18 February 2021
If you sound cool, if you look cool, if you dress cool and you have a cool EP out you must be ULTRA SUNN. Who? A Brussels-based duo – Gaelle and Sam – that loves to wander around in your head while producing dark waves causing an instant flush of excitement.
They seduce you with battering and booming beats, nightmarish sound textures, murky dynamics and ominous vocals. Combine D.A.F.‘s industrial vibes, Sisters Of Mercy‘s gloom and doom hallucinations and Depeche Mode‘s pop-noir thrills and you know this pair was born to start and end chill-out house parties. Before I put on my black leather jacket and talk to the wonderful Gaelle let us have some light at the end of the tunnel…
Merci for having this chat…
What’s the story behind your artist moniker ULTRA SUNN?
“It’s about light, for us ULTRA SUNN means the perfect light. The light that reveals what
is hidden and also the fights against darkness. We are proud that our songs and our band convey positive messages such as the acceptance of yourself and of the others, gender equality, victories against street harassment and victories against anxieties. We strive to
be a light in the dark, a powerful ULTRA SUNN.”
What or who influenced you to do what you’re
doing: writing/playing ‘darkwave’ music?
“The band refers to the sounds of the past but keeps in mind its desire for modernity. We’re influenced by Front 242, DAF, Schwefelgelb, Boy Harsher or Kontravoid. We like
to mix EBM and Coldwave.”
Ultra Sunn favorites: EBM pioneers Front 242
Which track would you play to introduce yourself to people who never heard of you?
“Night Is Mine is clearly the most significant track for us. The sound is really typical of what we do and the lyrics reflect our commitments.”
The new EP is a instant winner. How does it feel to have it out and what’s the feedback you got so far from fans and press?
“We’re super happy, it’s very exciting to have released this EP. We’re delighted to see that people are so receptive of the songs and that they travel all over the world in playlists, DJ sets, radio stations etc. We are so grateful for this excitement and can’t wait to play our set live!”
I love the EP’s artwork image. Does the picture tells a story?
“We came across a 17th century painting of a man with a flower in front of his mouth.
We were touched by this image. We love the contrast between flowers that are related to light but here emerge from deep darkness with us like in a Caravagio painting. Hiding the mouth with a flower is also a certain idea of silence which contrasts with music just like the coloured flowers and the dark atmosphere all around. Our dear friend Kris Parenti, who is also our photographer, was sensitive to this idea and succeeded in creating this image for us.”
So far my favorite ULTRA SUNN track is DISTRESS. What’s the song actually about?
“Thank you, glad you like it! Distress talks about anxieties and the fight against it, but
in a positive way. The way to fight is to refuse to let yourself be invaded. The video is a nocturnal wandering in the city with all that it entails: speed, noise, party, loneliness, light, contemplation, and the confrontation with yourself.”
You’re signed to a Spanish label called ORACULO RECORDS. How did that happen?
“They just heard our music and they wanted to collaborate with us for the release of this first EP and it was the right time for us to do it.”
I spotted (some days ago) a live performance video of
a track called WAVES. A great piece. Why isn’t it on the EP?
“It’s a song that we love a lot and that we love to play live. It’s a rather special moment in our set that invites introspection. For the EP, we wanted to offer pure condensed energy:
3 songs about confidence and strength. Maybe Waves will be released later on another disc, why not.”
What’s an ULTRA SUNN gig like?
“Gaelle and Sam on stage with their machines and a beautiful light show. We make sure that all of our gigs are a safe place for everyone and where everybody is included and accepted for what or who they are, that is very important to us. Recently we shot a video of a live set which can give you an idea. This video will be released in the next few days.”
Lots of musicians came/come up with a cover of other artists’ songs during these bizarre times. Which one would you pick to give it your touch?
“Probably something like Duran Duran, Placebo or Depeche Mode. It actually happened
to us to cover Q Lazarus in our live set. It was sweet to say goodbye to the horses.”
Which movie would you choose to have your music in there as the soundtrack?
“Probably in a Xavier Dolan movie or in the vampire rave at the beginning of the movie Blade haha 😀 or more likely, something in between.”
Which artist/band would you really love to work with?
“We probably would have liked to work with David Bowie.
But maybe we would’ve just talked about clothes and music
and smoking cigarettes, which would’ve been perfect too.”
More new ULTRA SUNN music to come in 2021?
“Definitely yes! We are already preparing for the rest.
And we can’t wait to be able to play in concert again
and meet the public.”
Thank you very much for this interview, Gaelle.
May the road rise with ULTRA SUNN!
NIGHT IS MINE EP here…
ULTRA SUNN: Website