Interview With Jon Weisnewski | By Ben Knudtson
It’s been a bit over a year since Seattle’s Sandrider released their second full-length album Godhead, and now they have just put out three new(ish) tracks, that were recorded during the Godhead sessions with Matt Bayles, on a split with fellow Seattle heavy-as-truck-balls musicians. As I found out the last time I interviewed these guys in early 2014, they have busy lives full of careers and families, and they do their best to balance their love of playing loud music with real life, so I was curious to know what they have been up to lately, if they have any super duper awesome plans for the coming year, and what contemporary bands have been tickling their fancies.
So what have you guys been up to since the release of Godhead?
Being boring adults. Having kids, working jobs, enjoying music when we can. We are not exciting people.
Tell me about this split you have coming out with Kinski. How did this come about, and why did you decide to do a split instead of an EP or something?
We recorded a few extra tracks when we made Godhead, with the intention of releasing them on a split with another band. Honestly, Kinski was kind of a hail mary for us. We’re all fans of theirs but weren’t sure if they’d be into doing a split with us, or what their label situation was like. And yeah, we haven’t done a ton of split releases. We rarely just have songs sitting around ready for a small release, and we also rarely get asked to release them.
Is this split pretty much what you guys have been working on lately, or are these 3 songs just the tip of the iceberg? Are there any plans on releasing another full-length any time soon?
The split has been wrapped up for a long time now for us. We’ve been slowly working on new songs and just taking our time with practicing and performing. We found a while back that our lives are just better and more relaxed when we don’t pressure ourselves to “produce,” so we have no intention of changing that. I doubt we’ll have another full length soon, but we’ll definitely release something at some point. How’s that for vague?
The tracks on the split sound a lot more like Godhead than the self- titled. Do you guys feel like you are kind of settling in to being Sandrider more?
I think you’re hearing the same session and the same vibe we were putting out when writing the Godhead stuff, which makes sense. I would say yes we are very comfortable playing with each other these days, couldn’t say if it’s any more or less from a few years back. It’s all one big memory blur anyways.
How does it feel to have two full-lengths and this split under your belt at this point?
Feels great. I’m ready for my Grammy.
You guys did Akimbo for a long time, do you feel like your getting to experience the thrill of establishing a new band all over again?
Ha! I wish! We were playing for a really long time before most people even knew we were a band. Sandrider’s first release was definitely exciting though. The band started as a side project but once that first record got out the excitement people had was really unexpected and flattering.
What music have you guys been into lately, and what have been some major sources of inspiration post-Godhead?
After Godhead I picked up on Whores, and love both of their albums. I have a few songs in the pipe where I’m aping them pretty good. Other than that I really enjoyed the new Haunted, new Napalm Death, Mutoid Man, DFA1979, Royal Blood, Accept, Yautja, and that Big Business album was a total zinger.
For your future music, do you think you will focus on honing in on your guys’ signature sound, or do you think you will put an emphasis on trying some new stuff? Maybe both?
I try not to plan too hard. We’re just gonna do what we always do… play the stuff that feels good to us.
Do you guys have any big plans for 2015?
Other than the split record with Kinski, nothing on the books.