The Sulks: The Wavelength Interview

Purveyors of: Classic psychedelic surf-meets-desert rock jams that just keep on rolling.
File next to: Fu Manchu, Fresh Snow, Dick Dale, Grounders, Django Reinhardt, Neon Windbreaker, The Cramps
Playing: Wavelength’s May Long Weekend Blowout @ Handlebar May 16

Featuring Gypsy jazz guitarist Chris Bezant joined by Evan Lewis of Grounders on guitar, Matthew Somerville Wronski of Neon Windbreaker on bass and Jon Maki of Fresh Snow on drums, The Sulks are a new Toronto surf-meets-desert rock band. Formed in spring 2014, the band delivers blistering psychedelic punk jams that can’t help but get the crowd moving. Kristian Johnson asked drummer Jon Maki for the skinny on The Sulks.

So, The Sulks feature some members from other bands (Fresh SnowGrounders and Neon Windbreaker), how has this affected the band? Do you see fans of the other bands coming to your shows to see what it’s all about?

We have worked relatively fast since taking our current form last fall. We essentially make it work when we’re all available. We have only played two shows, so it’s mostly been amongst friends. Wait, we have fans?!

How does the songwriting tend to go in your band? Has it all just come from jam sessions so far, or does someone bring an idea and you all being to add to it?

Chris plays a lot, but mostly in Gypsy jazz circles, so this gives him an outlet to write songs reflective of his personal tastes outside of that world. He’s got great taste, so we primarily round things out.

Do your members maintain similar sound to their other bands? Or do they bring riffs, and song ideas that wouldn’t really jive with their original bands?

There are hints of our other bands, I suppose, but we’re channeling our instincts with each song. Who wants to play in two similar bands, though? I don’t.

Let’s talk influences, which musicians and bands have had an impact on your sound?

Someone at one of our shows said we sound like Wire playing the Repo Man soundtrack. I’m okay with that.

Right now the only recordings you guys have are some bootlegs floating around from live shows. Do you think you’ll have some singles or an EP out soon, or are things still taking shape?

We are allowing things to take shape live before we think about heading into the studio. Maybe this summer?

How did the band get together? Did you guys know each other beforehand?

Chris had a bunch of songs, so I offered to play drums for him last spring. We juggled other members for about six months until Chris brought on his friend Mat and I asked my friend and co-worker, Evan, to join around the same time. It came together very quickly after that.

Do you think the Sulks is just sort of a side-project for everyone, or is there the drive to turn it into something in its own right?

I think projects are projects. They all harbour importance, or at least they should. Like most creative people we know, we need to maintain several outlets. If it’s isn’t something, I guess it isn’t anything. We’re attempting to do something and having a good time doing it.

— Interview by Kristian Johnson