The alternative grunge rockers from Athens Greece Sun, Rain in Life have a long story behind them. They started their musical journey back in 1995 as Teenage Angst and released one album under that name. In 2003 the band changed course and destination, and Sun, Rain in Life was born. Last year, they released their album ‘96/4’ and now here they are, at Last Day Deaf, to talk to us about their music, goals and wanderings.
Hello, from Last Day Deaf. You have been active for more than 20 years and judging from your new album a bright future lies in front of you. How have things been so far?
First, allow us to thank you for this great opportunity to share our thoughts with the world. We’re pleased but at the same time reluctant to say that things are going as planned. Believe it or not, the main aim of this band was not to stun the world, become famous and get a lot of fans. Surely when we started at the age of eighteen, we were driven by the need of recognition and rage, two words that we have since defined how and why they “sprung” in our lives. It is fair to say though that even in that age the aim of the band was to work as a “vehicle” that one day, would hopefully allow us to widen our perception of ourselves and the world around us, leading us toward the path of individual liberation. From 1995 to 2016, we have made some vital baby steps in understanding ourselves better and we now have the lyrics to present it.
As it is also mentioned on your website, your new album is part of a project called ‘The road of life is ahead’. Can you share a few things about it with us?
“The road of life is ahead” is a project that will consist of several thematic full length albums, EPs and singles, each one presenting a unique phase in the life of a man as we observe him going through his personal esoteric quest to achieve individual liberation. As you can understand, this is a real challenge for us and we must accept that the odds of successfully completing such a project are not in our favor, even if we commit ourselves to this study for over 20 years. Whatever the case though, this could eventually become an interesting recording of an effort to rediscover life. This could become something that the next generations could work on further.
How did this wandering start? What led you to this path?
To tell you the truth, we believe that this wandering started long before we were born on this planet but let us not get carried away (laughs). So, this wandering started in our early teens. Each and every one of us reached a certain point in his life where he dealt with some sort of “problem”. Now, to put it gently, let’s just say that one of us, our lead singer Dimitris, had it pretty rough. It would be unfair not to mention that in that dangerous juncture a common old friend of ours, Ioannis Tsatsaris, played a crucial role in our recovery. Since then, we have been set on this one-way path and it seems like we cannot stray from what feels like a vital urge for knowledge of life, not as it was delivered from one generation to another but as life was delivered from Creation to man.
Is there a destination to your journey or is it just the journey that matters?
There is a destination to our journey and it is the journey that matters since, in our case, living the journey sort of unlocks the destination. The pattern we’re trying very hard to follow sets us in a third person point of view. We seek the position of the objective observer. The third person point of view allows us to observe us as we go about in our everyday life. From that viewpoint, we can have a much more objective opinion of when, why and how we choose to say or to do something in our life. It is through that observation that we seek to understand ourselves and learn how to move by choosing consciously than being led unconsciously to choices. A simple and childish example of that is your need for ice cream. It doesn’t matter if you eat it, doesn’t add to your health at all and there is really no particular need to have it. Yet you still want it. Now, is this a conscious choice or are you being driven by the unconscious choice of your own sense of taste? Do you have any control over it or does it control you? This is the “game” we play every day only in a clearly higher level… and that’s just one little side of the journey. As for the destination, we hope that once reached there will be nothing there but pure esoteric peace and clear judgment.
What is the feedback you’re getting from your audience so far? Is your message spreading?
We do not think that our message is spreading. For starters this is a message to our own selves that says “stay conscious, trust no one, respect everyone and question everything” but since this is music and it should be socialized, the message is also out there. We do not feel that anyone is obligated to listen to this so called “message” and we do not feel obligated to spread that message too, except to our families and even there we must respect the free will as a fundamental law of this planet. As for the feedback we get from our audience, is very positive. Especially from people who are into music and their opinion clearly counts more. Unfortunately we all have been taught to approach things superficially and not essentially. If we like the tune we usually accept it as something nice and we mainly discard the lyrics and what or who actually “gave birth” to the song. Honestly we usually do not give a damn about it. We forgot though that music is a vibration. As the sound hits our ears and we sing along to the melody, if we place our hand on our chest or guts, we will notice our body vibrate. Sound in conjunction with the lyrics that depict a certain perception of things, can make a significant impact to one’s biology. So we must think twice before we choose what to listen to. Again this must be a conscious free choice not an unconscious choice of our senses. So, overall, our audience likes our songs but an average 96% of it probably does not have a clue what they are about and honestly we’re more than fine with it since it’s a free choice to care/not to care and we need to respect that.
What are your influences? Both in music and your personalities in general.
It is obvious that the 90’s have had an impact on our lives. When you’re a teenager life does not allow you the time to filter things and you’re like a sponge sucking everything that seems awesome and cool. Three of us idolized the Seattle scene and sound. Nirvana, Alice In chains, Pearl Jam you name it. We fell in love with the melodies and the heavy sound that came with it. We also loved the fact that those bands had a simple dress code in contrast with the earlier hard rock or heavy metal bands. This made their singing more honest, at least to our taste. On the other hand, our lead guitarist and last addition to the band George, was a fan of bands like AC/DC, Metallica and Black Sabbath. His entry to the band also acts like a bridging of two different musical ‘schools’ that once got into rivalry and we love to support this idea of healing. As for our personalities, since we are together for so many years, we must say that the books of our mutual friend Ioannis Tsatsaris stood as a very helpful guide and significant influence in our lives.
Some ‘big’ names are involved in the creation of ‘96/4’. How did this come up?
When we started recording ‘96/4’ we all agreed that in order to achieve the result that we longed for, we would need a very special touch of luck. We made a run through several recording studios, talked to several sound engineers and we ended up choosing Fotis Bernardo and Devasoundz studios. Producing our songs with Fotis allowed us to evaluate him and the way he works further. He was very good at what he did, quick and sharp and couldn’t help squeezing in a couple of cynical jokes from time to time. He shared the same respect with us when it came to the ‘90s scene and this helped a lot to achieve the correct aesthetic in the recording. We’ve heard a lot of recordings from Greek engineers since and it’s more than safe to say that, at least for us, there are currently some top notch sound engineers/producers in Greece.
Then came Steve Evetts. This is where luck played its part. Our lead guitarist George and lead vocalist Dimitris were on the lookout for a mixing engineer from abroad. George bummed on Steve Evetts and the two of them ran a thorough research on his work. They later decided to contact him and luck stroke when we heard that he actually had a month open and was willing to do the mix after listening to our rough mix and recording channels. It was also he who pointed us to his good friend Alan Douches for the mastering. Both Steve and Alan treated us as they would treat a professional. They did more than enough in order for us to have in our hands a full length album that sounds exactly as we wanted it. We are grateful and at ease after the completion of this work and we still feel very lucky to have worked with that trio (Fotis Benardo, Steve Evetts and Alan Douches).
Has this whole socioeconomic situation we’ve been going through for some years now had a positive or a negative effect on the Greek rock scene?
It is known that in times of despair man is usually forced to think. People that are into all sorts of arts usually express themselves in such times. This so called “socioeconomic situation” though is just a symptom and we need to study this symptom in order to reach the true cause of man’s general degradation. Man lacks the knowledge that would explain his own existence. Why he is here, what he is to do here, where he came from and where he is going to. This “black spot” of no answers creates the initial confusion from where all the symptoms derive. To be honest, we do not think that the Greek rock scene has been affected by the crisis to the extent of it being unbearable to survive, but sure there might be some exceptions and of course things are pretty rough when it comes to obtaining some commodities. Artists are dealing with this socioeconomic situation, which is also “advertised” in the media, in order to create something that could be labeled as contemporary to the times we’re living in today. But the true identity of the times that we’re all living in today unfortunately remains unknown and unexplored.
Do you have plans for a tour, live sessions etc?
We’re currently collaborating with “3P Lab” for managing both promotion and live concerts. Tour plans are hard to organize because of our morning jobs (3 out of 4 owning a liquor store) but we’re open and on the lookout for some special opportunities that would eventually allow us at least a mini tour like the one we did with Barb Wire Dolls (Patra-Thessaloniki-Athens). Live sessions will take place for sure. We already had a full year by participating to “Defcon 7” at An club, “It’s electric” at Six d.o.g.s, the “Barb Wire Dolls mini tour” at Memphis rock bar, Death Disco and Eightball, New Long Fest Open Air at Nea Makri and many more. We would like to give ‘96/4’ another year of live concerts before eventually submitting to totally new material.
What comes afterwards? Are you already working on your next album?
We are slowly working on something new, it’s true. It will always follow closely the man’s effort to awake his perception but we’re still not sure what period of his life to present next. We’re thinking of going back, before his self-observation and revelation of his findings in ‘96/4’ but we’re still not sure about it. Each album of our project “The road of life is ahead” may touch a different audience as it expresses different times and periods in a man’s life. The loss of another life and his dealing with departure, the birth of his children and his dealing with greater responsibilities, his relationship with his better half and so on… We live, we experience, we question. You, us, everyone is into it. Life is coded knowledge open to anyone who seeks.
Anyhow, we would like to thank you again for this great opportunity to present our thoughts and we would like to congratulate you on your website and the effort you are making to discover and present anything worth noticing. It truly honors us.
Here at Last Day Deaf we sure hope to listen to more from you soon! Thank you for your time, we wish you all the best!
Photo credits: Andreas Panopoulos (When Time Freezes)