Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with California’s Suns of Cali. Together we discussed their origin, their sound, how a high jive differs from a high five, and so much more! Check it out below!
1. Hello! Mustard is thankful to have Suns of Cali join them. How is everyone?
Hey Mustard ! Howie here ! Suns are good ! Glad to be on the Mustard show ! Should’ve brought hotdogs !
2. What is the Suns of Cali origin story?
Well from what we remember of late 2016 and our mid 20’s .. it was a time of exploration and adventure , as 3 young musicians embarked on a quest to the nearest open mic night . Our drummer Ryan , was hosting occasional community open mics at the time , at what was once Yogurt Haven in Eagle Rock , and that’s where we all connected for the first time musically. I had known Allen prior to that through a mutual friend but never knew he was interested in music until then. Fast forward to a couple months later we played our first show at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery “Dia de los muertos” festival which was our biggest audience turnout to date , but funny enough our worst performance as we were all still fresh , and didn’t have much experience playing in front of a crowd . Here we are almost 6 years later still rocking !
3. Mustard loves the double-meaning of your name. How did you come up with it?
I think we were all just spitballing in the car on our way back from a jam and I think Allen was the one who came up with Suns of Cali spontaneously . Not sure if it was already an idea he had marinating or if it was spur of the moment but we all took a “shine” to it …get it ?
And in many ways the name resonates with our music and overall vibes. It’s feel good music that you could mellow out to at the beach during the sunset . Peace , love and everything under the sun
4. As Suns of Cali you blend Hawaiian and Latin elements into your music. How has pulling from your roots helped you discover and craft your sound?
We are culturally aware people and use this in creating our unique blend of music. We have roots in Hawaii but also in the LA Chicano and central American communities. That translates beautifully with the music . We love Hawaiian reggae but also Latin soul and Chicano oldies. The rest of our sound is heavily influenced by rock of the 90’s ie : Sugar Ray , RHCP , Sublime , Incubus , etc.. We don’t just want to be one thing or the other . As diverse as we are like the city that we were born in , we are all mutts in one way or another.
5. What is the Suns of Cali creative process?
You’ve heard the term creative juices ? Did you know they were referring to alcohol ? Beer specifically . Many Kona’s and riffing later we suddenly stumble across something that sounds almost like a song and we work off of that . It’s not a perfect science ,
but it works for us .. (not endorsed by Kona) (but open to the possibilities! )
6. Suns of Cali perform original live music. What does a typical Suns of Cali show look like?
We like to start off pretty mellow or do something with a lot of feel changes like our song “Cali Blush” to either chill the crowd or pleasantly confuse them . Then we go a full 180 and hit them with something hot like “Amigo” or “High Jive” to get the energy high ! It’s a roller-coaster of emotions to say the least or I’d like to think so .. I just work here..
7. In 2020 you released your self-titled EP. With the pandemic taking us all by surprise, what was it like to release an album during then?
Yea the pandemic hit us by storm . In some ways it was nice to just focus solely on the release and not worry so much about gigging , but that also limited the amount of exposure we would have received had we done an EP release party . If I remember correctly, we had arranged an event at Brewyard Beer Co in Glendale sometime in April 2020 to hype up the drop , but before that could happen Covid sneakily derailed our plans in March. Sad times… but to make up for that we had many live streams and radio interviews in the absence of shows , so it ultimately worked out in our favor.
8. Mustard has observed a human high five. But has not observed a high jive. How do these differ? How does one perform a high jive? What was the inspiration behind this single?
I love everything about this question ! First off, context ! I used to be a radio broadcast major in college where I studied at Brown College in the state of Minnesota . To stand out from the rest of the herd , I had to bring that Cali flavor to all my commercials and segments and I compiled a list of “one-liners” I used for my shows to spice it up a bit. Lines like “Loosy goose hanging loose” and “smooth like a big stick of butter” were adopted from my experience as an aspiring disc jockey, the latter phrase being an homage to a good friend of mine “Romie Rome” . The result was “High Jive” which is essentially just a compilation of those zingers put to song
Now to answer the second half of that question. I’d like to imagine a surf inspired primal dance kind of like in those old beach blanket movies as being the go to dance for High Jive . Complete with guttural ululating and tribal face paint. You know ? High fiving is optional but definitely recommended.
9. What’s next for Suns of Cali?
Depending on the date of this publication, we have an EP dropping real soon with 6 new Suns of Cali tunes available to stream on all music platforms ! “Cosmic Elixir” drops on August 26th . Visit our website or follow us on our socials to learn more !
As for the rest of the year, we’re probably going to close out the summer with a few more shows then bask in the hopeful success of our EP release followed by a winter full of songwriting new music and preparing for 2023. Who knows that the future holds ,but so long as another pandemic doesn’t hit out of nowhere you can count on us to bring the music !
10. Where can readers listen to your music?
We’re essentially on every platform but our main ones are Spotify and ITunes . Listeners can hear our stuff by typing Suns of Cali in the search engine. We’ve also got a few things up on our Youtube channel .