I had the opportunity to chat with Kris Bentley of Kentucky based Sundy Best. Now I am going to assume seeing we have a pretty heavy Canadian readership that not everyone will have heard of Sundy Best.
I know when I was first introduced to the music of Kris and Nick (the 2 fellas that make up Sundy Best) it was there recently released “Bring Up the Sun” (March 2014) album that had me hooked from track 1. I just love the soulful sound of 2 guys keeping it simple. This is far from over produced, this is the way music was meant to heard and those of you in Eastern Canada are about to get that chance. The boys are packing the van and heading to the Great White North to tour with Dallas Smith on the Tippin Point Tour. We wanted to give you a jump-start before they hit the border! Here is our conversation with Kris.
Sound Check: Thanks for taking the time out of your rehearsal to chat with Sound Check before you head up to the Canada.
Kris: No, Thank you for taking the time to chat this is great.
Sound Check: So lets start off with the new album Salvation City. It was released Dec 2, 2014 and tell us how the first month has been since the release?
Kris: Its been great man, this was one instance we didn’t really know what to expect having put a record out in March of last year so it was our second release of 2014. We are really proud and love the way the record turned out and we really just wanted to put it out there. In doing that our expectations we thought it would take a little bit to catch on. Given the time we are putting it out in December and so close to Christmas. The music industry kinda takes a little bit of a break in December. But its been great man, we have been really overwhelmed with the response and now that we are in the new calender year and people are getting back into their grooves at work or school or whatever they do. It’s actually starting to spread more now than when it first came out. It’s really cool, because we are starting to see more people online send us messages or comment on songs. Its going to be a great year!
Sound Check: So the name Salvation City where did that come about?
Kris: Kinda of an idea we developed, we have constantly been playing, touring and writing for the past 3 or 4 years. Like anything else you can get down and out no matter what your job is or your profession or if you love it or you don’t. Sometimes you just have days where ya feel things just aren’t on your side and really the only time we felt we could get away from all the stress and worries that are so prevalent in today’s society was playing music. We were open to the fact that’s kind of our Salvation City and where we go when we need an escape. So it kinda fit and all the songs together, and we feel it’s an album that you can press play and let it run through and hopefully its a bit of an escape or distraction for people in their everyday life.
Sound Check: I am a fan of the album and found that it’s a little different I think than the previous 2 just with the electric side of things.
Kris: I think the drums were the biggest difference we have used electric instrumentation. But I played the drums a little on our very first project. I had always played the drums but the cajon is kinda where I’ve been. This time we just wanted to experiment with some more stuff and when we put the drums on it just really opened it up and got a different bigger sound that still felt like us. And not at any point in the recording process did we ever feel that it was too different from who we are so we went with it and felt good.
Sound Check: So this I assume with you both being Kentucky boys, this will be your first trip into Canada?
Kris: It actually is and we are pumped.
Sound Check: Ok so your opening for Dallas Smith on his Eastern leg of the Tippin Point Tour. Maybe tell us how this got put together?
Kris: Like I said, last year was so busy for us, and we got some emails and then our manager got in touch with us to let us know we had an opportunity to play some shows in Canada opening up for Dallas. We had come to find out that he had just come across our first album of 2014 Bring Up the Sun and he was digging it. Hhis team ended up contacting ours to see what our schedule looked like and everything matched up. We are really humbled and honoured to be given the invitation to open up those shows for him. We actually got to meet him back in October in Nashville and they were all good dudes. So, it couldn’t be a better opportunity for us and its very exciting.
Sound Check: So what can we expect to hear from Sundy Best on the tour is it a full Drum Kit / Electric Guitar set or is it Cajon & Acoustic show.
Kris: For this, it’s an opening set so it will be 30 or 40 minute set. Since we have never been up there we want to be able to pack as much into our set and give people a really good sense of who we are. So, right now we will likely stick with our bread and butter and what we have always done and what got us here. And that’s the guitar and cajon and it will just be us two. But it’s who we are and its going to be a treat for us. Nothing is more exciting than playing and doing what we do in front of a crowd that has never seen or heard of us before. You can just see in the faces of the audience the interest or the thought process going on of them thinking “What are they doin’ “. It’s different but it works!
Sound Check: I have been going to concerts since I was 10 (Thanks to my sister) and I remember as a kid the opening act was something more a filler and if you made it you made it. But today in Country music or maybe I should say that country element of music that fans are showing up for the entire show. Do you feel the same way down in the States?
Kris: I think people do their research more now. They have the internet at their finger tips they can really figure out if it’s worth gettin’ there a little bit earlier to see who is going to be up on stage before. People down here still want an escape and distraction to get away from the everyday routine. The more bands the better is usually a good thing. And we are really excited about the chance to get up there before Dallas and hopefully we can keep their attention for a little bit.
Sound Check: We ask this question regularly but Social Media has been growing and with 54,000+ Likes on Facebook and over 26,000 Followers on Twitter maybe tell us how you use it to communicate with fans and what it means to you guys?
Kris: Social Media has been by far one of our biggest driving forces behind the movement or what ever you want to call it. We haven’t had any real big radio success. Basically people have had to discover us, with social media its been a very valuable tool for us that we have used from the very first day we got together. Before Sundy Best had even begun Nick and I were both using Facebook and Twitter, our personal accounts to be inviting all our friends. 5000 max on Facebook individually to a show we were playing and to come out and see us. It’s Free, it’s easy and I sometimes don’t understand why some people just don’t use it. For us its a very valuable thing, its good to connect with people who listen to ya. We don’t really consider anybody fans of what we do. We are just thankful that they take the time out of their day to listen to what were saying. Social Media is a tool the people 10, 20 years ago were not able to use. We are just lucky to have it and to be an independent artist that can hopefully keep spreading the word.
Sound Check: In Canada we have broadcasting regulations that so much played has to be Canadian content. So it some what limits us to what “new” artists we get to hear from south of the Boarder. With the introduction of Satillite radio over the last 8-10 years it is allowing listeners to discover new music that may not have been don reach maybe tell us what XM has done for you guys?
Kris: Well we have actually had a couple of songs played on there and they are getting ready to start playing a new song this month off the new album so we are pretty excited about that. It has been a huge asset for us to have them want to play us, and they are breaking artists and allowing the artist to be heard.
Sound Check: It’s tough being a country music fan in Canada at times, if your limited to what’s on your local station and don’t stream music in or look on websites like Sound Check its tough to hear new music sometimes. I am a fan of Brandy Clark, Cadillac Three and yourself but those artists aren’t typically played on radio up here.
Kris: We try to be as much ourselves as we can, as long as you can consistently be that. And I speak for us not for anyone else. But we feel confident and strongly if we keep doing what we are doing and not lose sight of that it will continue to grow. We have a small group of people that are really passionate about what we are doing. That doesn’t mean that the rest of the world doesn’t like us, they just don’t know about us. It’s gets back to the social media thing and what you said. You have to maximize everything that you can control and be as self-contained as you can be. That way when it comes time for someone to help you, you can really benefit from it. Its been a heck of a year and we are having the time of our lives.
Sound Check: Kris, I really appreciate you taking the time out of rehearsals today to chat with us and we look forward to sitting down in Guelph for a drink or two.
Kris: That would be awesome, We are really excited and can’t wait to get up there.
All the social media information on Sundy Best is listed below. If your going to see Dallas Smith on the Tippin Point Tour be sure to get to the venue early. I am sure these guys will not disappoint.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76
Sundy Best Details:
Website – www.sundybest.net
Twitter – @SundyBest
Facebook – Facebook/SundyBest
Tippin Point Tour Details – DallasSmithMusic.com