ON BEAT: The Sunday Alibi
The Sunday Alibi is a band of brothers. Made up of four best friends, drummer Clay London Beck, guitarist Aidan San Diego, bassist Sam Comfort and singer Will Kuzman, the sophomores come together for head-banging, energy-packed performances at some of Nashville’s most valued underground rock venues. The Sunday Alibi uses its friendly edge and willingness to branch away from traditional norms to connect with its audience through a distinguished, alternative pop-rock soundscape. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity. What inspired the band’s sound and how has it developed? Kuzman: We all have a love for funky, kind of, alternative rock music. I think that’s what brought us together, but what’s keeping us together and what has kept us together is our willingness to branch out and try different things because we all listen to a lot of different types of music.
San Diego: For me, I hold myself to a very high degree of “I don’t want to sound like anything else.” But obviously, that’s not going to happen because everything’s already been done. So, making sure what we’re playing feels right with us because, at the end of the day, people can tell if you’re not into it and it’s more powerful if they can tell that you’re really into it.
Comfort: Building off that, I think that good rock music sort of has this authenticity built into it and you can tell when people really mean it and it’s authentic. So, I think, to Will’s point, too, we’re branching out, but the band’s sound is taking the authenticity and rawness of rock and punk music and applying that more broadly to a more eclectic pop-rock sound. What does “The Sunday Alibi” mean? San Diego: It’s whatever the reader wants it to mean, but more particularly, the band name— me and Will, back home, had a little musical project called “Underwater Alibi.” And then when we all met, we kind of wanted to keep the “Alibi” part.
Kuzman: And I think Comfy came up with “The Sunday” part.
San Diego: Because we were practicing on Sundays.
Comfort: It was not born alluding to or referring to any sort of religious connotation, but people have kind of taken that to be that we go to church on Sundays or not go, like, we’re skipping church or something which is interesting. It wasn’t the original intention. What’s something about the future that scares you? Kuzman: The first thing that comes to my mind is how creativity comes and goes. Sometimes I’ll go for months without writing anything and I’ll just kind of waiting for the next wave of creativity to come and then I’ll write a bunch of songs and then I’ll go back down and I won’t have anything. I guess the scariest thing would be if I was in an ebb and couldn’t get out of it.
Comfort: I’m really grateful for the connection and the brotherhood this band has with each other. And it’s definitely a scary thought to picture that being somewhat jeopardized by circumstances that come up in life. And everyone in the band equally doesn’t want that, but some things are out of control, external forces. Does the band have a purpose or theme it's trying to pursue? Kuzman: For me, to be super into it and the band, the majority of it has to be like I like singing these songs, I like the way this sounds. Like, it has to float my boat in order for us to make other’s boat float. But, our main goal is to give people an enjoyable time. And we all love each other, we’re all really good friends and hopefully, that comes across.
Comfort: Hopefully this band, The Sunday Alibi, is maybe a conduit for each of our personal expressions. Like it should be, not only Will’s, but Clay’s highest form of personal expression for him and his voice. And hopefully, if that’s what we’re trying to accomplish, it’ll come across in the music and allow listeners to express themselves more freely as well.
Does the band have any fun fans? Comfort: We have one! Well, hopefully, we have more than one, but we have one in particular we’d like to shout out and it’s Cherrylou. And she’s been with the band from our genesis. She lives in the Philippines—and I’m not exactly sure how she found our social media, but she makes fan art and she puts together cute little collages and she writes in and gives us feedback and is just genuinely supportive. We’re very grateful for Cherrylou. What’s something the band is trying to improve on? Comfort: One thing we do, that we’ve gotten better at recently, is when there is a big crowd and there’s a lot of energy at the show, we generally do well, but it can be hard if the audience if the audience isn’t immediately on our side or there isn’t a big audience to play to, in the past we’ve had a tendency to sort of not put on as great of a show, so we work on trying to bring our fun energy with or without that. And then just our personal crafts— we’re never quite satisfied with our personal performances and it’s great because I don’t need to tell Will, “Hey that thing on this song didn’t go well,” Will already knows. We’re all very self-critical and I appreciate that about us. What are 3-5 quintessential albums to drive the band’s sound? The Sunday Alibi: Kasabian’s “Kasabian,” Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Blood Sugar Sex Magic” and “Dani California,” Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence,” and Queens of Stone Age’s “Songs for the Deaf.”
PHOTO: Courtesy of The Sunday Alibi
This interview was conducted by Emma Halloran