Sometimes, with enough hard work, lofty ambitions can come true. It’s an idea that Hail The Sun took to heart when the band – vocalist and drummer Donovan Melero, guitarists Aric Garcia and Shane Gann and bassist John Stirrat – formed in Chico, California a few years ago.
They put out their debut album, POW! Right In the Kisser!, themselves in 2010, followed by the self-released EP Elephantitis in 2012, and things have been getting better and better ever since. Their second album, 2014’s Wake, was released on Blue Swan Records, the label started by Will Swan of Dance Gavin Dance, and the band just announced that their third full-length will be coming out on Equal Vision Records. It’s fair to say, then, that all their hard work is paying off.
“We all met in college in Northern California,” remembers Melero, “and we just toured on self-booked tours on all of our vacations – summer and winter – and once we all graduated we just started touring more and more. We self-released our first two releases, and the EP is what got us a bit of attention, and then got even more after Wake came out. Equal Vision had always been aware of us, but they really became interested in us during the Wake cycle, so we sent them some new demos and they sent us an offer right away. We’re definitely at the point where we wanted to be. We’ve been investing our own money into tours since 2010 and have just stayed as busy as possible and not let anything slip into the cracks. We’re very, very excited.”
That enthusiasm can be heard throughout the band’s songs. Musically, Hail The Sun play an intense, ambitious and experimental brand of post-hardcore that’s full of effusive, positive energy and which is as complex as it is visceral. While Meleo and Garcia had been previously played together in a punk and then a death metal band, for Hail To The Sun, they take their influences more from the likes of The Mars Volta and The Dear Hunter, but with their own dose of quirky weirdness thrown in for good measure. It’s a sound that’s unique and exhilarating, and one which they’ve been working towards since way before the band was even formed.
“Myself and Aric have been friends since elementary school,” says Melero, “and we would jam our own stuff from 2006 to 2009, when we went to college. That’s where we met Shane and John, and everything just fell together. They were the perfect pieces for the puzzle. It’s all been a very natural and unforced progression – we just let the music guide itself.”
While things for the band have been going steadily uphill for a while now, that’s not to say the band haven’t felt the strain of that incline, and of all the hard work and energy they’ve put into that journey. Of course, it goes without saying that it’s all absolutely worth it.
“We’d love to have this be our career and be what we do,” says Melero. “That is success in all of our heads – needing to hit the road to live and continue making connections to people who relate to the music and the lyrics. There are times when it’s disheartening because you get worn down and you might play a few shows that aren’t your best and there’s always those times when you’ve been up for way too long and you’re thinking ‘Man, what the fuck am I doing here in the middle of Kansas at a truck stop at 4am?’, but it’s all for the bigger picture.”
For more information on Hail The Sun, visit their Facebook page.