Pet Sun, “The Dawn”

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Pet Sun

Ontario’s Pet Sun have listed their genre on Facebook as “stoner garage,” but listening to any of their releases since 2013’s debut EP Serpent Buzz makes apparent just what an understatement that is. They possess a total control and clarity that sets them apart—so it’s apt that the alternate description on their page is “death garage.”

Having garnered an international following through extensive touring (evidently their sets get pretty unruly), the four-piece is now set to release their first full-length. “The Dawn” opens the record with a jolt that doesn’t let up. It’s certainly sludgier and a bit murkier than some of their older tracks, but it never loses traction. Nor is it derivative—Pet Sun plays with psych and garage rock tropes with a knockout energy that keeps things fresh and weird. Singer Stephane Senecal-Tremblay’s voice drips with sardonic feeling as he sings lines like the figuratively laden “Grey matter, turn it into wine,” and when he wails to the complement of the rapid-fire percussion you can practically hear the snarl on his face.

Pet Sun is due out March 11 via Toronto’s The Hand Recordings. You can stream “The Dawn” below, and read on for a chat with Stephane.

Introduce yourselves!

I’m Stephane and I sing and play guitar in Pet Sun. The rest of the band are at work right now but Parth plays drums, Nic plays bass, and Sam also plays guitar.

You’ve built a name for yourselves prior to now, with a nice backlog of EPs. What’s different about your debut? To me it feels heavier in parts than previous releases.

It’s mostly just slower I think… a bit heavier and darker subject matter than what we’ve previously put out. Going into a full-length was pretty exciting for all of us so we thought long and hard about how we’d go about it, what tracks would be put on it and all that. We have some pop tracks that didn’t make the cut because we think they would’ve spoiled the vibe of the album. We kept “Web of Man” on the album though. It’s our wannabe late 1960s break out single!

Who or what are your major influences? “Sabbath” is a tag on Soundcloud, are you big fans?

Can I cite my living room late at night as an influence? Cause it definitely helps me write a lot. Musically the initial influences were bands like Nirvana and the Vines, Frank Black, Led Zeppelin, music from skate videos, stuff like that. A lot of other bands have come and gone as influences but I feel those ones are still some of our faves. We are big fans of Black Sabbath yeah. We saw them in concert last week. It was pretty nuts but I haven’t been able to listen to them since. Mostly in fear of getting flashbacks from the afterparty … drank too many pops.

That album cover is so disarming. What’s the idea behind it?

The original piece (by Francesco Tortorella) was called “Know Your Enemy” which pretty much sums up why we identified with it so much. We loved the artwork but also found it fit well with a lot of the themes on the album. Mostly bitterness, disillusionment with your choices and disenchantment within relationships … feelings only made worse by realizing that we probably do more damage to ourselves than others do. Be good to yourself and your loved ones, the rest comes easy baby! 😉

Pet Sun tour dates:

6 Cincinnati, OH @ Northside Yacht Club
7 Nashville, TN @ Drkmttr
8 Athens, GA @ GoBar
9 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
10 Birmingham, AL @ The Syndicate Lounge
11 Tallahassee, FL @ Shark Tank
12 Pensacola, FL @ Sluggo’s
13 New Orleans, LA @ Saturn Bar
14 Houston, TX @ Satellite

2 Hamilton, ON @ Doors Pub
7 Montreal, QC @ TBD
8 Oakville, ON @ Nino Panino
9 Buffalo, NY @ The Studio at Waiting Room
15 Toronto, ON @ Silver Dollar
29 Philadelphia, PA @ The Aquarium
30 New York, NY @ Pianos