Review Fix chats with Joe Ferdinand – Lead singer and guitarist in SUNKIN, who details the band’s origin, creative process and so much more.
Review Fix: How did the project start?
Joe Ferdinand: Hector and I met at the University of Westminster in London. We hit it off both musically and personally right from the get-go. We spent the next three years playing in a band called ‘Gutshot for Broadway’ together. I believe these three years were integral to our development. We tried, failed, learned, and eventually played sold-out shows at ‘The Borderline’, ‘The Bar Fly’, and more. We were also played on Radio X and became championed by Libertine, Gary Powell. After three years, I decided to leave London and ‘Gutshot for Broadway’. After spending some time in New York, I eventually ran out of money. I got a job as a porter in an auction house, then a health care assistant at an old people’s home. After a couple of years, and armed with some songs, I felt ready to head back to London to start a new band. The first thing Hector and I did was to busk our way around Europe, from London to Dubrovnik. Honing our craft and testing all our material to countless audiences in eleven different countries. We joined forces with Declan, who we’d known and loved for many years as a friend, and SUNKIN was born. We worked hard on our live set and in early 2020 we manage to play three shows, including ‘Omeara London’, before Covid-19 brought the world to an abrupt halt.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Ferdinand: I’m the predominant songwriter in SUNKIN. I will usually write the song stripped back on an acoustic guitar, then take it to the boys. We then start to decorate the canvas and make a tune out of it. With their musical wizardry, Hector and Declan help structure and arrange the songs. I would describe my lyrics as melancholic stories with flickers of hope. But it’s the hope in them that I want the listener to take away. Most of my songs are about past relationships, my experience with mental health conditions, sometimes social or political issues but always with an emotionally provocative stance.
Review Fix: What’s your standout song? How was it written?
Ferdinand: We have just released our second single, ‘Short and Sweet’ which tells a heartfelt story of a past relationship. In keeping with the transatlantic theme of our first single ‘The Pond’, ‘Short and Sweet’ retrospectively describes the emotional trials and tribulations of attempting to hold the relationship together. Originally written as a love letter, it was reluctantly made into a song. Having found that it connected to our live audiences, the decision was made to release it as our second single. We’re always working on new material and can not wait to get back in the studio.
Review Fix: What are your goals for 2021?
Ferdinand: We can’t wait to reconnect with a live audience. Hopefully, later on in the year, this will be possible. And we aim to get as much music and content out as possible.
Review Fix: How do you want your music to affect people?
Ferdinand: I want to write songs that people can relate to on a human level. And if they can achieve a degree of solace through our music in the same way I did growing up. Then I’d be happy. So, I think relatability and hope.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Ferdinand: We’re spending some more time promoting the new single. Then we hope to be back in the studio recording the next. As well as get back out there to play live.