Sun Abduction is a New York-based group that pulls influences from psychedelic rock, punk, garage, and grunge–all the sounds you need are right here!
Ever feel like the music you’ve been listening to is missing something, but you can’t quite figure out what? There’s just a pinch of some sound that isn’t there that would just complete you if you could hear it…
Well, Sun Abduction pulls inspiration from everywhere for their sound—so get ready to feel complete! They’re rock’n’roll to the core; their sound is a mixture of psychedelic, punk, grunge, garage, and classic rock’n’roll. They’ve got the trippy beats and wavy guitar riffs, over-guttural vocals that can go from dark and eerie to chaotic and entrancing.
Sun Abduction is a NYC-based band that was incepted back in 2014. The original line-up has since changed, with the exception of front man Zach Koenig, whom BTRtoday chatted with. He explains that the band was first a glimmer in his eye when him and his friend, Corey Madden, attended a Rocky Erickson show, one of the pioneers of psychedelic rock, and ended up meeting him in front of the venue. After that night him and Madden decided they had to start a band.
The current line-up is Koenig on guitar and vocals, Alex Glueck on drums, Andres Pierson on bass, and Aaron Peart on guitar. Glueck was crashing on Koenig’s couch when they started to talk about music and decided to play together. Then Koenig asked Pierson to play with them and he said yes. Last, but not least, Koenig met Peart in the crowd at a previous show a year before and then destiny brought them together again. Peart said they should play music together sometime for fun, and Koenig was looking for a guitarist at the time—it was serendipity! So, Sun Abduction came together like it was meant to be.
The band released their debut EP back in May of 2015. It’s five tracks written and recorded by Koenig and Madden. Each track brings something different to the table. “Tripura” starts out trippy and meditative with a smooth transition into gut wrenching, heart-throbbing rock’n’roll. Meanwhile, the track “Jones-In” starts right off the bat, with a hard hitting beat and intimidating vocals over sporadic melodic guitar riffs that make you want to hum along.
Koenig admits that at first, with the original line-up, it was mostly just he and Madden doing the writing and bringing it to the rest of the band to play. Now, with the new line-up, he explains it as a much more collaborative process. “We usually just walk into the room and start playing chords and go from there,” he describes. “We just feed off each other’s vibes and write it that way.”
The EP was released before Sun Abduction’s first-ever tour. They ventured down to Austin, TX to play Psych Fest and hit up different venues on their way there. Originally, Koenig and Madden recorded 12 songs that the band toured on. For the EP, however, they chose the five songs on it because they thought they were not only the best written, but also the most well recorded.
BTRtoday inquired about the other songs and Koenig said they decided to toss most of them because they just weren’t coinciding with the band’s current aesthetics.
As for the inspiration to the songs, Koenig says it was the people that helped them out in the music scene. However, he does admit that the lyrics process was not much of a meaningful one. “Lyrics are such a weird topic—they used to mean a lot to me when I was younger growing up,” he explains, adding that he had to step up to the plate and just write the lyrics. “We were like, ‘well, we’re not gonna be an instrumental band’… Maybe people can take those words [the lyrics] and use it or take it the way they want to use it.”
Surprising for Koenig, since he has been in bands since his teen years. He explains that he started playing music in bands when he was only 13 or 14-years-old in his hometown in New Jersey. Where he’s from there’s a flourishing hard core scene and Koenig tended to play more towards that genre. “My parents were big Beatles fans and E.L.O., and stuff like that, but there were years where I stickily listened to hardcore,” he admits. Eventually, Koenig grew out that style of music and decided he wanted to play something more melodic. “Growing up, you’re just like… there’s more melody than just screaming into a microphone in music,” he says, adding that, still, he did his share of moshing.
Koenig is also an artist, a carpenter, and a skateboarder. His day job is at a wood shop where he builds sets for photo shoots. He creates art with the wood he finds by painting on them and then cutting them into the shape of his painted creation. Though he’s both a visual artist and a musician, he says that he keeps the two separate.
“I used that sort of stuff [visual arts] to have an escape from playing music, because after playing music for so many years, I feel like you need to try and find something else to do so it doesn’t get dull,” he conveys. “I think my music influences me with the art I make instead of the other way around.”
As a lover of all types of art, musical genres, and skills, when asked what album he would chose to be stuck with on a deserted island he thought long and hard. He decided he could never get sick of Sam Cooke.
Sun Abduction plays Jan. 20 at The Gateway with Sic Tic and Toyzanne. If you’re in NYC this is a show you can’t miss! Make sure to follow Sun Abduction on all those handy dandy social media pages to stay up-to-date on their happenings—Koenig confesses a west coast tour will start up soon and then getting a full-length album in the works.
Kate Willett and Matt Ruby on Louis CK’s fall from grace. Charles Hinshaw on ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.’ Molly Knefel on the linger effects of the infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape; Sneak preview of Jane Weaver’s BTR Live Studio session. | listen