Eternal Summers are one of my favorite new bands. They play short songs that combine hazy tranquility with speedy punk. It's fun to rock out to but it's dreamy enough to zone out to. Unfortunately, before the interview, I did not know much about the band, so I decided to conduct it to find out some information about Nicole Yun and Daniel Cardiff (the guitarist and the drummer, respectively).
First off, I just want to thank you for doing this interview! I really enjoy your music, I must have listened to your EP about a dozen times within the past two days. I definitely plan on buying the 10" before it sells out. However, I don't know much about the band itself! I know you are from Roanoke, Virginia and are composed of Nicole and Daniel, but not much else. How did you guys start playing? Have you played in any bands before Eternal Summers?
Nicole Yun: We both have been in tons of bands. I can only think of two years that I haven't been in a band since seventh grade, when I was in a Rage Against the Machine cover band. Haha…you gotta start somewhere. Daniel and I started playing in November of 2008 when my former drummer had to bail and it was two days before a show. I frantically asked all my musician friends I could think of who played drums to sit in with me for this one show. I actually called Daniel to get the number of our friend Sam, who is a drummer. But Daniel, who has played drums before but never in a band was pretty interested. We practiced like crazy and did the show.
I noticed how the band has labeled itself as “dream punk”, which I think is a completely apt genre for Eternal Summers. The music has a haze to it not too removed from a band like Galaxie 500, but some of your songs, like Able To have the primal punk rock feeling of a band like The Raincoats or Jay Reatard. Did you think of this idea before the music started or was it something you noticed?
NY: Oh there is no way we could plan anything like that. A lot of the songs I wrote in a room by myself and were way more “tender” than when Daniel and I would practice them. We came up with dream punk because naming genres for bands is pretty ridiculous and we were pretty much joking when we came up with it, but it does suit us and we like it more than other titles we've been given.
Daniel Cundiff: I think once Nicole and I started playing and writing more we found what we sound like, as opposed to having some sort of goal to sound like anything. It's a very natural process for us and I think we do make a type of punk rock music and we also have a slower hazy vibe too.
Is there a big music scene in Roanoke?
NY: Depends on which scene you're talking about. Not for us really. HUGE for bar bands, and cover bands though.
DC: I guess we are in a little scene that Roanoke knows little about called The Magic Twig Community. It's like 9 people sharing lots of gear, space and inspiration. Bands like The Young Sinclairs, The Sad Cobras, Rootstone, Turbo P, Boys Lie, and SUN KING!. Those are all bands we share equipment with and a friendly family vibe too. Roanoke is getting a little better though. There's few venues to play and not many people to come see you play. But it's picking up with places like The Bazaar. It's a clothing consignment shop that sells records and does shows. Roanoke is a small place that lets us function in a our own little quiet world. I like the country.
Are the elements for your ideal band at age fifteen the same for Eternal Summers?
NY: Actually a lot of them are similar. I was really getting into the Velvet Underground at that age. I loved the looseness and jangle, and I loved Lou Reed's version of pop! Sort of spontaneous and taking on a lot of different song structures and styles. I'd definitely like to think that Eternal Summers is rooted in those elements. HAHA. Yeah I wish!
DC: At first I was going to say no but I thought about this one a little more and realized that when I was 15 I was listening to lots of stuff. Punk and 60's music was pretty huge to me growing up. Also I am a child of the 90's. I think Nicole and I take elements from all those things.
What do you guys enjoy doing besides listening to music? Any particular hobbies?
NY: I am an avid foodie. I totally love cooking and though I don't have cable at my house I would probably waste a lot of time watching the Food Network. I was raised watching public television cooking shows, what can I say?
DC: I like to read music bios and I do a little visual art work. I play in a few other bands, The Young Sinclairs, The Sad Cobras, SUN KING! and Boys Lie. So I'm pretty busy with other bands. Mostly the Young Sinclairs though. I like to do the usual things like hang out with friends and mellow out. Riding bikes, walking in the woods, I like those things.
There seem to be a few bands out now that also carry that hazy summer vibe along with them, like Best Coast or Dum Dum Girls, but definitely show the influence of 60's girl groups. I feel like your band is a lot more twee than Phil Spector though. Is that accurate?
NY: If you hear twee that's cool. We really weren't shooting for anything when we started recording. We definitely don't have the Phil Spector thing. Love the sound but it's not us. We are a two piece and aren't afraid to let people hear how sparse we can be at times. At first I was sort of afraid of the sparse sound but now I think we both totally embrace it. I wish more bands would use the full spectrum of quiets and louds and not be afraid to be bare at times.
DC: I agree with Nicole. I can see a little summer vibe with us but as compared to those bands you mentioned we are totally different. Watch those girls play music then watch Nicole play. There's a lot more punk going on in Eternal Summers. We are a sparse little unit and that's far from Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. We're a pretty new band and I think we have a lot of growing. Once we put out our LP this Fall people will see/hear more of us and understand or not understand us better. The more songs we write the more we're nothing but Eternal Summers.
What have been the best meals you guys have had while out on the road?
NY: We always eat great when we stop at our pals Reading Rainbow's house in Philly. They are pretty health conscious like I am so they know how to rock some delicious stuff like homemade pizza and I don't feel like crap afterwards. One time when we were in Brooklyn we had a really awesome breakfast at a place called Greenpoint Cafe. I think it was during CMJ last year and it was cloudy out and we were so tired, and the scrambled eggs were so nice…and they had some delicious garlic kale with it. YUM. Also in Brooklyn we had brunch at this Mexican joint called Lobo where our friend Ryan from a band called Family Trees works. The Bloody Marys were very bloody.
DC: San Diego had the best Pizza and Burritos I have ever had. Otherwise, what Nicole said.
Is it a hard life for a two-piece band? Are you ever tempted to get more members?
NY: In a lot of ways it's easier to be in a two-piece band. Making decisions is so easy. Getting together for practice…even traveling. Just less people to worry about. Of course we have thought about future albums and a possible bigger live band, but I am pretty content right now how it is.
DC: Yea, a two piece is quick to assemble and agree or disagree. Decisions are made quickly. We can always evolve into a bigger band but we're two for now. Its not like we're a two piece because we can't find a bass player or a keyboardist. Two piece by choice!