Artist of the day: Sun Signs
Tampa quartet Sun Signs began as a concept revolving around a song cycle based on the astrological signs of the Zodiac. They are unabashedly influenced by Nirvana, Jack White, Modest Mouse, Aan and Colour Revolt. The combination of those influences is a mix of melodic guitar lines; gritty, yet pretty, vocals; and a tight rhythm section providing a heavy, but not overbearing, driving force of indie rock.
Hailing from other Tampa projects Ettison, Empire Cinema and Minnesota Clay, Sun Signs has been together for a almost a year. Much of their energy has been focused on an album they currently are recording that will tentatively be released in October.
The members are Christian Stewart, guitar, keyboards and lead vocals; Jeff Dominguez, bass; Jordan Chronister, guitar and vocals; and Kelvin Hampton Jr., drums.
Conceptual projects are a delicate balancing act whose mere existence poses many questions: What will happen after the song cycle is complete? Will they find a new concept to write about? Will the band break up?
Stewart and Dominguez answered all these questions and more.
Where did the idea for Sun Signs come from?
Stewart: I wanted to write a CD that’s all based on friends in my life who fall under all of the astrological signs, so each song on the CD is gonna go in the order of astrology from Aries to Pisces.
How did you come up with that concept?
Stewart: I was dating a Capricorn at the time, and I didn’t have a name for the song, so I called it Capricorn, then I had another song about a girl that I was tentatively calling Gemini. It made sense to keep going with it, ’cause I kept writing songs about other people.
Dominguez: That idea started brewing and getting a little thicker.
What happens when the astrological sign project is complete?
Dominguez: People have asked us this before — if Sun Signs is the concept, what happens when the concept is done?
Stewart: We have other concepts in mind, but I think that our next album is going to be kind of free-form and us just living with the name Sun Signs.
In the “about” section of your Facebook page, it states, “We are about 'that’ life.” What exactly is “that life?”
Stewart: It was a joke, but I was inferring the touring, being-poor, just grindstone-until-we-make-it kind of thing.
What plans have you put into motion to “make it?”
Stewart: Well, Jordan’s buying a van soon … We’re gonna start touring soon.
Dominguez: Hopefully this summer; if not, by the fall.
There are millions of bands. What is unique about Sun Signs that sets you apart from all the rest?
Dominguez: Everyone wants to hear (about) their sign, in the same way you wanna read your horoscope.
Stewart: I’d say, at the moment, what sets us apart is the whole astrological concept. It really does give us some kind of draw. I feel like everybody’s at least slightly interested in astrology … at least curious about it.
Sun Signs will perform with Dams and Sonic Graffiti at 9 p.m. Wednesday at Fubar, 658 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. For info, see sunsignsfl.bandcamp.com.
-- Aaron Lepley, tbt*