When four fresh faced teenagers from the Gold Coast burst onto the local music scene with their EP Society Anxiety in 1999 the seeds for a musical revolution were officially sewn.
Although Australia had been introduced to the grunge-inspired heavy metal crossed with nu-metal, hard rock and some rap undertones, home grown bands had yet to fully embrace the concept.
Possibly because of their youth, Sunk Loto plunged head first into this new wave of eclectic genres and bastardised them enough to put an Australian slant on their music, in the process winning over the ears and hearts of a nation of disenfranchised youth who were longing for musical escape.
Their debut album Big Picture Lies in 2000 showed glimpses of the band’s potential, but was marred by behind the scenes mechanisms that threatened to hijack a promising career and sprinkle it with executive touches which struck at the very core of what it was Sunk Loto were striving to achieve.
Not that is was a bad album – far from it – but fans of the band knew they were capable of more.
That came in the form of 2003’s Between Birth And Death, an album still widely regarded as one of the best metal albums in Australian history.
It set the band on the path to world domination but after a variety of situations and set backs – many out of the band’s control – Sunk Loto called it a day in December 2007.
Ever since then there have been almost monthly rumblings about a possible reforming of the group, all of which turned out to be nothing more than the wishful whispers of a community at large.
Then, earlier this month on the 21st anniversary of Society Anxiety, each band member changed their Facebook profile picture to the Sunk Loto logo and the rumour mill went into overdrive.
A couple of days ago Sunk Loto officially announced they were getting back together, but with few details or future plans.
Desperate to get to the bottom of it, HEAVY tracked down frontman Jason Brown and sat down for a lengthy chat to reveal just what is happening in the Sunk Loto camp.
“Yes we are, we definitely are man,” he smiled. “Finally, after a lot of trial and error trying to get the thing going over the past ten to fifteen years with this original lineup. So yes, it’s the original four of us back together and we’re gonna start playing some gigs. We’re gonna start touring again. We’re really excited to be back in the rehearsal space playing songs and the songs are sounding better than they ever did. The band just sounds so powerful. I think just the first time we kicked in to the first song after such a long break we just all stopped and went WOW. That was not expected. We didn’t expect to be so bang on, so quick, so we’re back and we will be back on stage again to play to some fans who have missed out for so long.”
While the public has long been advocating a return for Sunk Loto, it wasn’t such an easy decision for the band members themselves.
“It was probably a good five or six years,” Brown admitted when asked how long the band have been kicking around the idea, “but I just put it to the back of my mind. It was a bit of a painful split – not going into it too much – but it was something that you love so much and meant so much to all of us and also a lot to everyone else… and it really cut deep. So I think my reaction to that was pretty much quit music for a while. I just didn’t want to look at a guitar or sing a line or do anything with music for a couple of years. I just needed to stop. It was just too raw. Every time I thought about playing guitar, I just went nah, this shits me. Then I started a band with my brother for a while and that sort of… just helped get me back into the thought of playing music and that was fun for a while. I probably stopped doing that because of family life and commitments and then I did my solo stuff and now we’re here. I was still doing my solo stuff up until six months ago and this has come back into the forefront.”
In the full interview, Jason talks more about the reasons for coming back, the early days of Sunk Loto, struggling to find their place in the world of music as teenagers, finding their feet again after so long away, what they are hoping to achieve this time around, the possibility of new music, touring plans and more.