Observations of the disenchanted

Speaking Suns play Peach’s

By Justin Kreitzer

Photo: Speaking Suns will perform on Oct. 10 at Peach’s in Yellow Springs

Born in Athens and based in Yellow Springs, Speaking Suns will be playing a hometown show at Peach’s Bar and Grill on October 10.

The emerging band—vocalist and guitarist Jake Diebold, keyboardist Sam Salazar, bassist Graham King, drummer David Byrne and guitarist Jay Teilhet—boasts an experimental indie rock sound that recalls Wilco, incorporating elements of folk, pop, R&B and soul. Their promising debut album, Vanishing Country was released last fall on former member Conor Stratton’s Great Guys Records. Stratton has since moved on but the rest of the band regrouped and were recently signed to the Columbus-based imprint Anyway Records.

The Dayton City Paper spoke to Jacob Diebold from the band about their formation, future, influences and more.

Your website touts that you are based in Athens, Ohio but what are your ties to the Gem City?

Jacob Diebold: Actually, we are based out of Yellow Springs. A couple of us lived in Athens for a brief time last year, but we are back in Yellow Springs—where most of us grew up. The past few years, we were working with Great Guys Records in Athens, but we recently signed with Anyway Records in Columbus. We have always loved Yellow Springs, and we are grateful to live so close to Dayton because of the incredible amount of support there is regarding music and art at the moment.

Speaking Suns has a very broad-scoping sound. I especially like the shambling and psychedelic Rolling Stones-like blues rock of the song, “The Disenchanted.”  Who are some of your main influences and some of your not so obvious influences?

JD: Haha, yes we definitely enjoy the Rolling Stones. As far as our influences go, I think we all have significantly different tastes in music that span many genres. It’s pretty fascinating to see how each member brings a unique style to the table when we play, which probably leads to the band’s broad-scoping sound.

Your impressive debut album, Vanishing Country was released a year ago in September 2014. With the recent lineup reshuffling, have you been working on any new songs?  Where are you in the creative process for a new album?

JD: Yes, our album Vanishing Country was released about a year ago, and we will actually be re-releasing the album through Anyway Records within the next couple months. With the re-release of the album, we are hoping to add a couple of songs that didn’t make the first issue of the record. In the past, there have been quite a few lineup changes with the band, but it seems as though we are beginning to solidify a core group of people through the years. David Byrne, Sam Salazar and myself have been playing consistently for about three or four years. Graham King and Jay Teilhet, who have played in the band in previous lineups, have actually rejoined, and we are all really excited about them being part of the project again.  There are a lot of new songs—as a band we are constantly writing when we get together. We plan on writing and recording a double album by early next year. A lot of the songs have been part of our live sets, but we just haven’t had the time to record them.

What is your favorite song to play live and why?

JD: That is definitely hard to say. I think each song works hard at presenting a different side or musician to our music, so it’s hard to compare the songs like that. “Hollow” is a really old song of ours, and it’s upbeat and fun. I think we all get a chance to get a little crazy with that song specifically.

Will you be playing any of the new songs at Peach’s?

JD: Yes, we will be performing a couple of brand new songs that we have only played a handful of times. These songs are definitely becoming intricate parts of our current set.

What can newcomers expect from a Speaking Suns show?

JD: It’s hard to describe a Speaking Suns show from the viewpoint of being on stage, but something that stands out is the incredible amount of support we have—especially in Yellow Springs. At times it can seem completely unreal, but the friends and family that come to our shows help make our sets really fun. We love putting on upbeat, energetic shows, and our fans reciprocate that feeling by putting on a show themselves.

What does the future hold for Speaking Suns?

JD: Lots of music. We really want to create and have fun with the band, because Speaking Suns strives really hard to be about the music. In the past, we’ve had to juggle a lot of random tasks that made it hard to focus on the music, but I think we are at a turning point as a band. With that in mind, keep on the lookout for more info about our new album and plenty of shows early next year.

Speaking Suns will play on Saturday, Oct. 10 at Peach’s Grill, 104 Xenia Ave. Yellow Springs. Doors at 10 p.m. with no cover, ages 18 and up.  For more information, please visit speakingsuns.net.

Reach DCP freelance writer Justin Kreitzer at JustinKreitzer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Justin Kreitzer at JustinKreitzer@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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