Alternative rock is a hugely popular genre in Australia, but, coming into their second EP, Sunbleached sound prepped to make a significant dent in the scene.
The Brisbane trio formed in one of 2020’s crushing lockdowns and have been steadily building their fanbase ever since, impressing with their combination of fuzzy guitar work and emotive lyricism. Think Fontaines D.C. if they were fronted by a singer plucked from Midwest emo.
Their sophomore EP, the melancholically-titled Delicate Places We Hide, comes out this Friday, March 24th, filled with songs concerned with friendships, heartache, mental health, and much more.
There’s the bruising ‘Heavy Turn’, a chronicle of being in love with one’s best friend; there’s also the heaving ‘Closer’, which comes accompanied with the final music video before the full record’s release this week, which you can watch below.
Following the release of Delicate Places We Hide, the band have a lot planned in the way of touring to showcase their new songs. We can’t say any more than that for now, but having produced a searing showcase at BIGSOUND last year and ably supporting stellar acts like Void of Vision and Holding Absence in recent times, a Sunbleached set in 2023 should be one to check out.
Ahead of their EP release this Friday, Tone Deaf caught up with the band – vocalist Josh Baker, guitarist Bradley Maddaford and bassist Zane Hughes – as part of our Get To Know series to find out more about their lives and music.
Sunbleached’s Delicate Places We Hide is out Friday, March 24th (pre-save/pre-order here).
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How did your artist name come about?
Josh: Bradley, Joe and I were trying to think of a band name for weeks and we kept coming up with almost good ones, and then Josh’s partner Annabelle started rattling off a bunch of names, Sunbleached stuck out, we took a vote on it and we were all keen.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Josh: I’m not sure. I’d start by describing it as grungy/hard rock and I’d probably liken it to artists she’s familiar with such as Iggy and the Stooges or Oasis or something like that.
Bradley: I don’t know how to describe it to my Grandma, she still thinks I write ‘devil music’.
Zane: I’d keep it simple – heavy rock and roll music but a lot louder.
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
Josh: The song describes a sort of self-sabotaging mantra that some people can get into (myself included) and serves as an effort to be mindful of that and a reminder to remember the good in others when the worst is coming out.
Josh: A song about one-sided friendships/relationships and giving more than you receive. It’s about feeling like someone’s toy that they play with for a while and then discard.
‘Rain on Hot Cement’
Josh: ‘Rain on Hot Cement’ is an older song from us but it holds a very special place. It’s a song about mental illness and about being a metaphoric rain cloud that follows people around, putting a damper on people’s highlights. It serves as a reminder to be mindful of how your mood can affect others and to celebrate the little victories.
‘Flowers Grow From Ugly Places’
Bradley: This song is about the best and worst times of my life – they coexisted. Through the worst parts, a lot of beautiful things bloomed.
What do you love about your hometown?
Josh (Banyo, QLD): I just love the memories I have of being a delinquent youth, and the people I grew up with. Sometimes I reminisce about smoking cigarettes at the local skatepark after school, unjaded and content hahaha.
Zane (Wagga Wagga, NSW): Not a lot, I’m glad we moved away soon after I was born, not a lot of opportunities for music or anything other than sport.
Career highlight so far?
Josh: Playing big venues with really cool acts like Movements, Boston Manor, Void of Vision, Deadlights, and Holding Absence to name a few. Those have been massive highlights for us. Movements in particular are an all-time favourite and a massive influence on our sound. It’s been pretty surreal to be honest!
Fave non-music hobby?
Josh: I paint traditional tattoo flash as a hobby.
Bradley: I like to go to the gym, but maybe that’s not really a hobby.
Zane: Not to sound like an alcoholic or anything, but I like whiskey and high end cocktails.
What’s on your dream rider?
Josh: A private performance from John Mayer, but I also wouldn’t say no to some XXXX Gold.
Bradley: Kinder Surprise.
Zane: Pre-show massage would be cool.
Dream music collaboration?
Josh: Working with the producer Will Yip would be pretty all-time for me, and as far as artists go, I’d say Archy Marshall or Frank Ocean would be very very cool to work with.
Bradley: Working with Matt Goldman, Will Yip or Will Putney would be sick. If I had the choice of artists to work with, maybe Mat Kerekes or Andrew Fisher.
Zane: It would be really cool to work with Dive or Fontaines D.C., they are my two fave bands at the moment.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Josh: Hopefully still involved in the music industry in some capacity. It’d be amazing to have a career as a performer but I’d be happy working as a TM or in Artist Management or something.
Zane: I’d like to be a venue owner of a cool bar or restaurant, but obviously still playing music with friends.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Josh: ‘Feel’ – Robbie Williams
Bradley: Anything Nickelback
Zane: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – Queen
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Josh: It’s better to be the small fish in a big pond than the big fish in a small pond.
Zane: My Mum always told me to back myself and trust my gut. If you see the gold in something it’s probably worth sticking it out.
What’s one obsession you have that no one would guess after listening to your music?
Josh: I was pretty obsessed with building Gundam for a while but I’d have to say I’m also pretty obsessed with consuming kebabs, it’s probably unhealthy.