Matt Longpre

Matt Longpre

Sunhawk working for more rockstar moments

May 22 was a pivotal day for the members of Sunhawk. Just two years after forming the band, the three Claremont grads of 2005 waited backstage at Club 9ONE9 while the audience chanted their name.

May 22 was a pivotal day for the members of Sunhawk. Just two years after forming the band, the three Claremont grads of 2005 waited backstage at Club 9ONE9 while the audience chanted their name.

“I did think for a brief second: ‘This is insane,’” said Matt Longpre, sipping a beer on a muggy Thursday afternoon. “That’s the kind of stuff you go home and dream about.”

Sitting beside him in the pub, bandmate Ben Robertson added: “It feels like we’ve lived these rockstar dream moments already.”

After this drink, they’re off to finish shooting a music video that Longpre is editing.The two share lead vocals, bass and guitar duties, while Longpre takes on the keys solo. Despite their collaborative approach (they even share instruments), there’s a clear division between Robertson and Longpre and the third member of Sunhawk. They don’t hesitate to call out bandmate Keenan Murray for being a little too good on the drums.

“A great example of Keenan’s genius is that me and Matty will sometimes be sweating out vocal tracks for hours…whereas Keenan will go into the studio and lay down a track and he’s done in 45 minutes,” Robertson said. “That’s why we love him and hate him. It’s frustrating because he can just go off and be done for the day, while we’re there sweating it out, trying to get our parts down to his drum track that he did flawlessly.”

By day, Robertson works with children and Longpre is a graphic designer. Most of their other hours are spent on the band, song writing, practising and self-producing their electro-pop tunes. But the effort’s worth it. For example, Robertson says Longpre was clearly not a keyboard player, yet he has become one by learning individual parts one at a time until they find the sound they’re looking for. “He’s not dumbing it down at all,” Robertson said “He’s doing some crazy (stuff) up there.”

This is all a part of what they call working smart, not just hard. Instead of topping a string of successful shows since their 2009 debut at Lucky Bar with a potentially expensive tour, Sunhawk has focused its energy on recording an EP (“And So it Was,” now available on iTunes), building an online presence and landing a few key performance dates.

“I saw that they were willing to put in the effort and the talent was there,” said David Bain, founder of production company Surge Ahead.

Bain booked Sunhawk as an opening act in their early days and isn’t surprised by their success.

“They have a business sense. These days it’s not enough just to play in a band, you have to be professional and these guys are professional.”

nnorth@saanichnews.com

Rock of the Woods:

Sunhawk plays the Bamberton music festival with Plants and Animals, Chad Vangaalen, Himalayan Bear and more from Aug. 26-27. Early bird tickets (including camping) are $99. More info at: rockofthewoods.com.

Rifflandia Festival 2011:

Sunhawk also takes the stage at Royal Athletic Park on Sept. 24 during Rifflandia (which features a very long lineup, including Broken Social Scene, Cold War Kids and City and Colour). The festival runs Sept. 22-25 at the park and various venues around town. For full ticket info and schedules, visit 2011.rifflandia.com.

And on Facebook

Like Sunhawk to stay on top of video clips, new music and band updates.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

According to Statistics Canada, new housing starts and value of building permits in Greater Victoria rose in January 2021 compared to January 2020. (Black Press Media File)
New housing starts, value of building permits up in Greater Victoria

Cost of new housing also rising in region, now in excess of $1.15 million for a new detached home

Saanich Fire Department. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating Mackenzie Courchene, a Langford teenager.
MISSING: Mackenzie Courchene last seen in Langford on March 2

West Shore RCMP is asking for the public’s help in locating the Langford teenager

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

Most Read