Quebec City-based Sandveiss burst onto the stoner rock scene by dropping their excellent debut, Scream Queen, in December. Effectively blending strong booming riffs with a hefty dose of blues-echoing grooves, enticing melodies and rock’n’roll swagger, this young group have already made a name for themselves in the saturated scene. In between the rehearsals for their shows in and around Quebec, Canada, the band have found some time to answer a string of questions for SputnikMusic.
Luc Bourgeois – guitar, vocals
Daniel Girard – bass
Shawn Rice – guitar
Dzemal Trtak – drums
Since you guys are an emerging band, tell everyone how did the whole project start?
(Luc) The idea of the project was born in my head 6 or 7 years ago. As the years past, I found myself to jam my ideas with different musicians. After building a couple of song structures with another drummer, I met Dan Girard (bass) who rapidly joined the band. For the next couple of months we worked on arranging the songs as a trio. At a certain point we had no drummer and Dzemal Trtak joined in. A couple of weeks passed as a trio, we decided to recruit a lead singer, that person was François Couture. With this lineup, we recorded a 4 track EP (Dead Man Stare, Do You Really Know, Untie Me and Green For Gold). The name of the band was chosen right before the release of the EP in March 2012… Sandveiss MKI officially was born! A year later, after playing only 2 shows and having 4 new songs, we decided to get in a studio and record our first album. But after a couple of sessions, François Couture decided to leave the band on a friendly note (actually he sings half of the song “Scar”) and it’s me, encouraged by the band, who found himself to be a singer in the midst of recording the album. But taking the job of both the singer and the guitarist, I thought that having a second guitarist would be great. So we asked Shawn Rice, a friend and excellent guitarist who I knew would be a superb fit to join the band. In fact, before even starting the recording sessions, we had planned for him to come over and do a solo as a guest musician. While in the studio, we then told him about our desire of adding a guitarist in the band and asked him if he would be interested, he accepted on the spot! We did our first show as the MKII lineup last September and released the album in December. So, here we are….you got the whole story!
How were the tunes pieced together? Were they the result of endless jamming or was it a more rehearsed process?
(Luc) Most of the songs where born from riff ideas and were arranged and structured and practised together afterwards. To date, it’s the best way we’ve found to work. But because a lot of the material was composed before I even met the other members of the band, maybe our way of working will change for future song crafting. We have already started to work on new songs and let me tell you, the new found chemistry is exhilarating!
How did the listeners find out about the band and the record? Was it by word of mouth or the other way around, like sending promotional copies to websites, magazines, record labels?
(Daniel) Most of it has come through word of mouth via the internet. Social media sites like Bandcamp and Facebook are good tools to reach as many people as possible. We’ve also spent some time contacting the right people to take the time to listen to our record. For Quebec and Canada, we’ve recently worked with a press agent to give us a hand.
Do you guys wish to continue as an independent act or are you just looking for the right label to release your music?
(Dan) For now, we are an independent act but we are open to the idea of working with a label.
(Luc) Well, I think that if the right label for us crosses our path, who knows what can happen…
How do you guys see the Stoner Rock scene today? Is there a certain target audience you are aiming for or do you feel your music can be easily enjoyed by any rock fan?
(Shawn) The Stoner Rock scene has been on the rise for the past couple of years and we think that’s awesome! We have no specific audience in mind, we simply make the music we feel is right and hopefully that rocks everybody’s boat! We think our music will appeal to anyone who likes rock in general, be it Stoner, Hard rock, 70’s Rock, Grunge or even Blues as we are all influenced by these styles of music.
Are there any touring plans? Any festivals or specific venues you guys are already preparing yourselves for?
(Dzemal) We don’t have a tour booked yet, but we are definitely looking forward to playing as many gigs as possible. We’re still new on the scene and the album just got out, so for now we are letting the record do its thing and hoping it will open new doors for us. We will be playing in and around Quebec City within the next few weeks and are working on spreading the word.
What are some of your favorite bands? Who would you love to share a bill on a tour with?
We all have different musical preferences:
– Luc likes Black Sabbath (of course!!), Electric Wizard, Voivod, Neon Warship, The Pogues, Kyuss, Pentagram, Mountain, etc.
– Shawn likes Deep Purple, Cream, Blood Ceremony, The Sword, Jethro Tull, Bigelf, Rival Sons, etc.
– Dzemal likes Indexi, Nirvana, Deep Purple, Mudhoney, Velvet Underground, Melvins, Graveyard, etc.
– Dan’s current favorites include J Dilla, John Coltrane , Sly and the Family Stone, Wu Rang, Bill Evans, EL-P, etc.
As for sharing a bill with a band, that’s a hard one to answer…there are so many great bands around…and we’d probably have all different answers anyway.
What’s in store for Sandveiss? What can we expect this year?
(Dzemal) Well… hopefully touring, playing the music we love to play, and recording as much of it as possible. In 2014 we will bust our asses to take Sandveiss as far as it will go, and who knows, we might be playing near you some day soon!
Scream Queen is streaming over at bandcamp:
Interview by Raul Stanciu (insomniac15)