We all know how inactive and isolating our lives can get after getting snowed in during frigid winters in the region. In the winter of 2008 a group of nine individuals thought of a brilliant way to seek the warmth of sultry tones in their moldy basements, and the band Sunrise Sunset was born.
“Around 2007 we first started talking about putting a band together and we first started to practice and initiated efforts to form the band seriously. In the beginning Ryan, our drummer, had the idea to start a big band, he is the one who assembled all the band members,” said Davis Bonk, who plays bass in the band.
Their performances are different than those of most other mainstream bands. They play one really long set with various parts rather than different shorter songs that stand individually on their own.
“Our gigs are unique as we play a bunch of different parts that go together and we play them without a break from start to end. Our shows don’t have several songs with breaks between them but rather just one long stretch of music that includes many musical changes” said Bonk, explaining the shows.
The band consists of nine band members, including Billy Chesvster (timpani and percussion), Davis Bonk (bass), Hanna Stevens (saxophones), Jared Winmill (trombone), Maren Tunseth (trumpet), Ross Hjelle (trumpet), Ryan Worthley (drums), Tara Baker (violin) and Troy Gion (guitar).
“Initially we had nine members but recently one of our members relocated to Vermont”, said Ryan Worthley, who brought all the band members together.
Sunrise Sunset also toured with the band Tiny Moving Parts where Bonk also plays synthesizers. The bands toured across North Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, Idaho and Washington. Recalling their tour called ‘Toar’, Jared Winmill said, “We had a great time, we all paid for our own expenses but made just enough for gas and repairs to the van we toured on. We made new friends and played with different bands like Utopia Park and Mumfords. We also played at a art studio owned members of Loom, a local band from Salt Lake City, Utah.” With Worthley’s help, the band recorded an E.P. They made about 200 copies. The band members painted the covers themselves using stamps.
Their music is unique and stands out among all the pre-existing genres but when asked, Bonk said, “ I guess we are considered post rock, but our influences include bands like Xiu Xiu, Secret Machines, The Polyphonic Sphree, Explosions in the Sky and Tera Melos. We listen and appreciate a lot of self-produced music by artists who sign up with Indie labels.”
“We have often found ourselves practicing in moldy basements and we use our own PA system and mixers that practically gets the job done. Most of the band members now live at the same house which helps a lot when it comes to practicing or recording new ideas,” said Bonk.
The band members like riding bikes, hanging out with friends and fans, going to parties and other shows around downtown Fargo, and they have built a fan base that seems to increase with each event.