Weight of the Sun is an indie metal band from San Diego featuring David Martin (Vocals), Rob Jones (Bass), Brian Goold (Guitar) , Pete Casellini (Drums) and Max Warner (Guitar). They’ve got a unique sound and put on a killer show.
Check out what Bass Player Rob Jones had to say about how they got started and what keeps them going.
1. How did each of you come together to form Weight of the Sun?
I had a previous band called Chanauk that David joined and after some retooling and the addition of Pete, Brian and Max, the band was renamed Weight of the Sun. The power of Craigslist ads runs deep and we got real lucky with a great group of like-minded bandmates.
2. Pursuing music is not always easy. Can you recall any big hurdles you’ve had to overcome to get to this point musically?
Being in a band is not easy, especially if you want any kind of success without dedicating your life to it. We all have full time jobs and other commitments and we have all had to make Weight of the Sun a priority without sacrificing the rest of the important aspects of life. The band has experienced two major hurdles over the last 5 years.
The first was when both of our guitar players had to move out of San Diego within months of each other. It was tough losing those guys and it took us a year to find ourselves again and start playing shows and writing new material. We were fortunate enough that our original guitar player Steve made some comical “how to” play Weight of the Sun videos to pass along the knowledge.
Our second biggest hurdle and major life event came when David was traveling back and forth from his home town in Montpelier, Vermont to spend time with his mom who was battling pancreatic cancer. Needless to say, it was a difficult time for him and his family and they ended up losing her to it. After that, there was a slew of emotions and content that came out of David. The 4 of us tapped into his raw emotions and we wrote material for our sophomore album entitled Vermont. We finished tracking drums, bass and guitars within a few months, but it took David several following months and lots of time in the studio to properly craft his vocals and get them to where he wanted them. He went through considerable iterations of songs, lyrical content and melodies before finding what Vermont came to be. Almost a full year passed from when Pete first tracked drums to when we finished the EP. It was true dedication, perseverance and some brutal honesty and feelings throughout that process.
3. There’s definitely a unique sound in your music. What bands or artists have inspired you through the years and have influenced your current tracks?
Thank you for noticing! Our first album was called Commons, because the only taste in music that we all shared was our band… it was what the five of us had in common. Some of our favorite bands are despised by others in the group and others of us have a more narrow music library than the rest. One thing we can all agree upon is that we pull from loads of other artists and really try to make our music our own. Often we will write cool riffs or jams and then we have to really ask ourselves if it sounds like “us”.
It would be fair to say that we’ve been influenced by the Deftones, Faith no More, Glassjaw, Thrice, Deafheaven, Baroness, This Will Destroy You and Pink Floyd to name a few. For us, it truly is about the dynamics of our music. The mix of heavy and melodic, singing with screaming, fast and slow tempos and letting the song decide where to go instead of forcing it. As a bass player that grew up on Metallica and Tool, I have always found myself inspired by drummers and their ability to impart so much character onto a song. I think one of the reasons that Weight of the Sun sounds the way we do is thanks to Pete being a non-traditional drummer for our genre of music. He is a seasoned jazz drummer with gobs of finesse and he does it all on a 4 piece 1970s Gretsch kit.
4. Your debut Album, Commons, was released in 2014. How was the recording process and how excited were you guys to finally release those tracks?
Commons was a great journey for us since it was partially self-produced and recorded at the studio we built in our practice space. We had an insightful engineer named Matt Murphy who tracked drums and vocals for us and added additional elements to the album along with mixing and Steve and I tracking guitars and bass ourselves. Part of the fun was building out a professional recording studio, buying all the gear and feeling like we were in control of the entire process. David had the grand idea to do more than just release the album and we partnered up with Amplified Aleworks and released our first beer called Weight of the Saison with the album.
Commons was also the first time many of us had music published to iTunes, Pandora and Spotify and be featured as the local band of the month on Rock 105.3. It was very gratifying to have music that you created be available to so many and to get such positive feedback on it.
5. You waited a couple of years to release Vermont. How is this album different than the first?
Vermont was a very different experience than Commons was and I think the maturity in writing and recording is audible. Commons was a fairly smooth and easy process. The music came together without many revisions, we took extended lunch breaks to run over to the studio to record and once David got going, there was no stopping him. Commons only took 3 months from start to finish.
Vermont was far more emotional. Our engineer Sebastian had more influence than our previous one did and challenged us to perform better and vary some of the material we thought was finished. With the longer time span between tracking instruments and vocals and some of the retooling we found ourselves doing, Pete ended up rerecording all of his drums to better fit the revisions. David also found himself battling his own standards and rerecorded a few songs several times over. Another big difference between Commons and Vermont was the spatialization of the instruments. Vermont sounds a bit more cohesive and refined. I think this was due to working with a professional engineer throughout the whole process instead of taking on some of those roles ourselves. Even though Vermont is only a 4 song EP, it still boasts 25 minutes of music and it allowed us to write a song like Cardinal, which is a journey all unto itself.
6. Both wine and music are a medium to talk to and connect with your audience. What are you trying to say and what do you hope your listeners get from your music?
We hope our listeners get a break from their daily stresses when they listen to our music. This is the best way we can share a bit of ourselves with them and exercise some of our own demons and emotions together. We have lots of “feels” when we play and tried to capture those feelings on the albums. When you come to see a show, we hope you enjoy the spectacle and get to connect with us on a human and interpersonal level. Getting to see people really enjoy your music or have them tell you how much it means or if it damn near brought them to tears is all the reward in the world.
7. Our name, REVOLT, means to Revolt against anything holding you back and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. How did you get the name Weight of the Sun and what does it mean to you?
Naming a band sucks. Forget about any of the low hanging fruit or names that come easy, they’ve all been taken. This was why the first version of the band had such an awkward name in Chanauk. It wasn’t until the first gathering we hosted at the studio we built, my birthday party no less, that David had enough liquid courage to approach me and admit that he and the rest of the guys were not big fans of the name and wanted to change it before we started the recording process. After mending my feelings, we started the process of a new name selection.
Being children of the internet, we started a shared Google sheets document and started adding a litany of potential names. With each name came a thorough search for past use, available “.com” web domains, and any other roadblocks that could cause the name from not being solely ours. Weight of the Sun was the unanimous winner. The name means something a little different to each of us. The nerdy side finds irony in the name since the sun only has mass and not weight. Regardless, if it were to have weight, it would be REALLY heavy and it is a source of light and life.
8. What inspires you to keep putting out music despite life’s crazy ups and downs?
That is exactly the reason. Life’s ups and downs need to be celebrated and lamented. Music was just the medium we found to deal with life. It takes an amazing amount of energy to put out music and support it with shows, merch and marketing, but it gives you so much back. In addition to revitalizing us and keeping our mental health in mediocre shape, it rewards you with lasting relationships and experiences that make life all that more enjoyable.
9. What advice would you give fans or other young artists who are contemplating going after that wild dream but are scared or feel held back?
It is okay to be scared, that is human nature. The fear is what drives you harder and makes you produce better material. It is scary answering an ad and meeting 4 dudes who start judging you from minute one, deciding if you are good enough to spend time together. It is scary to get up on stage and play in front of both strangers and friends. It is really scary when you get brutally honest feedback and realize you have to be better, even though you already knew that deep down. It is the process and the achievements that make the scary go away and turn into something even more frightening, your own expectations. Whether you are an artist or an entrepreneur, you get to experience plenty of failures and bad decisions. It is exactly those experiences that make you sharper and more appreciative of the successes.
10. We’re excited to see what’s coming up for you guys. What can we expect from Weight of the Sun this year?
You can always expect us to be a bit unconventional and out of the box. We have some fun offers for future shows, both live and recorded as well as a few other nutty ideas. We have also been wanting to put out a music video for some time and that is starting to come to fruition. Recently we started having acoustic writing sessions, which are producing some new sounds and Max has been bringing some riffs with unusual time signatures to the table.
We are still celebrating our album release from earlier this year where we partner with Beerfish and Eppig Brewing on our second beer, raised awareness and funds for the National Pancreatic Cancer Foundation and were featured on 91x and would like to push that album out to more folks and stations. At the same time as promoting Vermont, you know we will be working on new material and finding ways to challenge and reinvent ourselves a bit, because that is what we do.