Song Premiere + Interview – Sunderland – “Hold On”

Originally from Oregon, but now LA based band Sunderland, will be releasing their upcoming EP Blue Light, March 22nd!  

The guys have been on the grind non-stop, and they have four fresh new tracks that need to be added to your music playlist.

GroundSounds caught up with the guys for an exclusive interview and premiere of one of their fresh new tracks “Hold On”, check it out below and get ready for Blue Light

For those just discovering Sunderland, can you tell us about how you guys came together?

Three of us went to school together in a little town called Hood River, in Oregon. We started touring after we graduated and our drummer, Kyle, found us on Craigslist through an ad.

How did you decide on the name Sunderland?

It’s our guitar players middle name. We weren’t too worried about a name when we were younger so we just used that and it stuck. It’s nice that it doesn’t necessarily lock us into a music “scene”. It’s a pretty flexible sounding band name.

We at GroundSounds are very excited for your upcoming EP Blue Light, can you tell us about working on this project and bringing it all together?

Blue Light is a really big deal for us. Literally every step of creating this EP was done by us. We wrote, produced, mixed, and mastered the whole thing in our bedrooms and hotel rooms on tour.  The writing was all really fast and fluid, done within a week at our house in LA. Sometimes you’ll labor over writing a song for weeks, even months. And sometimes it will come within minutes. The process of writing for this EP felt so natural, it was great.

Who came up with the EP title Blue Light, is there a story behind this EP name?

Our bass player/producer Dylan came up with the title, he also wrote the track “Blue Light”. That song is about our generation and our obsession with social media and our complacency with sitting behind screens constantly. “Blue Light” is in reference to that glow people have on their face when staring at a screen in the dark.

Can you tell us about the writing process and inspiration for your track “Hold On?”

“Hold On” came to us one morning after we listened to a great Magic Man track. The pre-chorus melody came pretty naturally and really lent itself to writing the rest of the song. We buckled down in McKinley’s room and recorded the basic guitar and bass vibe, added some texture, and thought up some lyrics all fairly quickly. “Hold On” is about being with someone who really pushes you to be more exciting and interesting. It’s about the thrill of a relationship that is probably too much for you to handle, but too much fun to give up. 

What is one thing everyone should see and do in Oregon? 

Portland is one of the coolest cities in the US in our opinion, there’s so much cool stuff to do and fantastic food to try. If you have the time, driving an hour East will take you along the Columbia River through the “Gorge”, by far one of the most beautiful drives we’ve ever done.  If you do the drive you’ll end up in our hometown, nestled at the base of Mt. Hood.

What is it about the alt/rock sound that attracts you guys to it?

The most exciting thing about this sound right now is how fresh it is. A lot of the music that is coming out from the alt rock genre is unlike most music we’ve encountered, and the fact that people are trailblazing and working hard to create new identities in this music is pretty awesome.  I love the way people are manipulating synths to get amazing tones and all around crazy sounds. Not only is the music incredibly catchy, the artists are being honest and real and that is something that really attracts us to it.

What do you guys enjoy most about performing live?

Live shows are amazing because of the interactions you get to have with so many different people. We love experimenting with what we can do with the music to add new elements to the shows while keeping them familiar. We are having the time of our lives when we are up on stage and you can tell. Our love for performing drives us to put everything we have into the shows. 

What are you guys currently listening to?

We love the 80’s vibe that is infiltrating the market again. Anything with that fun synth driving vibe is great. We love Purity Ring and CHVRCHES. We’ve also been listening to Bad Suns and Juveniles. We’re also suckers for any pop rock group from our earlier years, Jimmy Eat World, Relient L, etc.

After the EP release what’s next for Sunderland?

We’re going to push this EP really hard, so we’ll follow it up with a video or two. Hopefully a summer tour on it as well. After this we’ll probably have to decide between another EP release or doing a full length. At this point we aren’t sure what our next release plan is.

Thank you for your time!

Zach Grace

McKinley Kitts

Dylan Bauld

Kyle Hill



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