Sunflower Bean: “Whole new vibe. We’re back and better than ever.” (5/14 at The Foundry)

Earlier today NY indie rock trio Sunflower Bean premiered their latest single and music video, “In Flight.”  The single is yet another preview to their third LP, Headful of...

Earlier today NY indie rock trio Sunflower Bean premiered their latest single and music video, “In Flight.”  The single is yet another preview to their third LP, Headful of Sugar, which drops tomorrow on Mom + Pop (The band had previously released videos for album tracks “I Don’t Have Control Sometimes,” “Roll The Dice,” “Who Put You Up To This?” and “Baby Don’t Cry.”)  Sunflower Bean recently kicked off a North American headlining tour that will have them at The Foundry at The Fillmore next Saturday, May 14th, and earlier this week I got a chance to chat with drummer Olive Faber about the current state of the band.

Izzy Cihak: Your third album, Headful of Sugar drops this Friday on Mom + Pop.  How do you think the album compares to previous releases, both in terms of sound and your process of writing and recording it?

Olive Faber: We spent the most time we ever have on this record.  Not the recording of it, but the writing.  We basically were writing up until we started locking in mixes.  The recording of this album was the most fun and exciting recording process we’ve ever had.  We really wanted to create a casual environment where we could be as creatively inspired as possible, and have the ability to quickly capture that inspiration.

Izzy: I just realized it’s been four solid years since you released Twentytwo in Blue.  This is a huge question, but what would you consider to be some of your personal highlights of the band since then?  You’ve done a lot of crazy cool stuff, including opening for Bernie Sanders.

Olive: Those two Bernie shows were really great.  The energy at those events was really special.  Aside from that, I would say just writing and recording Headful of Sugar has been the biggest highlight for me over the past four years.

Izzy: And what do you think are the biggest differences between you as a band in 2018 and you as a band now?  I’m imagining quite a bit feels significantly different.

Olive: Yea, we’re different.  I mean we’re four years older.  So much has changed and so much has stayed the same.

Izzy: A lot of artists have told me that they spent the pandemic revisiting their record collections, so I’m curious what you were listening to a lot of while writing and recording these songs, whether you think it directly influenced you or not?

Olive: Honestly, I was listening to the radio a ton.  I feel like when I’m in the middle of recording an album I am making the choices in each song that I want to hear.  Like, I’m trying to make the music that I can’t find anywhere else.  When I leave the studio I don’t want to have to continue choosing what I want to hear so I put on the radio and enjoy whatever is on.

Izzy: You’ve released a handful of really cool music videos from the album already.  What is it that inspires the visual elements of Sunflower Bean, or is it different with every video?

Olive: It’s different with every video, but overall on this record we wanted really succinct visuals.  We wanted visuals that told stories.

Izzy: On a sort of related note, all three of you have always had really amazing fashion.  What does that draw inspiration from, if that’s the kind of thing you even think about?  Do you have any “style icons?”

Olive: My fashion is all over the place.  For me it’s entirely a thing of how I feel on a specific day.  I feel like clothes are kinda a force field and you can choose which one you need for any situation.

Izzy: You’ve already been on the road for quite some time now in 2022.  Have you had any favorite reactions to the new music, or favorite experiences with your fans?

Olive: It’s been cool playing “I Don’t Have Control Sometimes” live every night. We do it a little differently live and I love people’s reactions when we hit the bridge.

Izzy: What can be expected of the live show when you’re back in Philly next week at The Foundry, both in terms of the setlist and just the general vibe of the performance?  You’ve always been really celebrated for your live shows.

Olive: Whole new vibe.  We’re back and better than ever.

Izzy: Finally, what’s next for you, after these dates?  Anything you’re especially excited about?

Olive: Just more touring and recording!

*Get your tickets here.

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During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.