Sun Angle is a band from Portland Oregon, a city famously known for having more breweries than any other city on Earth. This is a good thing because Sun Angle are a true party band in its best form. Their live shows are a cyclone of sweat, sound, dance, tequila, pot smoke and ultimate freaking out. Sonically reverbed guitars, spastic hyper-fast drum beats and hypnotic trance like bass lines swirl together in a beautiful frenzy making you shake and smile.
Sun Angle is Charlie Salas Humara (guitars and vocals), Maruis Libman (bass), and Papi Fimbre s(drums). Their new album Diamond Junk is available on New Moss Records and was recorded in a cabin in the mountains near Mt Hood, Oregon. It is an amazing pop record. It is an amazing psychedelic record. It is an amazing party record. It is the record you should be listening to right now.
Spine Magazine sat down with Charlie Salas Humara over some margaritas at the famous Bunk Bar in Portland Oregon to discuss recording, record labels, and John Carpenter films.
You have been playing music with Maruis for a long time. How did Sun Angle start, and how did you get Papi?
– Maruis and I were in a band called Astrology, and it was more
of a post-punk band. That broke up because we didn’t like it as much, but we wanted to keep doing something. Sun Angle actually started with me and this other guy for fun, it was actually two drummers at first. We invited Papi to be in the band. So it was two drummers and me, and I said I may as well get Maruis and have
a bass player too. So we got Marius and once that happened and the whole band was settled, the other drummer Andy quit. That is when Sun Angle really started, started getting more psychotic sounding. It was more like a dance band before, and then Papi came in and gave it more of and edge and sped it up quite a bit. That’s how that worked.
He is hyper!
– Yeah, he is hyper. Tempos went up quite a bit.
I remember you saying you were touring with a band and you were supposed to go to Finland at some point?
– Oh yeah. That was with Panther (Charlie’s old project). What happened was Panther was a duo, and the booking agent was a drug addict and he messed up and just booked me the ticket to Finland. I was like “I just can’t go by myself. That doesn’t make any sense.” So I had to fucking cancel. It was Finland and it was also Denmark. I had to cancel both shows and I was super bummed out.
Have you toured Europe before?
– Yeah, Panther toured Europe before. We did twice in the UK, and then we did full mainland tour the next time.
When you did the Panther video for “You Don’t Want Your Nails Done”, who did the concept?
(see the video)
– It was all Whitey (McConnaughy). I think he designed the whole set and did everything and just sat there and meticulously cut cardboard out and stuff. I did nothing. I showed up and it was all done. And I felt like I wanted to complain because it took 12 hours to do the video, but they had worked on this video for a week and a half before hand. I can’t believe how much time they put into that thing.
Is it true that when you come out of the cardboard box at the end of the video, and you are standing on the street, that a woman really gave you a dollar?
– Yeah, a woman gave me money. A couple people gave me money.I just crawled out of the box and people just started giving me money. Which tells you a lot, that you could probably make some good money doing that.
More money doing that than being a musician?
– Oh fuck yeah! For sure. More money panhandling than being a musician, easily. (laughs)
When you made the Sun Angle record, you made it in a cabin in the woods up in Zig Zag Oregon, up by Mt. Hood. What was it like making an album in that setting? Was it beneficial? Did you get to freak out?
– It was pretty fun. We just basically got there and had all our songs, and then we decided just to get the songs out of the way. Then we would take dips in the hot tub and go swim in the weird creek, and then we would come back and record more songs. After we were done with the songs we had already written, we decided to take two days to improvise, and just jammed and drank a whole bunch and took drugs and stuff. It was pretty fun. Yeah, I mean, I think it’s better to have a plan. We didn’t necessarily have a plan, it was still fun.
Was it winter?
– No, it was warm. It was summer, I think it was a warm spell because we would jump in the hot tub and jump in the creek, like this cold ass creek and climb through the woods and just get weird. I think it’s the best thing ever. It’s like, why go into a studio if you can be in a cabin in the woods and relax and just have it be your buddies and not worry about a really sterile studio experience. I mean, sometimes you can go to a cool studio if you got the money, and if it’s like a really beautiful studio maybe you can relax. For a band like us it just makes more sense. I would rather have it sound a little bit more lo-fi and have the vibe be cooler than have it hi-fi and then have it sound rigid.
What is it like being a band in Portland right now?
– I think it’s good for us because we are so different from every- body. Ya know, everyone’s kind of doing indie rock, everyone is so genre-specific. So it’s nice for us because people are like “whoa, what are these guys doing? This is crazy.” Really we are not that crazy. We are taking from things that we love like SST, Pink Floyd, Cumbia music, whatever. I think Portland has been built on so much indie rock that people are really confused by us sometimes. I think we are sometimes refreshing to certain people because it’s not so indie rock. I think it’s been working for us slowly, which is good. But, there are a lot of good bands in Portland though.
Are you going to tour again soon? Didn’t you just go to California in the summer?
– Yeah. We did a California tour, it was horrible. The shows were awful. I think we just found a booking agent, so we are going to try and do another one. Maybe she will book us a US tour or some- thing. She books more like psychedelic stuff, so I think that might be a better fit. We’ll see.
How did you meet Marc and Jessica from New Moss Records?
– They just approached us out of the blue and said they were start- ing a record label and wanted to release it. And they were so into us that it was just hard not to really. You know what I mean? It was like, ok, maybe we can search and search and get out by some label that might be a little bigger, and who knows, maybe we might have been lost in the shuffle? Or we could have these young people who really care about shit and who would work really hard for us, and it would be more like a family and just go with them because of that. And it’s been really great, super beneficial for us because they’ve worked really hard. Ya know, we’re selling records old school style, like doing the work and playing the shows and doing the mail order. Super fans, there is no riff raff. The records we sell are to people who like it. The album was a small run, I think we pressed 350 records and 500 CD’s and 300 tapes. It was perfect. The label cares about us. They are always asking what’s going on and they come to every single one of our shown and sell records. It’s pretty perfect, they are such awesome people.
What is your favorite movie?
– Man, right now off the top of my head I would say They Live (laughs). It’s so good! Actually, I just saw that movie for the first time since I was a kid like maybe six months ago, didn’t under- stand it then, but that movie is mind blowing.
Maybe the best movie ending of all time?
– It’s so good, right? This last time I watched the movie that ending came and I just stared at this blank screen for like three minutes, like what? Really?
Go listen to Sun Angle at Facebook.com/sunangleband and a www.newmossrecords.com