Golden Sun is a three-piece based in Cottonwood Heights. Weston (drums), Chase (vocals), and Jantzen Meier (guitar) are the minds and brothers behind the music. Their recent video for the song “Always Talking” is a slick example of how technology can empower just about anyone to make a great looking do-it-yourself video at home. SLUG caught up with the Meier brothers and their videographer, Ryan Jorgenson, to talk about the new video, their upcoming album, and how to get women to strip down to their underwear.
SLUG: How did you guys get together?
Weston: We’ve been playing music together for years and years—since we were little kids. We’ve been in numerous bands with numerous people and this is just the project we’re working on now.
SLUG: How did you think of your name? Are you named after the Gameboy game? A Chinese food restaurant?
Weston: No, no [laughs]. It’s partly from lyrics and partly from our uncle, Golden, who has been very supportive. We wanted to have his name in there somehow. There are also lyrics from a Balance Problems song that say, “Stretch your arms/Receive that golden sun,” and I always thought that was really cool, so that’s how we came up with the name.
SLUG: How long have you been around?
Jantzen: Golden Sun has been around about two years, that’s when we released our first EP. Recently we signed to a publishing company out of LA, and did a lot of touring and showcases. We used to be a four piece, but now we’re just a three piece.
Chase: We’re all on the same page now.
SLUG: Where have you gone on tour?
Weston: We did the West Coast a couple times, Texas, Midwest, Northwest. We haven’t done anything on the East Coast, but I’m sure we will.
SLUG: How do people receive you when you’re on tour outside of Salt Lake?
Weston: It’s typically good near Utah, but when you go out on your first tours, it’s always kind of hard to drum up a following, but it’s getting better for sure.
Jantzen: I feel like the vibe is different in every city. But it’s always good vWeston: It’s always positive feedback
SLUG: Is there a favorite place you’ve played?
Jantzen: I think my favorite is Dixie Tavern in Portland, Oregon. It’s this chill, classy bar.
Chase: Skinny’s Ballroom in Austin, Texas.
All: Nectar lounge in Seattle.
SLUG: How did you meet your videographer Ryan Jorgenson?
Weston: We grew up with him—we’ve been neighbors since we were kids and we’ve been good friends ever since then.
SLUG: How did you think of the idea for the video?
Ryan: It kind of just came out of nowhere, honestly. We were hanging out and Jantzen had this idea to shoot a video.
Jantzen: Yeah we had these lights, they’re like DJing lights that we got for our last tour, and we’ve played around with using them for a video, so we wanted to incorporate those and we also had those tapestries that we put behind—it was pretty much the only thing we could think of for a do-it-at-home video that wouldn’t be super cheesy. We listened to the song and it was just the first thing that came to mind. Then we had our friend come over and get in her underwear and rub on Chase.
Ryan: [Laughs] yeah, that was actually funny.
SLUG: So is that a real joint Chase smokes in the video?
Chase: Uh… yeah… uh… no… uh… no comment.
SLUG: Do you have any plans for more videos?
Weston: We’re thinking of doing a live video next rather than another music video.
Chase: We do all the recordings at my house, too, we’re always recording stuff—I’d love to do a video for the majority of our songs, I just have no idea how that’s going to work out. We’ve done a few live videos—we can do some more of those.
Weston: We’ll get more as time goes on.
SLUG: So technology has grown a lot in recent years and a lot more independent bands have the ability to produce videos that look very professional, what do you think of other videos you’ve seen on a local level and what do you think about this boom in technology and media?
Chase: I haven’t seen a lot of local videos except that one band—they’ve all got long hair…
Weston: Holy Water Buffalo—they’re really awesome.
Chase: I think as far as technology goes, we’ve used it to the max. I think it’s awesome that we can make records at my house and videos at my house. If we had to pay somebody, we wouldn’t have anything done.
SLUG: Obviously the boom in media and Internet usage prompts people to share, but where do you stand on piracy and things like that?
Jantzen: We’ve got all our stuff online at a choose-your-own price type thing, it’s more about getting people to listen and it doesn’t cost us anything to produce it. It might be a different story if we had to pay to work with someone to record it.
Weston: It’s more about getting people to our shows.
Chase: Where we’re at now, I’m just happy that people have it, whether or not they want to donate, but a lot of people actually do donate—they’re more down to donate than I thought they’d be.
SLUG: So “Always Talking” is your new single?
Weston: It’s more of an album teaser.
Jantzen: We’re working on an album, we’re not sure if we’re going to do an EP or a full-length just yet. The point of that was to get something new out with the current lineup. Right now I guess we’re calling it our single, but we expect an EP or something to be released in a few months. We’re looking for a producer to work with right now.
SLUG: Are there any specific producers you’re thinking about?
Jantzen: Our manager is in contact with the drummer from Atoms for Peace [Joey Waronker], who produced the new Moth and the Flame album—hopefully something will come from that.
SLUG: Do you have any upcoming shows?
Jantzen: Yeah, we’re actually playing at North Valley’s upcoming CD release party on January 10 at Kilby Court.
SLUG: do you have anything else to share?
Jantzen: It’s just a bright future for us—we’re gonna be touring a lot and hitting the grind hard.