Swnnq Ran Real Estate:
Guitarist Dan tioerner Clears The Air'
I nfluential Seattle rock band Sunny Day Real
Estate has seen its fair share of drama in
recent years. Through the mid-'90s, singer-
guitarist Jeremy Enigk, guitarist-singer Dan
Hoemer, drummer William Goldsmith and bassist
Nate Mendel played music so emotive and driving
that it spawned an entire sub-genre of emotion-
fueled punk rock, then broke up after Enigk's full-
scale religious conversion treated a musical and
metaphysical crisis in the band. The group had
signed to Seattle's SubPop Records, released Diary
in 1994 followed by LP2 in 1995 (often referred to
as The Pink Album, after its monotone cover art),
and suddenly dissolved.
In the years following the breakup, Enigk
released an impressive solo album; Goldsmith and
Mendel played in the studio and on the road with
Dave Grohl's popular Foo Fighters. Hoerner moved
to a farm in rural Washington and worked for
Atlantic Records. Then, in 1998, Sunny Day
decided to reunite. In response to constant ques
tions and letters of support from a fanbase that
still mourned the band's passing, Jeremy and Dan
got together to discuss compiling a collection of
rarities and live tracks.
According to Hoerner, once they were in a
the two decided
to jam a little
bit and work on
some new stuff,
Mendel, but the
to stay with the
Foo Fighters. The
trio recruited a
recorded How It
Feels To Be
which the band
released on Sub
Pop. Then it
embarked on a
tour and has since
fully-committed band again.
Two years later, the group hit the studio again,
dropping the session bassist and writing as a
three-piece. The trio used the studio as a "fourth
member," overdubbing and layering for its richest,
most sonically polished record to date, the recent
The Rising Tide (Time Bomb).
Flagpole spoke with guitarist-vocalist-lyricist
Dan Hoerner over the telephone as the band
began its promotional junket for The Rising Tide.
Flagpole: I've heard Jeremy Enigk was planning
another solo record after the first reunion album,
and had even recorded some tracks with Will
Goldsmith. Have you guys decided to be a full-on
band at this point, or is he going to resume the
solo gig when this tour is over?
Dan Hoemer: I have a feeling—although this
is pretty much a question for Enigk—that Sunny
Day is gonna be 24/7 for the next, well for the
next long while. We wrote 30 songs just for this
session, so there's lots of material there that we're
all excited to get back to once we've toureJ this
record. Although I'm sure we'll probably tour this
re-ord more than we've ever toured a record in the
past We'll take at least a year, maybe two, trying
to break it We think it's really a good record, and
I think it's time for Sunny Day to move to kind of
FP: So you guys are writing and recording as a
DM: Yeah, session bass players just didn't work
out Sunny Day has a very specific sound. We kind
of have our own little thing, and it's kind of hard
to let an outside presence into that thing. That's
why we wrote this record as a three-piece, which
was so mu^ fun, by the way. We jammed with me
on guitar, Jeremy on bass and Willy on the drums.
FP: In the press for How It Feels, you said that
you aren't really aware of this whole musical thing
that started after Sunny Day. Have you heard or
seen anything since then, and how do you feel
about your influence?
DH: Well, I'm still kind of out of the loop as
far as what's going on right now. But I know that
I'm the same way as a lot of bands and musicians.
I have bands that I love that totally influence me.
When I started out, I wanted to be in The Clash. I
think that's just natural that if people dig it and
they want to do music, they'll be influenced, and
that's rad. I got a question from an interviewer
the other day who said, 'Don't you get pissed
when you hear all these Sunny Day rip-off bands?*
and I'm like, "What?!?" That's the greatest compli
ment, if somebody likes your sound that much.
Everyone takes from somebody, and I think it's rad
that anybody has liked Sunny Day enough to con
sider us an influence in their music.
FP: How did you end up on Time Bomb
Recordings for the new album? Was that a con
scious decision on your part, or did you just kind of
end up there? And what happened with Sub Pop?
DH: It was definitely a conscious decision to
move to Time Bomb. We completed our contract
with Sub Pop when we delivered How It Feels, but
they were maintaining that they owned Sunny
Day, so we didn't want to have anything else to
do with them. It was a really brutal, hard move to
leave them. You know, Sub Pop just put out that
live album as a way to milk Sunny Day for money.
That record didn't have anything to do with us!
Things were okay with them early on, but we
didn't know what the hell we were doin' signing
that contract with them. We definitely, definitely
got shafted. But now we've got such a great deal
from Time Bomb this time around, and Time Bomb
has really good people, with excellent backing, so
we're really stoked on this new label.
FP: Who wrote the lyrics on this record?
DH: Lyrically, for this record, Enigk would
come up with the melodies and the phrasings,
then I would take the tape and go to a different
place and write the words. That was really cool,
something I haven't done in the past, and I was
really happy to get to write so much on this one.
WHO Sunny Day Real Estate, No Knife
WHERE: 40 Watt Club
(No Smoking show)
^HEN: Saturday, July 15. 10 p.m.
HOW MUCH $10 advance, $12 door
committed to being a full-time,
►n n ti
o 1 r
M GO m
pretend you were there...
Cfreeri Parity Gfieeri
oi° T'ovYr^ie Bla^ck,
wont let the weight of the
world get you down...
Available only at
the Flagpole Office,
112 S. Foundry St.
V ' J\
'420 E. CLAYTON ST. ★ DOWNTOWN
fi.iWt :'mn .''HiiTnf^/ininTTTiiRmrrrnv
1011PM DJ METR0GN0ME
HPM-close D.J. B-NAUT
V SPINS BREAK BEATS
QUARTER DISCO NIGHT
Dance Night with
DJ Retro ,
V 7 ^ FREE FOR 21 & UP ^0/
f GjM5£<DII57ftnil \
LOWBROW ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS
DODD FERREIE&IDE TM ML HUMS
EVER YfSATU R DAY!
with DJ Kas
V Ladies 18 & Up FREE J
■* The Carlton
No Cover • Full Restaurant • SI.SO Champagne
Live Blues With DON’T KNOW
fCx. Carilon Owens, Clarence Cameron,
Jason Fuller, John Wayne, A.J. Adams
Singer Songwriter Showcase
GARY KELLAM 0k
JONATHON VANCE Vp
BRAD 8k JAKE
Fri., July 21 Tom Maxwell & The Minor Drag
(Members o! Squirrel Nut Zippers & Ben Folds Five)
. The Flying Neutrinos j
JULY 12, 2000 FLAGPOLE 52