Saltwater Sun are flying high at the moment: they’ve bagged themselves some big support slots with everyone from Anteros to Jimmy Eat World, landed a massive summer of festivals and unleashed a thrilling new three-track EP.
The latter, entitled ‘The Great Deceiver’ after its glistening centrepiece, is a resounding triumph on which they approach themes of loss and self-doubt with potent alt-rock riffs, colossal choruses and blistering energy.
Before the Reading quintet bring their supercharged sound to Hidden Herd Festival 2019 at Brighton’s Patterns on Saturday 13th July, we spoke to the band to get the latest.
How would you describe Saltwater Sun to a stranger?
Robbie Carter (bass): “Imagine Chino Moreno skating down Long Beach in California, periodically screaming and serenading the people in the street. That’s Saltwater Sun.”
Who are the biggest influences on your sound and why?
Robbie Carter (bass): “I’d say bands like Pup and The Big Moon for their raw energy definitely play a part. The National as we like their melodic richness and structuring. As always we can’t deny a bit of pop punk as we’re all suckers for a big hook and uplifting choruses.”
What was the best gig you’ve played so far?
Dan Kingham (guitar): “We have been lucky enough to play some great shows in the last 12 months, including two sold-out shows at The Great Escape and Reading and Leeds Festival. That was special for us, as we have all been going to that festival since we were 15. I would have to say our support shows with Jimmy Eat World top the list though. Not only because we played with a band that have at one point or another been on heavy rotation in all of our individual music collections, but also because we got to play some amazing venues. It felt like a real progression for the band stepping out on to those stages. I have played the small rooms at both Rock City and O2 Academy Newcastle in the past, so going back and playing the big rooms this time was special. ”
You’re based between Reading – what’s your local music scene like?
Dan Kingham (guitar): “The Reading music scene seems to go through peaks and troughs. I remember when I was younger Reading seemed to be known for producing metal bands such as Exit 10, but obviously the big names now are The Amazons and Sundara Karma. There is definitely good support between Reading bands. For example, I quite often look up at our Reading shows and catch sight of Matt from The Amazons at the back of the crowd. He’s a hard man to miss. It’s nice to have that vibe amongst the bands in your local scene. Only The Poets played the BBC Introducing stage at Reading & Leeds with us last year and they were all really nice guys as well. I think there will always be great bands coming out of Reading, because kids will grow up with the festival around them, which they will love and want to be a bigger part of as we did.”
Who are the THREE other new artists we should listen to right now and why?
Dan Kingham (guitar): “There are so many great bands popping up everywhere right now, it’s really hard to narrow it down to just three, so I’m going to mention four…
Jen (Stearnes, vocals) is the queen of new music and is our go-to person for any recommendations. We recently had our EP launch show in Reading, which Jen single-handedly curated and I was really impressed with both Weird Milk and Honey Lung who played the show. Two very different bands, but equally cool in their own rights and great live.
We were recently main support at the Pom Poko album show in London, and all I can say is, you have to see this band live. Their album is amazing, and I’m sure most people will enjoy that on its own, but whether you love the album as much as I do or not, this band are unbelievable live and you need to watch them. Musically gifted, full of energy and just… well… mad!! I loved it and can’t wait to get a chance to see them again. Such nice, down to earth people as well.
I also want to mention Another Sky, as we have just been added to their show in September at Village Underground. They are a really talented band. I love their sound and I can’t wait to finally see them live.”
You’re playing Hidden Herd Festival 2019 in July – which other bands are you most looking forward to seeing on the day?
Benny Chandler (drums): “We’re looking forward to seeing as many bands as possible on the day – the line up is shaping up extremely nicely indeed! We are always excited to see Anteros, they dropped their debut album this year and we were very fortunate to be invited to support them on the London date of their recent tour. BLOXX have released some great new music with their ‘Headspace’ EP earlier this year which will be cool to hear. Circe is another one we’re really looking forward to. Her and her band were kind enough to support us on the Brighton leg of our maiden headline tour last September at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar (R.I.P) and it’ll be great to see them again 8 months down the line. It’s going to be a fun day for sure!”
And finally, what does the rest of 2019 hold for Saltwater Sun?
Benny Chandler (drums): “2019 has snowballed into a really exciting time for Saltwater Sun! Coming off the back of some good support slots to kick off the year we’ve landed a host of amazing festivals including Truck, Boardmasters and, of course, Hidden Herd Festival 2019 (to name a few) to keep us busy through summer. We’re currently writing lots of new music with a stint in the studio planned for autumn. All-in-all 2019 is looking very bright for Saltwater Sun!”
Saltwater Sun play Hidden Herd Festival 2019 at Brighton’s Patterns on Saturday 13th July alongside KAWALA, BLOXX, Anteros, Sick Joy, CHILDCARE, Chappaqua Wrestling, MarthaGunn, Hot Dreams, Circe, Youth Sector and more. Super Early Bird tickets are available via DICE.