Look for Punk‐rap band, Sunny Gang, to release their debut LP, Party/Animal, this Spring and catch their latest single, "Burn It Down", out now.
What brought you all together?
Joe: We were all students at Rutgers-Newark and just met each other on campus through partying and being musicians and that's how we started out. Nate was rapping and I was working here in the recording studio and we put together Nate's first mixtape, just as a solo rapper and, after that, we started trying to figure out - the four of us - how to put live instruments with the stuff he had written and that kind of spiraled into being a band.
Which bands or artists have you been influenced by?
Joe: We always try to describe ourselves as a pissed off version of The Roots with a drinking problem.
Chris: I really like John Denver, so I tend to base my music off of him.
Joe: So, bands like Rage Against The Machine and we take a lot of influence from a lot of different places because we all come from similar but slightly different musical backgrounds so you'll hear punk influences, dance influences, hip hop, and basically anything else you can come up with; we throw it all at the wall and see what sticks.
What words you use to describe your sound?
Joe: Loud. Fast, usually.
Nate: Aggressive. Rhythmic.
"Burn It Down" is your latest single, what's the inspiration behind that track?
Nate: I wrote the lyrics and it's just about violent revolution, killing the oppressor, like the French Revolution, or the Algerian Revolution, or even the American Revolution, there's a lot of different revolutions where the oppressor uses violence so the oppressed are forced to use violence to battle them back but the revolution itself usually leads into more violent oppression. It's like a cyclical series of violence.
That's off your forthcoming album Party/Animal, how would you describe that?
Nate: Well, the album is like a two-part album. We're all pretty conscious and aware of what's going on in the world and we wanted to be a little bit serious, but we understand, when you're too serious, people can tune you out. So, it's called Party/Animal and the first half is party music anyone can get into and have fun to and the second half is a more serious take on what's going on around us. So you put those two together and you have who we are as a band.
Is there a track from that album you're most excited for your fans to hear?
Joe: We really like "Burn It Down".
Nate: Yeah, I'd say that's probably our favorite song, is "Burn It Down".
Joe: "Pit Maneuvers" is really cool; that one's not out yet.
Nate: Yeah, there's another song called "Pit Maneuvers" which is about the police and running from them even when you're not doing anything wrong 'cause police are just scary as hell, man. This morning I walked past a cop and said, 'hey, what's up,' and he looked at me like I stole something. I should've just walked past and said, 'fuck you,' and maybe he wouldn't have looked at me so suspiciously [laughs]. It's just about, when you walk past a cop, why do you feel like a criminal, even when you're not doing a crime?
What do you hope your listeners can take away from your music?
Nate: You can see yourself.
Joe: Get wasted and break shit.
Nate: Yeah, have fun, don't take life too seriously 'cause you only live once.
Joe: But also don't be an idiot, but don't keep your head in the sand.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Joe: Our album's dropping in April so keep an eye out for it. The video for "Burn It Down" is coming real soon, we just shot that last weekend.