California-based progressive post-hardcore outfit Hail The Sun recently released their highly-anticipated full-length ‘Mental Knife.’ The LP came out on 28th September via Rude Records and is available here or to stream on Spotify. It is the closest the band has come to realize the sound they’ve sought since forming in 2009. Hail The Sun lived largely in the same creative space for this record as they did on its predecessors – Culture Scars (2016) and the Secret Wars EP (2017). However, all four members of the band have elevated their already impressive style of play on ‘Mental Knife’; pushing the limit of what is capable when walking the delicate line between intricate song arrangements and massive riffs and thundering rhythms. To realize their vision for the LP, the band worked with Beau Burchell, best known for his role as a member of Saosin and producing that project’s iconic Translating The Name full length, which was a major influence on the members of Hail The Sun. Vocalist/drummer Donovan Melero is here to take the A-Z interview, to give you more of an insight into the band…
A Song Which Made You Want To Make Music: Inertiatic ESP by The Mars Volta(from Deloused in the Comatorium). This song/album continues to inspire us to this day
Best Album Ever Written: aside from Deloused? Probably Weezer’s Blue Album.
Craziest Moment You’ve Experienced In The Band: John, our diabetic bassist, after a few too many Jäger bombs.
Deepest Lyrics One Of Your Songs Features: Still we pretend that our lives do not consist of chasing shit that helps us cope with how we see ourselves. Everything we say is a lie.
Easiest Song You Wrote: Bound, the third track from Secret Wars. While it took us traveling all the way to the edge of desperation to find the main riff, once we located it, the rest of the song was formed naturally over the course of just a couple hours.
Favourite Show You’ve Ever Played: Sold out, Dance Gavin Dance tour, upstairs at Webster Hall in NYC just before they closed those historic doors.
Guest You’d Most Like To Feature On A Your Record: Cedric Bixler-Zavala
Happiest Moment You’ve Experienced In The Band: Signing to our dream label, Equal Vision Records in 2015.
Interesting Fact About One Of Your Members: Despite his strong physique and stoic disposition, Aric is actually one of the nicest people ever. Just talk to him!
Jokes You Have In The Band: We have invented a wholesome, but inescapable, alternate universe complete with alter egos and farmtown accents.
Kicking Off Your Set Is Best With Which Song: Repellent, the first track from Secret Wars.
Longest Distance You’ve Travelled To Play A Show: 5437 miles to tour the UK with Silverstein last winter.
Most Inspiring Musician You’ve Ever Experienced: Garrett Russell of Silent Planet is one of the most inspiring human beings we’ve ever encountered, and were honored to call him a friend.
New Band You’d Recommend: VIS ft. Allen Casillas, our mustachioed touring drummer. Very original, with excellent vocals and spicy rhythms.
Opening For This Band Would Be Ideal: Iron Maiden 🤘🏽
Place You’d Most Like To Tour: All the places we haven’t been yet, starting with maybe mainland Europe, Australia, or Japan.
Quote That You’d Like To Pass On To Readers: “Question everything.” -Hail The Sun and many other people
Reason For The Title Of Your Recent Release: Mental Knife alludes to the idea of performing surgery on the parts of yourself that you don’t like, mentally cutting out your least favorite personality traits.
See Us Live At: Currently on tour with Polyphia and Covet, with just the Northeast, East Coast, FL, and TX left. Or check us out in CA this December for Night of the Blue Swan IV, ft. The Fall of Troy, us, Royal Coda, Icarus the Owl, Wolf & Bear, and Adventurer.
The Old Days Of Music Were Better Than Those Current, do you agree: I think we’re seeing a revival; there are such talented young guns coming up. However, there’s amazing music that’s been released, both old and new.
Unusual Merchandise: We have joggers for the first time on this tour, which is unusual for the “punk-ish” scene but really wonderful for lower body comfort.
Variations You’d Like To Do On Any Of Your Songs: Shane has been scheming up ways to reshape used/released material to be re-used in the future without anyone realizing it.
What Bands Have You Seen Live and Regretted: We regret seeing Polyphia and Chon because they make us feel like we have a LOT of work to do on our respective instruments.
X-rays or any other treatments needed for band related injuries: Shane got a hernia once while lifting an amp up some stairs, but he didn’t know until 6 months later when his doctor recommended surgery. He had it in between tours and is still not fully recovered. Don’t lift amps up stairs alone.
You could have written any song in history, which would you pick: The theme song from Hey Arnold!
Zoo animal that best describes the personality of your band: Years from now, they’ll have successfully combined the genetic information from a raccoon, a puma, a grizzly bear and an ox. That animal will be called Hail The Sun.
Hail The Sun Released ‘Mental Knife’ Via Rude Records On 28/09/18. Get It Now: hts.lnk.to/mentalknife