The Burning Beard: It's been a while, so let me
start by asking, how has the band been since we last heard from you?
Matthew Carrington: It has indeed been a
while. We’ve been doing fine, the line-up has changed (parted ways
with old drummer Dominic and I’ve gained 2 new live members, Scott
on guitar and Steve on drums). I’ve also relocated from Leeds to
North East Scotland.
TBB: How do you feel Beholden to Nothing and No
One has settled into the Sunwølf body of work by this point?
MC: I’m really proud of Beholden, it
was a huge step forward from the previous two albums in terms of
songwriting. I think the record had a ton more depth to it than its
predecessors also. It’s a record that I had wanted to write for a
long time and I was pleased with the response it received.
TBB: As Sunwølf always change up their
approach to music from album to album, tonally and instrumentally,
how would you compare the upcoming album to your previous releases?
MC: The new album (Eve) is essentially
a raw version of the band. It’s a lot more exposed than Beholden
and perhaps more simplified. I named the album after my daughter,
Eve, so it’s a very personal record to me. I made a conscious
effort to make this record a little more hopeful and brighter than
the style on Beholden. Besides, it’s impossible to write
that sort of bleak material when you’re happy. That’s not to say
we’ve dramatically changed our sound, we’ve just added a dose of
light optimism to the equation.
TBB: The cover art seems to combine elements
from the artwork from your previous albums, is that something of a
theme for Eve
MC: We try to keep a narrative with our
artwork. My friend Sean Doherty has done all our record sleeves and
has a pretty clear idea of where we’re at stylistically. We changed
it up a bit for the Beholden art but Sean has been working on
new artwork for the Beholden
2xLP reissue which is happening soon. The new artwork is more in
keeping with our other records.
TBB: What was the general mood and mind-set in
approaching the work for this new album?
MC: As mentioned earlier, I knew I wanted this
record to be more melodic and positive than Beholden. The
record is named after my daughter Eve and I wanted to stay away from
any negative connotation… instead creating hopeful, uplifting music
to represent our precious child’s first venture into the world.
TBB: Are there any particular tracks on Eve which
you found notably difficult to wrestle into the form you wanted from
MC: I definitely found it hard to get a handle
on some of the tracks on Eve, for sure. Most of my gripes were
concerned with the album’s production; I recorded all parts for the
record so I had to be more objective than I’d previously been with
other albums where I hadn’t produced. “Gilded
Heart” was the first song I recorded and mixed… but I just
couldn’t get a mix I was happy with, so I conceded that I needed
help. Which is when I asked long-time SW producer Ross Halden to mix
the album, to which he fortunately obliged. Listening back, Ross
really brought the record to life and I don’t think I would have
done the material justice without his input.
TBB: On the other side of it, are there any that
seemed to just come together with little trouble?
MC: To be honest, a lot of the material I
write comes together very easily. Although in fairness most of the
Sunwølf songs just revolve around one repetitive riff and layered up
guitars… not technical, but all the feels.
TBB: Eve is the first Sunwølf album to be
recorded in your special-built studio, correct? Could you tell
us a bit about how the new environment influenced the album, and some
details about the studio itself?
MC: Yes, I recorded the whole record in there.
The studio backs onto my garden and is pretty simple in construction.
We had an existing shell to work with, which was an old coal store I
believe. We replaced the roof and essentially did the ‘room in a
room’ method complete with floating floor. It’s well-insulated,
meaning I can make a racket without disturbing my neighbours.
The studio is perfect for what I need… an isolated,
quiet space with some monitors and a few guitars. A lot of the
material came along very quickly once the studio was installed… I
had a bunch of material ready to refine that I had been working on
periodically throughout the year.
TBB: How will Sunwølf be keeping itself busy
around the time of Eve's release?
MC: To be honest I will be keeping things very
low profile… my priority is my family right now but I look forward
to playing the handful of shows that we have booked in for the rest
TBB: Is there anything else you'd like to say to
our readers, or special thanks you'd like to give to anyone who
helped in the shaping of the new album?
MC: I’d like to give a special mention to my father-in-law, John. He put in a tremendous amount of work when we
built the studio last summer and continues to be very supportive of
TBB: Thanks very much for your time and the great
MC: Thanks for your time and interest guys!