In advance of the release of their new single, ‘The Sun’ on Monday (April 6th), we caught up with Nathan McLaren and Luciano Narcisi of Bristol-born garage-psych rockers, Captain Süün, to see what they’re up to in involuntary hibernation, and to find out a little more about tracks that have helped shape their sound, which is as full of the sand of West Coast surf as it is of arid Wild West lawlessness.
Nathan – Lockdown, for me, is pretty boring. I’m up in the Scottish Highlands. I’ve been writing, doing some art, reading, going for long walks and staying in touch with friends around the world. I’m also spending far too much time staring at my phone, like everyone else probably is. It blows, because we should all be together at the moment practicing for our tour, but that’s been postponed. It’s hard to say what the rest of the plans for 2020 are with what’s going on. We are hoping to get out on the road again in the near future; we really miss playing shows. We have a whole bunch of new tracks that we will get down on the ol’ tape and out to the people when we can. I’ve just gotta keep on keepin’ on.
Buffalo Springfield – ‘Mr Soul’
I think the mid-to-late 60s were such an important time for music, and one of the stand-out American bands of the time were Buffalo Springfield. I’ve been into my Los Angeles/Laurel Canyon music for a while now, and possibly my all-time favourite group is Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Buffalo Springfield were one of the bands that formed CSNY with Stephen Stills and Neil Young being members. This song came out in ’67 and it’s got an unreal energy considering they were all such stoners. I think it’s some of Neil Young’s best song writing. It really gets me going.
Los Saicos – ‘Ana’
Los Saicos are from Peru and they’re really fucking cool. They pretty much invented punk, in my mind. They had this incredibly raw surf, garage-rock sound, even though garage-rock didn’t even exist back then. They were only around for two years. ‘Ana’ was when they found out one of them actually could sing pretty decently. It’s got a cool ’50s influence but still has the angst that could only be deemed as punk. Even now, there are few bands with a sound as unique as Los Saicos. It’s my birthday next month; if anyone wants to grab me their record, Demolicion, that’d be rockin’.
Luciano – With being stuck at home, I’ve been trying to occupy myself with lots of things. I think I have made about twenty demos for the band, which I keep sending to the others. I’ve just started to record some covers too, which I’ll probably release in a few weeks to give everyone some free amusement. Being stuck in a city kinda sucks and I’m missing my dog a lot, but we’ve all got to keep our heads up. The people who live above us play the same shitty drum and bass tune every single day. So I’m gonna annoy them by playing some sweet, sweet licks full blast.
Ennio Morricone – ‘Alle Luce del Giorno’
I first heard this track when my Nana was watching a 60s Italian drama called Metti Una Sera a Cena. I wasn’t really following the story much, but the song comes on during a kinda romantic scene where one of the men is asking his love affair whether he would leave her husband or something. I always thought the tune was a bit inappropriate for the scene; I don’t know – I’m no film expert. The song is catchy, and it made me listen to more of Morricone’s discography other than the spaghetti western stuff everyone knows. Also the sound is killer. I’ve been trying to write some songs similar to this as we’ve all got plenty of time on our hands.
The Walker Brothers – ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’
I’ve listened to Scott Walker for quite a while and I think this song kinda relates to our situation at the moment. There’s something about Walker’s voice that just sounds fucking great. Also the Walker Brothers made some great sounding pop records. I think the thing I love the most about any mid 60s records is how good the reverb sounds. I’d be happy listening to a record that just has vocals and drums sent through a plate reverb. That’s it! Pure heaven!
Flo & Eddie – ‘Keep It Warm’
We were in Los Angeles in late October last year. Our friend Julian, who plays in Levitation Room, picked us up and took us for a breakfast burrito followed by a drive around the hills, showing us Laurel Canyon and the County Store and all that. We were driving past these amazing views, kinda stoned, enjoying that warm California sun, and then this song comes on. Halfway through it, I remember Nathan turning around from the front seat and saying, “Damn, this song hits pretty hard, doesn’t it?”. You just gotta listen to it and you’ll see what he meant.
Follow Captain Süün on Facebook here.
Featured Image by Katie Willoughby