As the frontman of Sunfish, Carter Sears describes his ever-evolving musical endeavor as his “baby.” He laments about the growing pains the indie rock band endured in its infancy as he incorporated ’90s garage rock, metal and pop influences, his creative direction maturing as the years progressed. This progression has given the band the ability to reach a wide range of audiences, and Sunfish has served as an “introduction to rock” for many young listeners of adjacent genres. Along with Sears, Courtney Lane floats on the keys, Bentley Vanderwel shreds the electric guitar, Isaac Streeter plucks at the bass and drummer Mikkel Erickson creates the resounding rhythms.
Sunfish has opened for bands spanning across the genre universe, played local festivals and rocked living rooms littered throughout the Pacific Northwest as an ode to the golden age of grunge. In this Soundwaves episode, Sears details life on the road, being his own worst critic and the ups and downs of performing. He describes songwriting as an outlet to harness intense, untapped emotions. “You get your dudes with pent-up anger, and I’m thinking, this is a much healthier way to let it out than by just being an angry dude,” he says.
Sears paints a full picture of Sunfish’s sonic repertoire, from swinging synths to raspy glam rock vocals of a bygone era. The drive behind Sunfish is one that permeates what’s popular to discover an “adrenaline-fueled primal instinct” for Sears. “Playing shows is the most fun part of being a musician, I think anyone would tell you that,” he says.
Check out Sunfish on Instagram at @sunfish.sunfish.sunfish to keep up with their live shows, new releases and upcoming tours. Be sure to head to the SLUG Picnic with a blanket and your favorite canine companion to watch Sunfish perform on July 30 alongside English Budgies and Whisperhawk. Tickets are available here.