ULTRA SUNN (BE) goes worldwide, delivers soon a new album and are very happy with their label: read the full interview here.

  Van Muylem    6 april 2024

A new album, a long and worldwide tour, a great label ... It goes fast and hard Gaelle and Sam (ULTRA SUNN). We could already listen to the new album and decided to go for an interview as it felt the right moment to do and we want to leep on giving them that extra little push in the back as they totally deserve it! Belgium is clearly just a starting base for them! Let's conquer the world from here!

A lot of things happened since our first interview together (April 2022), can you look back at what happened since then?

2022 and 2023 have been really busy and intense years in every ways. We had the chance to travel a lot and meet our audience everywhere. The band has evolved in the best way.

You signed with Artoffact, how did you manage that?

We met Artoffact during our first concert in Den Haag for the Grauzone festival. We weren't particularly looking for a label at that time. By talking together, we realized that Artoffact was the best partner to support our music and bring it to the next level. They do an amazing job and we have a real human connection.

Since shortly you are now a trio, how come? Tell us a bit more about the new guy in the band, please? Is it only for gigs or will it be permanent?

That’s right ! Alexis joined us on stage, he mainly plays synth and percussion. This allows Gaelle to better develop her keyboard playing. For the creative process, we continue to manage the studio part, composing, mixing, recording, the video production, designs etc. together (Gaelle and Sam).

Alexis is a long-time friend who has a real sense of aesthetic, he is very professional and he is a very sweet and funny person. Best decision!

Just like with the previous releases you manage again to tour all over the world, how is it going so far?

The whole experience is amazing, we have a lot of fun traveling everywhere. We really appreciate how lucky we are to follow our music wherever it takes us.

Any nice stories to tell about touring?

We remember our concert in Sao Paulo in Brazil, it was extremely hot. The room was full packed, the audience was completely with us and sang absolutely every lyrics. When we came back for the encore, Sam's mic line was still off and the audience sang Keep Your Eyes Peeled before the technician turn his mic on again so Sam can sing with them. It was truly a magical moment.

What was the nicest place you visited and performed at lately?

We loved playing in Calgary in Canada, we took time to visit the surrounding area, it was a great emotion. Our tour in South America really had an impact on us too, it feels like we came back a little different. We loved being in Lima in Peru and swimming in the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

After a few EP’s you finally release a new album, how was it to work on a first long player?

It was like the right timing to release our first LP. It made sense to release it with a good label that knows how to promote it. The way of working is a little different, we wanted everything to form a coherent whole. Musically it was a bit like we were making a movie with different scenes and characters. We restricted our synthesizers quite a bit, changed our machines and our way of recording. It was the first recording in our new studio. In fact everything was done over a month, after our return from South America. We came home full of new inspirations in mind.

Didn’t know you were inspired by the VU (Velvet Underground) and AM (Arctic Monkeys)? Tell us the story please?

The name of the album is US. Like these two albums, it’s a play on the anagram of ULTRA SUNN, then the meaning of this new word. These are two albums that we really like and whose production inspires us a lot. Obviously the lyrics are a little more about us, are a little more personal, more intimate. The bond that we have is stronger than ever and also it echoes with the way in which we are more closer with the crowd when we are live. We wanted this album to give a feeling of unity in a very individualistic world. It’s our album, it’s about us.

Just like with the previous EP’s the first album is also focussed on filling the dancefloor, it seems to be your trademark?

This Is Not About You is a special track which already announced our new approach to sound. We are of course delighted to see how much the audience likes it and dances with us when we play it live. It's an interesting track because nowadays we are in an era more freedom of speech. Oppressed people have more space to express themselves which is a very good thing. Unfortunately the fight is far from over and the reaction of the privileged world is often to be triggered by these new words and statements. Our song is addressed to them in a way. This is not about you, you can cry, we will always continue to fight for our rights and for a better world.

Does it bother you that people keep on referring to Depeche Mode as a main influence? On the new one we could also hear some Underworld influences (Shake your demons), it felt like a fresh thing and great to hear, any other feedback about it?

It’s a reference that doesn’t happen that often, maybe it’s more of a generational thing? Depeche Mode is not really a band that we listened or which is one of our musical influences. We are 90' kids and we first grew up with the music of our parents (which was more 70') and then with our teenage music which was very rock. In Belgium we naturally grew up with EBM and New Beat which are two musical genres originating from our country and which make us very proud. Our influences therefore mainly go there and also include small touches of Beyonce, Faithless, Prodigy, Iggy Pop, Lana Del Rey and many other things. Shake Your Demons is openly inspired by Underworld, and the UK Garage and Jungle scene. We are very happy with the ending twist that this song brings.

The lyrics become more and more personal, does it help writing like this?

Let’s say that it’s easier for us to talk about things that directly affect us. We see that the audience is very receptive and finds deep meaning in what we say.

What is Fall From Grace about?

Fall From Grace is a song about a person who continues to party but no longer finds any meaning in it. The protagonist is as if trapped in what he/she is doing and ends up drowning his/her questions in the party that continues.

Sam, a while ago your body collapsed, was it from doing too much and too fast or was it just some nasty bug that got you? You scared us for a while btw.

It happened when we were in London. It was the consequence of the COVID that I had at the very beginning, when we did not yet know a lot about this disease. It had attacked my lungs quite badly and left me with after-effects. I took things very seriously and was followed by pulmonologists and doctors. I had to adopt a more sporty lifestyle, I do a lot of cardio training, which is a good thing to adopt in the end. Today I feel in good shape and the tours are going very well.


Would you ever allow yourself to sing a duet? Do you think about some names?

We never really thought about that. Although no name comes to mind, We are not closed to the idea. There should be a meaning to what we do on a track.

If you would ever cover a track, which one would it be and from whom?

Maybe something from Lana Del Rey, I think her voice and her lyrics are magnificent.

In 2025 Front 242 will give its last gig ever. How much did they influence you and did you ever perform on the same stage as them? Would you love to open for them before they call it a day? Did this news make you sad or is it more like you accept that at some point a band has to call it a day?

Front 242 was a great encounter for us, we played together several times and from the first time they immediately came to us, just happy to see other Belgian fellows who share this same energy. Obviously their sound is a major influence for us, it is also important to know how to differentiate ourselves from it and offer something else. Patrick and Richard have helped us greatly and our way of creating our first album was really enriched by their advice. We're going to play together a few more times this year, like in Las Vegas and in Malta, and we’ll also play with them again later this year.

This is not a news that makes us particularly sad as it is their decision and they want to leave Front 242 at its top level, we find that quite admirable to be honest.

Any new remix plans? Favourite bands who can remix one of the new tracks?

Nothing to announce at the moment.

What can we expect from you in the upcoming months?

We're mostly going to be touring this year. We are doing two big tours in the United States, and we are playing all over Europe. In Belgium, we will play on June 1st at Botanique for the release party of our first LP!

Any last words for the fans?

Thank you all for the amazing support and see you everywhere in 2024!