Interview with Jaboo of Sunflower Dead
(By Groovey) California’s Sunflower Dead are a hard rock powerhouse with an entire murderous mythology built into the entertainment experience they deliver to their fans. Made up of former members of Droid, Two Hit Creeper and touring members of Buckethead and In This Moment they have shared the stage with some of the biggest names in rock and metal. Sunflower Dead have released a self-titled full length album which was produced by Christian Olde Wolbers of Fear Factory fame. Here’s what Sunflower Dead’s guitarist Jaboo had to say about the band, the mythology, and the new album.
How did Sunflower Dead get started?
Jaboo: Just a series of really good accidents. Me and Michael were working on some material and we’ve known Jamie forever from Droid and I got together with him and started going over a couple songs and it was like, “Man, we should have gotten together like ten years ago.” All of a sudden everything was falling into place and we approached Christian Olde Wolbers of Fear Factory and he said he wanted to do the record and it just sort of went from there.
You guys have put together a whole storyline and mythology about the band in addition to the music. Where did the Sunflower Dead mythology come from?
Jaboo: Michael was writing a graphic novel and he told us about it and we were really into it. So that spawned the name of the band and became the mythology of the band. It was such a cool idea. We really want to have fun with this band and make it something more than just a bunch of guys up there rocking out and bring some extra entertainment into the fold. So that’s where it all spawned from and we’re working on a short graphic novel that hopefully will be out in the next year or so.
Now sound wise how do you describe yourselves?
Jaboo: Really it’s a culmination of everything that we have done in the past. Me and Michael have been playing together for years. When Jamie came into the fold too and I have seen him play and I knew exactly what he would play in certain songs. I’ve watched him as a fan and it’s like we have been in the band for so long and we all had the same idea. We are just really being ourselves and we put everything into the mix that just felt natural. It’s not contrived at all and it’s something that is raw and moves you. We got a couple of really pretty songs but they still hit you very hard they have the power and intensity of a big band. The heavy tracks are just really driving stuff we all come from a heavy background so it all just lended itself really well.
Why did you choose “Every Breath You Take” as the cover song for the new album?
Jaboo: Another really cool accident. Me and Michael were out drinking somewhere and he mentioned that we should do a cover song as a joke and I think Top Gun was on the TV at the bar. So I go, “What’s that ballad from this movie “Every Breath You Take”?” I was hammered. Michael’s like, “No, but that’s a great song maybe we should cover that.” So then we just went about it. We didn’t really change much. We gave the song a little more dynamics. We’re all Police fans and it all worked out and it was the right song to do.
What was it like working with Christian Olde Wolbers?
Jaboo: It was cool. We did it at a couple different studios. We started off doing the drums at Temple Studios and working with Christian was really cool he had a lot of good ideas. He surprised me because he does have a lot of ideas and I wasn’t expecting so many cool ideas. It was a blast it was really fun working with him.
How did Christian challenge you in the studio?
Jaboo: I guess getting the performances down really tight. As a lead guitar player he would be like,” Aw come on you can do more than that!” So he’d really go after me. Him and Michael it was more synergistic. Michael would go after one idea then Christian would be like, “Oh yeah, let’s expand on that and do it even more.” It was really cool just feeding off of each other.