In Conversation With - The Sunday Sadness


Hailing from Bordeaux, dark pop outfit The Sunday Sadness sound like a hazy blend of your desires and memories, all swirled together in a lull of synths and hypnotic melodies. Ahead of the release of their self-titled debut EP, we caught up with vocalist Matthieu Kirby to find out more about the band.

How did you come up with the band name The Sunday Sadness?
Before we found the name, we knew that most of our lyrics and most of the atmosphere would be very sad, very nostalgic. When we were brainstorming about the name, we were like, “Hey, haven’t we noticed how Sundays kinda suck?”. We always feel very sad on Sunday as a band, and it was just something [that sounded] good to our ears. There’s not really a real reason. It was a random idea that came and that grew on us.

Were there any other band names that you considered?
At the very beginning, we thought we could be called ‘Chemical Kids’, because two of us in the band were just such [big] fans of My Chemical Romance. When we had this idea with The Sunday Sadness, we thought it was pretty original, [pretty] catchy and it just clicked.

What was the biggest lesson you learned from recording your debut EP?
For all of us, it was the first time we would produce something ourselves, because we produced the EP ourselves; we tracked it ourselves, we mixed it and subbed it ourselves. We learnt all of this when doing it. We tried to work with some other producers on it, and every time we had some work done with them, it just didn’t fit what we expected. We learnt how to produce music while writing it, so I guess that’s the main lesson.

What was the most difficult part of the process?
We had this problem where we wrote so many songs and we just couldn’t pick the ones that would be the best, so we spent a lot of time writing music and not keeping it. I think that was the main problem, and that’s why it took so long to finally decide on a finished product. At some point, we took a break, then we just listened to the whole thing and was like ‘yeah!’. I can’t really explain why, but it was just obvious to all of us that it was certain songs [that we wanted on the EP], and some it couldn’t stay on the record. The songs that remain are the ones we wrote first, the most recent ones, we didn’t keep them. We mostly kept the songs we wrote when we started writing, except for the next single - we’re releasing a new music video at the same time as the EP comes out, and that’s the very last song we wrote. So except for this song, it [the songs we chose for the EP] was the songs we started years ago.

What was the most surprising part of the whole recording process? Did anything unexpected happen?
When we started the writing process, we never expected John [Fine] to sing. I’m the lead singer of the band, and when we started writing, we wouldn’t expect any other member to sing on the record. And then John came with this song called ‘Someone’, and he already had an idea for the vocals. He showed it to me and I was like, “Woah, your voice is great actually, let’s just sing together” and then we started writing songs with two types of vocals; so mine are mostly high pitched, and his are mostly low pitched. So for ‘Someone’ and the next single that’s coming out with the EP, John is singing just as much as me, and we already started working on a full length [album], and I think it will be finished pretty soon actually. In this full length, we are singing as much as each other, like it’s 50/50. So that was a surprise.

Your lyrics tend to be very personal, does anything else inspire them aside from your feelings?
The lyrics are mostly personal life related, even on the full length that we started writing. I guess the lyrics are also very personal, maybe we’re looking to talking more about society’s problems or stuff, but for now we’ll stick to the personal feelings and stuff. That’s what we’re good at so I guess we’ll keep that.

What would you say to someone feeling the same way as your lyrics?
To this kind of person, I hope hearing our lyrics can help you go through, because obviously when you have something you relate to, it helps going through. I hope if there are some people that’s going through something, I just hope they can get through.

Where do you draw inspiration for the aesthetic of your videos?
We’ve never had real examples of movies or stuff. For ‘Someone’, we just knew we wanted…to be honest, we don’t really have examples or something, we just like the retro vibe. We’re more inspired by music videos than movies.

So which music videos have inspired you?
Oh, every The 1975 video ever. Chase Atlantic, they have a strong aesthetic that we really enjoy. But mostly, I’d say Kpop music videos because we’re such huge fans of Kpop and they have the best music videos. Like you can’t compare. Especially for the make-up, for the outfits, we take a lot of inspiration in Kpop music and Kpop music videos. To be honest, I think Chase Atlantic are also very inspired by Kpop - you can tell from the small details. Like I’ve noticed they sometimes use Korean characters in their bio or stuff, and it’s pretty obvious when you know Kpop well and you watch the videos. But from Kpop to The 1975, there’s a huge gap so we like to take influences from many genres.

Would you say that your latest music video for ‘Someone’, which features Korean characters, that it was influenced by Kpop then?
I think you can tell when you watch and listen to our music [that there’s] all these influences mixing together. If you listen to Kpop, you can tell when watching someone that there’s a similar vibe and we just love Kpop so much we wanted to show we are huge fans of Kpop. I mean it’s not like we’ve subtitled all the music video, it’s just the end, it’s just a detail as a tribute to Kpop.

What aspects of Kpop do you admire the most, and want to reflect in your own music?
The aspects I admire the most but that doesn’t reflect in our music is all the singing while dancing, which is two times more work than we do. To be honest, we’re kind of looking into that; we wish we could hire choreographers or something to help us add some dancing in future music videos. It’s something we’re looking into, definitely. It’s just so spectacular, the outfits are always on point, the songs are always so…you can’t hate a Kpop song, the production is perfect. It’s just so addictive.

What’s the dream for the future?
Have fans around the world to just be touring all year. I wouldn’t say we’d like to tour with Kpop bands because it’s so different - I’m not even sure when a Kpop band tour if they have an opening act or something, I don’t think that’s a thing. But a dream tour would be with Bring Me The Horizon, The 1975, Pale Waves, these bands. We’re really looking forward to tour as soon as we have enough people listening to us in some places.

Feature by Athena Kam

The self-titled EP will be released the 15th February 2019.