Brighton has always had its own dynamic sphere of culture, and that looks set to remain the same for a long time to come. While growing up, myself and many of my friends longed for the diverse music scene that Brighton had to offer. A few years on and it’s great to see new music emerging from Britain’s most creative seaside resort. I had a casual chat with Dan from Sulky Boy, a band who are swiftly gaining recognition alongside their fellow echochamp compatriots.
Hello Dan, how have you been lately?
Hello Jonny! I’m good thanks. Spring is finally here which means we’ve all survived another harsh winter.
So, how did Sulky Boy come into being?
I was studying media at Brighton University which was interesting but consisted entirely of essay writing, so it left me feeling creatively unsatisfied. During this time I met a group of friends who were all playing in bands that had a home-grown, DIY approach to producing music such as YRRS, Bayy, and Abattoir Blues, and it taught me that I didn’t have to be the best at guitar or a mix-wizard to create music.
It’s really exciting to hear this home-grown sound coming out of Brighton, how long have you been based here for?
I started university here in 2011 and graduated in 2014 so I’m into my second year of being a graduate but the lifestyle is still very student and hand to mouth. The house is falling down and we all have wall hangings in our rooms.
Other than an appreciation for wall hangings, has Brighton changed your opinions on anything in particular?
Public Transport. I walk everywhere if possible and Brighton is so small you rarely have to get on a bus. When we play a show in London I loathe the tube and don’t envy my pals that have to use it just for a quickie hang out.
You mentioned feeling creatively unsatisfied before you were making music. How did you feel when you first released a track?
I was excited but very on edge! I felt like a bit of a hack and an imposter amongst a group of bands that were so organic and authentic. This feeling quickly vanished as the first track Carmela had a really positive response and people seemed to really dig it.
I have to agree with the people; Carmela is a fantastic track. Would you say the feeling of releasing music is any different now more people have heard about Sulky Boy?
Not massively, in the first couple of hours of a release I still stress because I’m worried people won’t like it and I’ll be showered with rotten vegetables the next time we play a show. I tend to sweat the small stuff in most aspects of life.
There’s a broad consensus that a full stomach helps the creative process. When you’re looking for a good place to eat what would be your main preference?
Brighton is rammed full of amazing places to eat. I’m not a great cook and a lazy eater so I get an almost spiritual buzz from choffing on a Iydea. Having said that last week I used my out of date student card to get an extra burger with a McDonald’s meal and redeemed a free Monopoly apple pie 5 minutes later.
There’s no shame in apple pie. If you could share a meal with one musician, living or dead, who would it be?
This is such a toughie because my music taste is the least trendy thing ever. I’ve been listening to loads of Regina Spektor so hopefully the conversation would be as interesting as her lyrics. Hopefully we’d just drink too much, skip pudding and go hit up a karaoke bar afterwards.
I know that for quite a while Sulky Boy was more solitary. When do you feel that it shifted away from being a solo project toward being a band?
It was probably at the end of last summer when the line up became concrete and these full-timers Andrew, Ben, and Sam started contributing and leaving their mark on the band. I’m way more satisfied with our current set of live songs because it now has these different influences and fingerprints on it.
Now that more of your work is in the open I’m sure you’ve heard a selection of people’s opinions. What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about your music?
We have a very dedicated London fan who said it was like ‘taking a shower on a Sunday noon’ which I’ll never forget.
Would you let that statement be printed on your next gig poster?
And last but not least, if you could describe Sulky Boy as an animal what would it be?
A dog with a swollen face because it tried to eat a bee.
If you are yet to hear the dulcet tones of Sulky Boy then be sure to pay a visit to their Soundcloud, or if you feel more inclined to witness the guys do their thing then you can check out the video for Aunt Julia. I can testify that you will have at least one of Dan’s hooks stuck in your head for the foreseeable future, but it won’t be anything to sulk about.