Music Q&A:
The Sunshine Underground

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Singer Craig Wellington on their self-titled third album and the Leeds band’s return

Your new record marks?a dramatic change of direction into dance music. What precipitated the transformation??

Our bass player left a couple of years ago and rather?than just get a new bass player and continue in the traditional live format we saw it as an opportunity to change the way that we approached making music. I think we were always trying to make dance records, even about ten years ago, but we just didn’t know how to do it until now.

Was it a tough transition to make??

“We were always trying to make dance records but didn’t know how to do it.”

We started this record before the last one came out, so it’s been almost a four-year process to get to this point. But we have hit on a groove here where we feel quite comfortable and we have already started writing a bunch of stuff that could potentially be the next record. It’s a good mixture between a live band and electronic production.

You used crowd-sourcing site Pledge to fund the production of the album. Did that impact on the music you wrote?

It was really key for us. We’re lucky because we have a committed fan base that enabled us to make a record and not have any outside involvement in any way. There was nobody at the back of the studio going: “Where’s the singles?” Which has definitely happened before. It’s almost a cliché, but it did give us complete creative freedom.

How has the move towards electronic instruments affected your live shows?

There’s certainly a lot more gear onstage these days. Everyone has got about four jobs to do at the same time. But it’s really cool. As we were making this record we were conscious about how the old stuff was going to sound next to it, so there’s big ten-minute disco versions of all the old songs now. They sound great.

Richard Smirke

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The Sunshine Underground

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