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Following the demise of their previous group, San Francisco-based musicians Liz Brooks (lead vox, synth), Paul McCorkle (guitar, synth) and Greg Wieman (drums) decided to take things in a new direction. Rounding out the lineup with Brian Howell (bass), the more pop oriented, retro-synth tinged Sunset Lines was born.
Now, Sunset Lines is gearing up to release their debut EP, Slippery Slope, out later this Summer with their latest single, “The Miles,” offering a window into their shimmering new sound.
To go along with a stream “The Miles,” we sent the band some interview questions. Check it all out below and be sure to catch Sunset Lines this Saturday at Brick + Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco, CA.
Hi, Sunset Lines! Congrats on your forthcoming EP! Can you tell us a little more on who you are and how you first got into making music?
LIZ BROOKS (Vocals/Synth): Thanks! I’m Liz, I’m lead vocals and play most of the synths for SL. I’ve been playing music all my life pretty much. I started with piano at around 4 or 5 years old like a lot of kids do. I always wanted to sing though and started trying to incorporate that into what I was doing as I started to get older. I got really into rock and alternative music when I was a teenager so I joined my first band with friends when I was 16 and haven’t stopped since. I think I’ve been in around 9 or so bands since then.
PAUL MCCORKLE (Guitar/Synth): My name is Paul; I’m the guitar player and occasional synth player in the band. I really had no experience with music until my parents got me a guitar for my 16th birthday out of the blue, as they rightly had no idea what else to get me. Much to their (and my) surprise, I was hooked pretty much right away.
What’s your songwriting process like? Who are some of your biggest influences?
LB: I will usually start by coming up with a chord progression and melody. Once I have a few different parts set up I’ll present it to Paul. He’s the arranger and mood setter for most of our songs so he’ll take what I have and turn it into something more. My influences are always changing. Right now I listen to a lot of Angel Olsen, Mitsky, and Geowulf. I think that’s been rubbing off on me a lot as of late.
PM: My role in the process comes from taking a sketch or an idea that Liz has been working on and making it sound like a Sunset Lines song, basically. It could be coming up with a guitar/synth hook, changing the tempo or feel, or just leaving a good idea alone, depending on the song. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of the new Spoon and Beach Fossils records, not sure they’re conscious influences but definitely in my head quite a bit.
What inspired your single “The Miles”?
LB: I was driving back up to the bay from visiting my Mom in SoCal. It’s always hard being far away from family and I think there can also be some guilt associated with leaving home to pursue something greater, especially as our parents are getting older. I got back home, pulled out my keyboard and the song almost wrote itself. There was very little effort on my part, it kind of just came out of me.
What’s Slippery Slopes about? How did you come up with the concept for the EP?
PM: I feel the E.P is very San Francisco-centric. Everyone in the band has moved far away from family/friends to be here and is living the life of a transplant. It’s a strange space to occupy in your late 20’s/early 30’s when many friends have already set their life course. It’s also very invigorating at the same time living in such an amazing city and having opportunities you never really expected to have. The record is kind of a celebration of finding this new life, while also dealing with the feelings of sadness and regret for what’s been left behind.
Is there a song off of the EP that is currently your favorite to play live?
PM: Glass is usually a band favorite. The song is kind of an exercise in restraint and building tension throughout until the outro where it gets big and finally releases. The outro is still one of my favorite things we’ve written.
Any new California-based artists/venues/purveyors of the arts you could turn our readers onto?
PM: Not sure this is really under the radar, but we both love the new Jay Som record. She’s from here in the bay and just released a really awesome record.
LB: NRVS LVRS are also a pretty rad outfit based out of the bay. They just put out a second album worth checking out.
Where can we follow you and where can our readers catch you live next?
PM: Our next show is at Brick and Mortar where we’ll be releasing our EP later this month; Saturday, July 29th.
LB: We can be found on most of your standard social media platforms and streaming services. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Bandcamp. We can also be heard on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
Any parting thoughts? Open platform!
PM: Thanks so much for taking the time to interview us, we really appreciate it!
LB: Yeah, thanks so much for having us! We can’t wait to share the EP with everyone!