂 A lot of the bands like to stay static, for different reasons, but we always strive to get ourselves moving, no matter the size of the stage.
How much are you trying to evoke that old-school ‘80s HC atmosphere (like Minor Threat) with this?
Dáci: Not at all, I mean it really isn’t the concept. What I think is the best for us is that this isn’t a pre-planned thing. It’s visceral and instinctive in all of us, it’s a process that generates itself, that’s what I love about it the most. It really gets me going when I see that the crowd, or even the others onstage, just lets loose and gets wild. The others’ behaviour motivates me greatly but the music itself makes me crazy to begin with. So, even though I’m stuck behind the drums, I try to fill that space instinctively by my energy.
Do you leave room for improvising at all?
Zozi: We don’t really improvise during our shows, maybe only a little bit, since our songs are so complex it’s hard to “step out” of them. It wouldn’t do good because there are so many hours that go into each and every aspect of the songs. So basically there’s no improvisation musically – our stage presence, that’s another thing!
What do you think is the hardest in this type of music? A lot of people just put a single label on all kinds of different metal bands. How would you categorize your style? What makes Sunset unique?
Ádám: We actually haven’t discussed this among ourselves but the labels usually simplify it as “modern metal.” Even we can’t really pinpoint a closer alternative since our music contains a bunch of stuff from elements of post-hardcore to classic nu-metal bits and more. Saying it is all “metal” is questionable as well. For instance, we have a new song with the working title “Körte,” and that’s more like hard rock.
Dáci: I think Ádám has a really unique way of writing songs, and that distinguishes us from other bands musically. Zozi also said last week that we’re trying not to resort to clichés. Of course, it is unavoidable at times but we try to do things a bit differently as often as we can.
Zozi: The only question that remains is how well an “outsider” can pick up on that. Also, it’s no wonder a cliché is a cliché – it’s what sounds good. So naturally people can say this and that about our music but I (as someone in the band) don’t think we can be categorized into a specific style.
Dáci: I think a lot about what other music our style is similar to, or what bands are worth to play shows together with, who has an audience that’s open-minded to our type of music. However, I haven’t found a clear answer for that question to this day.
Is there any band or artist who you’d like to play with right now?
Dáci: To mention a foreign one, we’d really love to perform with Letlive. 🙂 Out of the Hungarian bands only Subscribe comes to mind right now but it’s always an honour to play on the same stage with anyone.
Finally, what did you do during the full moon?
Dáci: When was that?
Zozi: Damn, there was a full moon yesterday? That’s the best time to pick up chicks, they go wild. 🙂 Anyway, I was at a photo shoot.
Dáci: My tooth hurt… you know, wisdom hurts…
Ádám: I was working, as always. 🙂