Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Jul 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The Changing Landscape

music_SleepySunSleepy Sun talks touring Europe, and staying true to your roots
A cross-country road trip is the closest I’ll ever get to understanding the grueling life of touring in a band like Sleepy Sun. As it happens, I’m riding shotgun in a car headed westward and marveling at the flat landscape near the Nebraska border.

“I like the U.S. because the landscape changes so much,” says Bret Constantino, singer of the Santa Cruz-born psychedelic five-piece, coming to Don Quixote’s on Wednesday. “You have the desert, you have the mountains, you have the South and humid swamps, big cities—seeing the U.S. feels more like an intense, epic journey.”

Sleepy Sun’s most recent album, one-year-old Fever, is currently blasting on my car’s stereo, making it much easier to get into the van-rock frame of mind. Constantino has plenty of experience staring at the window scenery of America and overseas, since the band has completed a punishing five tours through Europe (their label, ATP Recordings, is based in London) in the past two years.

While their popularity is bolstering abroad as a consequence, many locals can easily relate to these guys—all five current members (Rachel Fannan left the band last October amid some controversy) graduated from UC Santa Cruz and represent an interesting cross section of majors, ranging from electrical engineering to psychology.

Constantino graduated with a business major, from which he gleaned some skills that help when self-managing the band’s tour in the U.S. It’s also the kind of background that allows him to speak about the economics of music with such a specialized, firsthand knowledge.

“A lot of people cringe at the idea that you think of a band as a business, and you can’t do that in the creative realm,” says the frontman. “But when you have a record that you need to sell, you need to figure out how to make some money, and how to keep this going if you want to play music for a living.”

And it’s precisely making a living that’s sent the Black Sabbath-meets-post-rock-band over to Europe enough times to rack up some serious frequent flier miles. Still, in the post-Napster generation, it’s exceptionally impressive to be selling enough music to not have a day job (or an off-tour job)—so what advice does Constantino have for all the UC Santa Cruz-born bands trying to make it work long-term?

“Buy a van and get out of there,” says Constantino, who at this point sounds like he could be addressing any recent graduate or Santa Cruz townie. “That’s the biggest wall that people run into in Santa Cruz,” he says. “I love Santa Cruz. It did a lot for me and my perspective on music, and art, and creation. But it can become a little bit constrictive because it’s such a bubble of a city.”

So, whether you’re in a band, or just someone who has big ambitions, you might consider taking this band’s advice to go see America. You may end up coming back to our cozy beach town, but at least you’ll get a refreshing look out the window.


Sleepy Sun plays at 9 p.m., Wednesday, July 27, at Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. Tickets are $10/adv., $12/door. Call 603-2294.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Boards Are Back in Town

More than a century after a famed trio of Hawaiian princes first surfed in Santa Cruz, their redwood olo surfboards are returning to the Museum of Art & History

 

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Saturday, July 4, is the 239th birthday of the United States, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. astrology chart has Aquarius moon—freedom for its people, by its people). Cancer, a liberating and initiating sign, is the “gate” where Spirit enters matter. Cancer receives and distributes Ray 3 (Divine Intelligence) and Ray 7 (new rules, new rhythms, new free nation under God). Cancer represents an intelligent freethinking humanity that can and must create right economics for the world. This means a policy of sharing, an opportunity for the U.S. when Venus (money, resources, possessions, etc.) retrogrades July and August in Leo (the heart of the matter). The United States has a unique spiritual task for the world: to lead humanity within and toward the light, accomplished by its people who must first awaken to this task, learn discrimination and be directed by the soul to assume the Herculean task of spiritual world leadership. Let us review the first words of our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Let us form that union together. The following is a review of the spiritual tasks for each sign. Read all the signs. They all apply to everyone.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Designing Woman

Female gardener helps build Versailles in fun, if uneven, ‘A Little Chaos’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Lunch is Packed

Picnic basket lunches from Your Place, plus smoked chili peppers, and new owners at Camellia Tea House

 

What would you like the Supreme Court to rule on next?

Raising the minimum wage so that those that are in poverty now can have a higher standard of life. Greanna Smith, Soquel, Nanny

 

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. Starting out a few years ago making only Chardonnay, they eventually planted Pinot Noir on their extensive property and now make this varietal as well.

 

Ty’s Eatery

Pop-up hooks up with Santa Cruz Food Lounge for healthy comfort food