SUN Project is one of the most unique and iconic psytrance projects. Known for their special blend of Psytrance and Rock’n’Roll influences and for their diverse albuas and powerful dancefloor stormers, SUN Project has been doing their things since 1996. They are back now with a new album on Stere Society, a good enough reason to hook up and check how are things on their side.
While you read, listen to the new SUN Project album “Poor Man’s Opera”:
Q: You’ve been trancing people for more then 2 decades now, and yet we’re sure a lot of the younger psytrancers are not aware of you. Can you give our readers a short introduction about who is behind SUN Project and what is special about this project?
A: We were 3 Hamburg-based guys who were playing local Rock Bands. Marco was a bass player, Matt a guitar player and McCoy drummer.
After traveling in India including Goa we got inspired by the music that we heard at the original Goa parties. So in 1995 we sold our motor bikes and from the money we bought our first synthesizers, effect machines and what else was necessary to start electronic music production.
Back in the days you had to spend a lot of money to start as there was not software synthesizers or hard-disk recording like today.
AFTER TRAVELING IN INDIA INCLUDING GOA WE GOT INSPIRED BY THE MUSIC THAT WE HEARD AT THE ORIGINAL GOA PARTIES. SO IN 1995 WE SOLD OUR MOTOR BIKES AND FROM THE MONEY WE BOUGHT OUR FIRST SYNTHESIZERS, EFFECT MACHINES AND WHAT ELSE WAS NECESSARY TO START ELECTRONIC MUSIC PRODUCTION.
Our idea was to add our Rock roots to the Goa Trance music. in 1996 we released our first EP ‘Crazy Stories’ on Spirit Zone Records and in 1997 our debut album ‘Drosophila’. We quickly became popular and well recognized in the scene because of the rock guitar in some of our tracks, it was still something new back then and also our stage appearance was more band-like with drum kit and so on.
Check out this fresh mix:
Q: You are back now with what is in our calculation your tenth album. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
A: For quite a while and for many reasons we avoided the idea of another album. Something changed around 2017, when we decided to face the challenge of re-discovering ourselves in a way. There are fewer guitar parts on this album than on most of our previous albums, just because we wanted to make it a bit different than before.
It’s also the first album where we produced some tracks in collaboration with other artists, which gave us interesting results because of the different tastes and also because of the different ways of working and audio programs. Pixel, for example, works with Ableton while using Logic, so you get to know new ways of working at the same time.
Q: This is a good opportunity to get a perspective on our culture and the music – give us 3 aspects in which the new album is different than your first album Drosophila that came out in the legendary Spirit Zone Records in 1997.
A: The main difference is in the production abilities we had or did not have and what use to drive us to create.
On our debut album we had no collaborations with other acts, the focus was to express our personal ideas – selfish teens Back then the production process itself was only with analog equipment and recorded on DAT tape. We are still using a lot of analog synths and equipment but of course also modern production software, plugins etc. so production has changed a lot during decades.
Q: The new album features two collaborations with the legendary X-Dream – how did they come to be?
A: When we started in 1996, X-Dream was our favorite act. During the years we often met on tour, Marcus and Jan are great guys and we had good times together. Since a few years Marcus and Marco are living in the same neighborhood so it was a matter of time to visit each others studios and start to jam together.
Q: The album was released on Stereo Society a new label owned by Pixel, among others, who is also a guest in two of the tracks. How did the connection came to be?
A: We know Pixel for years now, I think we play in Manali, India at the same chaotic party as Pixel. Since then when Pixel has gigs in Germany he sometimes comes to our studio for a few days. With time our friendship became stronger, what later brought us to the idea of joining forces and take part in this great society.
Q: In an interview I did with you in 2000, I remember you saying to me that it is already difficult to find ways to innovate using electric guitars in Psytrance – are you still using them?
A: We are definitely using guitars less than we used to, for example in Poor Man’s Opera we have just two tracks – “Turnon” & “By Mistake”, that have live guitar. But we for sure won’t stop to make guitar tracks from time to time.
Q: Do you still play your infamous live show with drums and guitars? Where can we catch you playing live?
A: Pending on the booking itself to be honest. Due to financial reasons most events, which are club events, don’t have the ability to cover the extra costs which full live band requires and normally they’ll book our DJ set.
So most live performances we have are happening during the summer festivals.
For example, next week we will play live guitar at our show on ZNA Gathering, a phantastic retro Goa Trance festival in Portugal and our next full live band show including drummer will be in September at Connection Festival in Spain.
Q: The project went through a lot of changes through the years – what kept it together after all?
A: We like to think we complement each other well in music production and hopefully it will stay that way for a long time to come. After differences of opinion our old drummer left SUN Project 2011 and started his own project. Unfortunately some people still confuse his project which he called McCoys Sun Project with our SUN Project.
Q: The impossible question: choose one SUN Project track that had the biggest impact on you.
A: Yes it’s impossible to answer but will do our best..
Maybe it’s “Crazy Stories” because it was the first released SUN Project track back in 1996 and we were so surprised how many people liked it. We honestly thought “is our very first track can really be that good? good enough to be released on Spirit Zone Records and be played by DJs on parties…?”
So we like to think that this complete overwhelming reaction kept this thing going for a while..
Q: Future plans?
A: We hope to release more good tracks, also in collaboration with other great artists,
we want to play more full band live shows again also in countries where they didn’t
see us for some time. And we will make a killer guitar track again, promise !