Interview with Sunglaciers (Sled Island 2024)

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Sunglaciers at I Love You Coffee Shop on Saturday, June 22 2024.

Calgary based band Sunglaciers delivers a combination of multi genres ranging from Indie rock to icy post punk. CJSW interviewed two of the four band members Evan Resnik and Mathieu Blanchard who are experienced Sled goers. Performing at Sled since 2018 Sunglaciers are definitely not the new kids on the block. Evan and Mathieu were not afraid to acknowledge their appreciation for other acts playing for Sled and discuss what keeps them happy and healthy on their long band tours.

Sunglaciers are performing Saturday June 22 at 9:30 p.m. in the basement of the Palomino.

Special thank you to Take Aim Media for organizing the Sled Island 2024 Interviews, and I Love You Coffee Shop for hosting us.


Emil Duguay: Yeah, so if we could just get started with both your first and last names.

Evan Resnik: Yeah, my name is Evan Resnick,

Mathieu Blanchard: And I’m Matthew Blanchard.

Emil Duguay: Yeah, so if we could just get a bit started here, just tell me a bit about yourselves.

Evan Resnik: eah, we, we play in a band called Sunglaciers. We just put out our third Hey, thanks, Dan, Dan, and I love you. Coffee Shop, wonderful guy. We just put out our third record. It’s called Regular Nature, that came out at the end of March this year. Did a big tour across Canada us, and now we’re back, and we’re here to play Sled Island. 2024.

Mathieu Blanchard: Yeah. That sums it up. That sums it up.  

Emil Duguay: Cool, cool. Um, so yeah, if you could tell me a bit about more how Sun glaciers came to be, and a bit about your music’s taste your Yeah?

Evan Resnik: You want to start? Matt, sure, yeah.

Mathieu Blanchard: So Evan had this project on the go for a year with a couple of guys, and one of them was having twins, and the other just wasn’t really working out. And so Evan started recording a final kind of record with our friend Chris Dadge, and at the same time I was in a couple of bands that were kind of on, you know, going on, you know, a kind of indefinite hiatus at the time. And Chris, Dadge who I had worked with multiple times on records with those bands, kind of linked us up. And, you know, he needed, you know, somebody to to be in his band, and I wanted another band, and so it was a match made in heaven, and we’ve been best friends ever since.

Evan Resnik: I remember the first time Matt came over to the house I was living in to jam. I opened the front door, he’s got a bottle of wine in his hand. I’d never met the guy before, and he’s just like, Can you roll a joint? Let’s go. And I was really intimidated. Is an incredible drummer, and our first couple of jams were absolutely terrible, um, but then we yeah, we locked in, we figured it out, and it’s just been kind of go, go, go ever since. And that was in like 2017 yeah.

Emil Duguay: Yeah So what was the timeline of that? Because, yeah, I saw that you guys got together in about 2017 and so you hadn’t met previously to that?

Mathieu Blanchard: No we hadn’t known each other at all, at all, at all. You know, I had been in the scene. I moved here in like 2012 and had played in a number of bands. Evan was kind of peripherally around, but not fully, fully in it, I guess. And then, you know, through the connection with dad, started becoming, you know, just being out there a bit more, I think, and then, you know, once our path draws, you know, we just started, you know, then sharing a bunch of mutual friends, and then really just becoming, you know, just great buds, and just going out all the time, seeing all the shows, you know, hanging out with all the pals. And we just really formed a community around, around the band. Got a bunch of other cool band members to join us, you know, we got Kyle from dry heave to join us a couple years later, and Nisa, who I played another band with, called polydacty, to join around the same time. There are a couple, they’re married and and, you know, and since then, especially, it’s been, it’s been, you know, just just off to the races, right? Just non stop, just tour after tour, you know, going all the way to the UK, the states, you know, doing some big, big tours in the States with like, you know, six, six weeks, a couple years in a row, us all together. So it’s been, it’s been a whirlwind, and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon.

Emil Duguay: Great. Yeah. So how did you find your sound as a band, and the writing process and all that, especially with this new record that you just put out?

Mathieu Blanchard: Yeah that’s been a work in progress every every time we try to do something different. You know, when I first joined Evan, was doing a lot of, you know, really interesting, you know, kind of math rock, Psych rock, kind of stuff, you know, kind of a mix, a mix of those two, you know, pretty interesting time signatures that on the surface, didn’t sound, you know, challenging or difficult, but then when you actually play the songs, it was like, What the hell is actually going on here? And which led to a few rough jams at the start, because I thought it was all just four, four stuff. And I was like, Oh, shit, this is not that at all. And and then since then, you know, every record, we just get together talk and talk about what else we want to do and how, how we want to do it. And we’re always trying to do something new. So, you know, a couple of EP’s after we met, we kind of, you know, kind of changed chorus and wanted to do something totally different, incorporating way more synths and stuff, and kind of straying away from guitars. That was the record from 2020 and then this last record, kind of bringing guitars back, while keeping a lot of the synth and electronic stuff in there, and trying to really meld everything together in a, in a, hopefully in a fresh way. You know, obviously leaning on on influences here and there Beek being a big influence. You know, beak, the guy from Port, is head and, and, but, you know, just a ton of, you know, ton of stuff. You know, the main influence is always just trying to do something new and not trying. To, you know, fit in a perfect, you know, genre of, you know, Psych rock, or whatever you whatever you will, which is, which is cool in of itself. But we always like to try to meld a few genres together and try to do something that is a little hard to categorize.

Evan Resnik: Yeah, exactly. And I think one of the big moments for me was after, I think after our second EP was out, and Matt really kind of like, wanted to mandate an ethos of, like, let’s get, let’s get heads bobbing. And that’s something that, yeah, writing in weird time signatures, I was always kind of like, trying to maybe trick the audience a little bit, or, you know, make them confused, but but captivated. But when I heard you say that, you know, let’s, let’s, we want bodies to move and heads to move, that kind of got me into more of a four, four mindset. And, you know, I can do my, my weird kind of shit inside of that. But I think that was really like, that was sort of a real shift for us, turning, turning to that mentality.

Mathieu Blanchard: Yeah just putting more limits on on things, instead of just going in there and kind of doing whatever we want, you know, kind of going in there with a framework and then experimenting on that framework and still, kind of, you know, trying to not stick perfectly to any kind of formula, but, but having some limits instead of just going down to the basement and kind of jamming, which, you Know, I find is kind of all often the default for a lot of bands, including, including us. And so, you know, for a couple of records, it was all about short songs. And then, you know, this last one, we kind of, you know, strayed away from that a little bit, but, but still having, you know, and kind of one of the mandates for this record was, you know, just a little bit faster, more fun. The whole point of the last record was just having more fun instead of being, you know, a little more serious and kind of icy.

Emil Duguay: So how do you find the balance between that, like testing the waters and trying to make it more groovy and adding more guitars and synths and what not , but also trying to, like you said, set certain limitations?

Mathieu Blanchard: Yeah, great question. I mean, I think it’s all about, you know that that push and pull constantly, and so, you know, again, going in with sort of an idea, but then trying to still stay creative and open and see what kind of comes out of us naturally. And then try to, you know, reflect on what we just created, and then going back and say, you know, does this fit? Does this not fit? What, what do we like about this and and where can we go? So we like writing a lot of stuff and not everything. Makes on the record, we always cut it, cut a few things to try to keep it a little cohesive. And I think, I think that’s part of it is just, you know, kind of always that, like, like you said, always that push and pull, and it’s fun.

Evan Resnik: Yeah, it’s amazing. What setting some guardrails does for for your creativity. You know, you give yourself some some constraints, an arena to work inside. And once you have those established, really, yeah, things kind of explode. And then anything’s possible. 

Emil Duguay: Its cool, I love that. Moving along here, a little bit more to do with sled Island. I was just wondering, What’s your relationship with Sled Island, and have you done other festivals like it? What’s it been like?

Evan Resnik: Yeah. I mean, Sled yeah holds a special place in my heart, for sure. I was, I was a festival goer long before I was ever playing it. So really feel honored to be, to be selected. You know, as many years in a row as we have been, it’s, it’s it’s absolutely incredible. It’s, it’s a huge thrill. It’s the best week of the year in Calgary for this week in late June every year is, I think, is the best city on Earth. And, yeah, we’ve done, we’ve done our share of other festivals as well, and they’re all you know, for the most part, really, really fun. But I think Sled still knocks it all, knocks them all away, really,

Mathieu Blanchard: Yeah, it’s truly one of the best fests out there. No question, you know, when I first moved here in 2012 and from Halifax, and I was playing in bands in Halifax at that time. And I moved here, you know, kind of end of June for Sled, and the band that I was playing with in Halifax came out here to play Sled and so. And this was my first week here, essentially, and I had never been to Sled before. And I was like, Wow. I made the right call. This is going to be awesome. I came here for school, right? And so, and it really had no good idea of what Calgary was all about. And and I, when I got here, I was like, wow, this is, this is amazing. This is blowing my mind. You know, there’s people from all over, you know, pals from Halifax and Montreal and all over. And I was like, Oh, this is gonna be the best. And then best. And then, you know, a couple weeks later, it’s the Stampede, and I’m just like, What have I done, right? And so Sled gave me like this, this incredible picture of Calgary and and then Stampede did the opposite, but there’s balance there as well. And certainly throughout the year, you know, you can find pockets of sled a little bit everywhere, and the community is there just not as to the forefront of this week, right? So, no, it totally made me fall in love with Calgary, honestly, you know, just biking to all the venues and and, you know, everything seems so mysterious, like looking back now to, you know, those first couple of sleds, everything was so mysterious, right? Walking in these venues and these, you. After parties, these house shows, I was just like, wow. You know, this doesn’t happen anywhere else, right? And, and now that mystery is a little lifted, but, but I still try to, to put myself in those shoes of, like, you know, it’s just really fun to just, you know, run around the city and try to catch, you know, all these bands. And even if you’re just catching 5-10 minutes, and you’re catching the vibe, there’s, there’s, it’s it’s such a unique experience. I love it. Yeah.

Evan Resnik: Yeah. We’re all kids in a candy store this week.

Emil Duguay: So it sounds like you’re both kind of Sled veterans. Since 2012 How many years have Have you gone to Sled or been a part of it?

Evan Resnik: Yeah? I think, yeah. Every, every, every one since, for me, I think 20. I think my first, my first proper Sled, was 2013 the year of the flood. And I was living in lower Mount Royal at the time, and we actually had one of those crazy house shows, you know, one of the only blocks in the neighborhood that had power still. So that was a really, really wild and interesting experience. And yes, since then, been been going every year. I think we first played it in 2018 Yeah, and I don’t think we’ve missed one since. Performing,

Mathieu Blanchard: Even the 2020 that year they had it up the lockout year. Yeah, we made it. We made it happen somehow. So, yeah, you know, I’ll play it forever. If they keep having it and be having us, we’ll be there for sure. It’s that’s the most fun.

Emil Duguay: Yeah, you rough it out, even during the covid years exactly,

Mathieu Blanchard: And even during the flood year. That flood year was maybe one of the favorite ones. It was incredible. I’ve never seen house parties like that in my life. It was truly, truly incredible. Yeah, so fun, but, yeah, it’s been fun ever since, and so fun to just play. But you know, we’ve both played in a bunch of other bands too, and we’ve had Sleds where, you know, we’ve both had to play, you know, multiple sets, multiple days. And those are always super fun and intense as well. And you know, we have a bunch of buds doing that this year, and it’s always fun to see them out there just rushing from one place to another with their gear everywhere, and just, you know, having a good time, but also not having a good time. It’s fun to see.

Evan Resnik: This is the, this is the first year for me, anyway, where, you know, my only show is on the Saturday night. And so I’ve really, it’s really been a lesson in pacing myself through this week and and kind of holding out before, you know, really letting loose. This is a fun test of endurance.

Emil Duguay: Yeah, you don’t want to burn out before your show? No. But have you been able to catch any other acts or any of your friends and other bands that you

Evan Resnik: I’ve been out all night, every night? Yeah, it hasn’t not worked.

Mathieu Blanchard: Yeah, no, tons of great bands. I mean, I saw Corridor on Thursday, and that was by far my favorite set, probably of the year. Honestly, it was, it was that good. It really blew me away. And just tons of great stuff, tons of great stuff at the church, tons of great experimental stuff. You know, I see the Jeff Parker record up there seeing, yeah, exactly. There you go in the poster there, too, yeah. So seeing him, he’s been a huge he was a huge inspiration for both of us. Over the pandemic. We bumped those records non stop at the start of that whole thing. And Malcolm Moon yesterday, Malcolm Moonie a couple days ago, yesterday, yesterday. Yeah, yesterday. No, two days ago, yeah. It’s becoming a blur already. And then, and then tons of our pals, bands, yeah. You know, Bluffing was out there. Who else did we see knitting yesterday? And heaven for real yesterday. We’re great at the Mint showcase. And

Evan Resnik: so I won a Juana Molina last night at the Legion that was so beautiful and amazing. She’s incredible. Caught my old band Rifle County Players at King Eddie last night. They were, they were, they were locked in the crowd. Was awesome. Hey, nice shirt. Our friends, Big Evil Rat from Edmonton caught them the other night. That was awesome. Yeah, just what’s that? And, oh yeah, when saw N Nao  at at Modern Love on Thursday, she’s absolutely incredible as well. Yeah, it’s just, you can’t, you can’t go wrong. You walk into any of these venues at any time and you’re gonna see something of high pedigree,

Emil Duguay: cool, cool. Um, yeah. So I’m kind of wondering now more about what your relationship is like with Calgary as a city. And I know you mentioned to you that you moved here in 2012 but I was just wondering, has Calgary helped contribute to your sound, or what kind of experiences have you had here in Calgary? 

Mathieu Blanchard: No, great question. Yeah, absolutely, yeah. There’s definitely a whole sound here, especially since around that time that when I moved here, Calgary, really seemed to develop their own kind of, you know, art rock, indie rock scene that you don’t have in every city across the country. There’s always a kind of punk and metal scene I find, but that kind of more weirdo rock is often comes and goes and, you know, obviously, with, with women, and with, with Chad Van Gallen, you know that there was a big part of that kind of, you know, early 2010s sound, and it’s, it’s 100% influenced us in different ways, you know, couple of ways. One thing, you know, I think those, the last couple of records, one thing was to not sound like that. You know. That was one influence, but then, you know, at the same time, maybe the next record will be to sound more like that, right, like the the last couple of records we did with Chad, and he was a huge influence. And so, you know, we might try to lean on that kind of sound a little more next or, you know, we’ll see. But I think it’s always about doing something totally different and then maybe doing something similar with a totally different edge or vibe to it, and it’s been just incredibly supportive. I mean, the scene here has been so supportive to us. Everybody’s been so nice from, you know, Dan Northfield at the Pal and Chad, you know, helping us out on these records. You know, Chris dad, you know, recording a bunch of my bands when I first moved here, and then, and then linking us up. And, you know, just doing Bug Incision and creating another weird, weird kind of, you know, outer, you know, experimental kind of scene. There’s kind of just enough in Calgary for for everybody. And, you know, that’s why, for me, it’s made it, you know, I’m not from here. I was planning on coming for a couple years and leaving, and that’s why I’ve been here for 12 years now, is I just can’t leave. It’s especially on days like today. It’s incredible out there. It’s the best. 

Evan Resnik: Yeah, there’s really nothing like it. I mean, I’m I’m from Calgary, born and raised, moved away for a while, and kept kind of dipping my toes back in and eventually moved back here full time in like 2015 and and, yeah, like Matt said, it’s just a super supportive, inclusive, enthusiastic community with a lot of lot of great artists and cool ideas floating around. And of course, having sled here, keeping the whole thing glued together is amazing. And it’s, yeah, it’s a treat to be here.

Mathieu Blanchard: Yeah, I’ve been really impressed with the fact that the scene really hasn’t dipped since I moved here. You know, a lot of cities kind of this size, the scene goes up and down, you know, whereas I find really here, since I’ve been here, it’s been, it’s been nothing but good, you know, there’s, whenever you think it’s, you know, due for a little downturn, a bunch of new kids pop up, you know, especially in the last few years here, you know, post pandemic, I’ve seen so many Great new bands. And I saw dial up a couple of days ago, and, you know, and aragia, and, you know, still depth, who I love. They’re so good, even though they’re in Vancouver now, you know, those are all Calgary people and, and it’s been awesome to see, you know, the weird rock continue, and loud as well, loud and fun, and, you know, intense and great to see the, you know, the younger people carrying the torch. And I don’t see the scene here, you know, going going away anytime soon. It’s awesome.

Emil Duguay: Sounds of you like, you really love it here, and then it’s a good space for your band. Yeah, I was kind of wondering. I found an article that came out earlier this year that said that you guys were on a real health kick. So, yeah, I was wondering if you could give me a bit of an update to that, and just just a bit about behind the scenes of all, all four members of and what you’ve been up to?

Mathieu Blanchard: Yeah that seems to be a talking point that a lot of friends are coming up is I’ve had a lot of discussions about milk in the last few days, which would have been controversial maybe 10 years ago. But I think you’re allowed to say that milk is cool now again, maybe. And so the health kick, it was really born out of necessity from all the touring, you know, especially going on the road with a very, very, very fixed budget, essentially no budget, and sleeping on a lot of floors and basements and random couches, you know, if we kind of go out to the degree that we have been during sled, you know, those tours would not be possible. And so on the road, we’ve just really not been drinking alcohol, instead drinking milk. And the milk is really to cut down on the McDonald’s, is why, you know, tons of protein, tons of fat. And so, you know, that’s really helped us cut down a lot of junk food and a lot of fast food. Fast food, and then just trying to get, you know, go out for runs, go out for workouts when we’re on the road, just because you’re driving for so long, and then playing a bunch of hacky sack, and that, the hacky sack has been the biggest thing that has probably, honestly kept the band together. There was a time when we first started touring, maybe like five years ago. Now, you know, yeah, exactly. You know, there’s a couple of tours that were pretty tough. And even though they were way smaller than the last few, they were, they were difficult. And, you know, there was that, there’s, there was one point in the tour where we showed up at our bass player, Kyle’s mom’s house, and she was moving out. It was in Kelowna, she was moving out, and she found Kyle’s old hacky sack and and, you know, we kind of just went outside to play for a minute, and we ended up playing for like, two hours. And her mom, you know, had invited some friends over, and she came up to us. He was like, guys, you guys got to come in. And, like, I invited all these friends over for you guys to, like, hang out. You guys are just like, playing hacky sack outside. And that was like 2021, and maybe, yeah, yeah. And, and it’s really helped, you know, especially on those long days, to get out of the van and just play hacky sack for like five minutes. It’s such a silly, stupid thing to do, and it puts a smile on all our faces. It makes you laugh, because it’s. Dumb and it’s but it’s fun, and you can actually get a decent workout out of it. And everybody else around us that walks by is also always smiling and laughing and sometimes joining in. And so it’s been a great way to tour the US. Really has been just hacky sacking across the US. So that’s the hacky sack has been the biggest thing that has glued the band together, just because, again, that shared activity, it’s been super fun.

Evan Resnik: Yeah, the hack is real and and it is, like, a, it’s a tension release as well, like, for on the road. And maybe, you know, maybe you’re getting a little short on sleep, maybe a little tight on on tempers and stuff. You get that hack going, and everyone’s laughing and being silly, and it’s loosening up the body. I think maybe what some people don’t realize is that touring is hard on the body. Like even when we’re not drinking, you’re sitting in the van for, you know, seven, eight hours a day, kind of in the same position, and then you’re hauling a bunch of heavy gear, maybe down a bunch of stairs, and staying up till one or two in the morning, and then hauling that stuff back out into the van and finding the place to sleep like it takes its toll, and that’s where, that’s where you know going for runs or working out, or just even if all you have time for is hacky sack, that’s where those things really come in, as like to help, just like, stretch your durability on the road.

Emil Duguay: Yeah, I can imagine it’d be a real tension and stress relief as a as a band, and you’re not just always playing together. You’re traveling together. You’re playing hacky sack together on the road.

Evan Resnik: Four hearts beating as one.

Emil Duguay: Exalted it’s it can be long days, long travel days. So yeah, I can, I can definitely see how it’s a bit of a stress relief. And I like that you’ve been switching out the beers for whey protein and milk.

Mathieu Blanchard: Smoothies, Yeah, lots, lots of smoothies on there. That was a hack this time that we didn’t do the time before. Actually, we found a smoothie place that is kind of somewhat, you know, scattered across the US in places that you wouldn’t like, you know, strip malls outside of the city, which is usually just a McDonald’s and whatever. But we’ve been able to find these smoothie places here and there that really helped us, you know, again, start the day off a lot better than than just, you know the classic McDouble and 10 piece nuggets, and you know the classics. So you know, what you put in your body really matters and and I think that that, you know, this last tour was honestly the best tour by far. And I think we honestly ate even it was, we worked out probably as much as we did before. But this time was really, the diet really changed even more, and I think that that helped the most. And it was, it was super fun note, there was barely that. I don’t think there was any tension, like the whole time, you know, and yeah, and we were down a member who usually is the least tense of all, and so we thought we might be a bit more tense. And it was not the case at all. It was It rocked, yeah.

Emil Duguay: So I’m kind of sounding like other bands should maybe take notes from you guys on how to tour.

Mathieu Blanchard: Yeahhh absolutely. I mean, I don’t think it’s for everyone, but we have converted a lot of people to hacky sack heaven for real. Actually, just did a video where they’re all hacky sacking in the video. And, you know, they made a call out looking for hacky Sackers. And we, I had, we had just been with Brandon, this guy that plays in a bunch of bands in Toronto, and I was like, you guys got to hit up our friend, Brandon, he hacky sacks. And sure enough, Brandon’s in the video. And like, led the whole hack circles, and, like, taught these guys all these tricks and stuff. And anyways, so, so I think, you know, just like baggy pants are back. I think hacky sack might be making a comeback in the next few years. Here, look out

Emil Duguay: Disc Golf, any other, any other hippie sports?

Evan Resnik: just milk, CDs. Hacky sack, baggy pants. That’s it. That’s life now.

Emil Duguay: cool, cool. Yeah, is there anything else that you feel like I should have asked you, or anything you want to touch on or clear up about your band, or anything you can’t find on the internet that you’d like to share? 

Mathieu Blanchard: No, you asked some great questions. I mean, yeah, thanks for thanks for having us. This is awesome. We always like talking to people and stoked to get back to the studio and make some new music. That’s something we haven’t done now for, like, a year, probably a year and a half, maybe even two years. So we can’t wait to, you know, play these next couple of sets we’re playing with, you know, like I said, a bunch of great bands tonight, and then we’re playing this show with Mets here at the end of August, which is going to be awesome. And then I think after that, we’re just going to hit the studio hard and come out with some some new, weird, fresh music as soon as possible.

Emil Duguay: Yeah, I was good. I was going to ask is, is there any future singles or projects coming out or gigs that you want to mention? 

Evan Resnik: Well Matt just kind of kind of summarized it there. Yet it’s tonight with wombo and a bunch of our friends, and then it’s end of August with Mets. And then it’s back to, back to the studio. And I think my favorite part is, like, I don’t even know what we’re gonna do, you know, I think there’s a couple of different avenues we’ve talked about, you know, directions to go in, but it really, yeah, you just kind of wait and see what feels the best. You know, could be a really fast punk record. Could be our our slow, gentle, intimate, devastating one. It could be anything in the middle, or something that I haven’t even thought of yet, and that’s one of the most exciting parts about this project.

Mathieu Blanchard: Yeah, beyond the road. You know, the last couple years, the nicest thing about it, honestly, is just seeing how much amazing bands there are out there and really informing our approach and seeing how many, especially, you know, it’s great to see the young kids out there, but especially to see, you know, people in their later, 30s, 40s, 50s, you know, still rocking hard out there. And there was a bunch of examples of that on this last tour, not a bunch, but maybe three or four. That really inspired me to, you know, to keep pushing and to just keep learning and and keep coming up with, you know, new things to try and new ideas and and to double down on, on that intensity and that that energy. And then this, this week has has made me reflect on that even more, seeing a bunch of people who have been doing it for 20-30, years, and who would look like they’re going to do it till the day they die, honestly. And I love that stuff. Yeah.

Emil Duguay: awesome. Well, looking forward to seeing you play tonight, and thanks for coming down for an interview at I love you coffee shop.

Evan Resnik: Yeah. Thanks so much for having us. Thanks for doing what you do.

Emil Duguay: Thank you.