Sugardown is Jason Zucker on acoustic guitar and vocals, Julian Cassia on electric guitar and vocals, Travis Stewart on bass guitar and vocals, and Tim Rachbach on drums. Their new EP, “Our City Our Scene,” is a collection of 5 songs that were written by Jason and produced by Julian. This is the band’s third album that they’ve made together.
- How long have you been together, and how did the band form?
SUGARDOWN: Sugardown formed when songwriter Jason Zucker and producer Julia Cassia teamed up to record an EP, “Pieces of Yesterday,” in 2012. We had worked together for the first time back in 2007 as The Exclamation Brothers. We also worked together on several of Jason’s film projects, with Julian composing. We recently released our second Sugardown EP, “Our City Our Scene,” and we’ve put together an incredible band to play the songs live.
- Could you confirm band member names and instruments played?
SUGARDOWN: The band is made up of Jason Zucker on acoustic guitar and vocals, Julian Cassia on lead guitar and vocals, Travis Stewart on bass guitar and vocals, and Tim Rachbach on drums.
- Which one of you came up with the name SUGARDOWN, and is the name trademarked?
SUGARDOWN: Jason, whose last name means “sugar” in German, came up with the name. He liked the sound of it. It is not trademarked.
- How do you describe your music to people?
SUGARDOWN: We are an indie rock band…
- What are SUGARDOWN’s immediate and long term goals?
SUGARDOWN: We love making albums and playing shows. As long as we can continue doing those things, we will feel like we are achieving what we set out to do.
- Which do you ultimately prefer? Entertaining a live audience or creating songs in a studio environment?
SUGARDOWN: We love connecting with fans more than anything. While we love being in the studio, the ultimate payoff is playing in front of people who love our music.
- Tell us something about the lyrics and music on your releases. Who handles what in the band?
SUGARDOWN: Jason writes the songs in the band. Julian brings them to life in the studio. We want to inspire people with our lyrics and so we talk about love, having fun, relationships, and feeling positive about life. “Our City Our Scene” is about being connected to a music community and falling in love with a band.
- What type of recording process do you use? Who produces your recordings?
SUGARDOWN: Julian is a composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist, and is the one who works his magic in the studio. He records Jason’s acoustic guitar and vocals, and then writes and records the rest of the parts on his own.
- If you were forced to choose only one song from your catalog, to perfectly present the SUGARDOWN sound, style and performance quality, what would that song be?
SUGARDOWN: The title track of of our new EP, “Our City Our Scene.”
- How would you define the word “success”?
SUGARDOWN: Success is being able to put out albums and play shows without losing any money. Really successful would be making money!
- Which aspect of being an independent artist and the music making process excites you most and which aspect discourages you most?
SUGARDOWN: We like being in control of our careers and making our own decisions. We don’t have to answer to anybody but ourselves. However, we don’t have access to the resources that a label could give us.
- How do you market and manage your music career? Do you have a management team to assist you or do you control everything by yourselves?
SUGARDOWN: We market our music by playing shows and connecting with fans over social media. Currently, we don’t have a management team.
- The best piece of advice in this business you actually followed so far, and one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
SUGARDOWN: The best piece of advice that we’ve gotten is that things don’t happen overnight. It is important to be patient and just focus on what you actually have control over. As long as we keep putting out new music and playing shows, something good is bound to come of it.
- What is the title of your latest release and where can find it?
SUGARDOWN: “Our City Our Scene” is on Spotify, iTunes and Bandcamp.
- What are your thoughts on visual media and have you published any videos?
SUGARDOWN: Visual media is a huge part of getting our music out there. We recently recorded a video for the Tiny Desk Contest and have been working to get that video out there. Jason and Travis are both filmmakers in their own right, so visual media is a huge part of what we do and what we think about.
- Do you consider Internet and all social media websites, as fundamental to indie music in general today, and what is SUGARDOWN’s relationship with all the new technology at hand?
SUGARDOWN: Yes, social media is a huge part of what we do. We use it to connect to fans and meet new ones. We love technology and try to use it to our advantage.
- What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free?
SUGARDOWN: It is hard to stay of streaming services like Spotify, because that is a great way for people to discover us. We hope that people who stream our music for free will support us in one way or another.
- As you work your way through your career, which more than any other fires-up your imagination – A Grammy award, Platinum music sales or any other tangible milestone?
SUGARDOWN: The idea of millions of people hearing our music is what fires us up the most. We want our music out there and listened to, nothing else matters really.
- What is the one compromise you would never ever accept, in your quest to achieve or consolidate a successful musical career?
SUGARDOWN: We would never give up creative control of our music. As long as we are making the music that we want, we will be happy.
- Anything you would like share, from new merchandise to upcoming shows/tours or songs/albums?
SUGARDOWN: Please check out our new album, “Our City Our Scene.” Thanks!