Sam Bunker and Declan Rodgers are the two friends that make up the core of Sweetmates, an Indie/pop/electro act whose sole purpose in life is to make you dance like a sugar high teen.
With their track ‘I Don’t Dream’ featuring in the Lionsgate movie Nerve, Sweetmates realised they were clearly doing something right. ‘Fever Dreams’, a song from their first EP, received support from The Line of Best Fit, who said:
“the relaxed backing track bringing to mind long, sticky summer evenings, whilst Sam’s soulful vocals hint at a depth to the duo that they haven’t yet fully explored.”
Named after a South East Asian sugar brand with the slogan ‘for the good time’, Sweetmates take that as their mantra, making sure everything they do is aimed at having fun. Taking influences from EDM all the way through to traditional rock, the pair cherry pick the best from everything they hear, mashing it all together in their new single 'Wine Days'.
Producer Declan is open when discussing the duo’s range of influences, saying:
“I’ll find inspiration in people like Tourist, Flume and Flight Facilities, but Sam will be listening to Kurt Vile, Father John Misty, or even a bit of funk and disco. It’s great to be able to straddle the divide between the two in the studio.”
The ‘studio’, more often than not, is Sam’s living room, temporarily filled with recording equipment. It’s at least a step up from their first song ‘Ooze’, which was recorded on a cheap laptop and an Xbox microphone.
In love with the process of creating music, in 2013 the pair decided to avoid going to university and instead moved to southern Laos to write and record music. Amongst the partying and travelling a few tracks were created and performed regularly at local bars, eventually becoming the Doss House collection, the pair’s first collection of songs as a band.
The duo began working on Disco Turd in late 2016, debuting tracks live as they were written. The feedback from these live performances played a huge part in influencing Sweetmates’
music, pushing them to explore poppier melodies and faster tempos.
“I’d see people in the crowd dancing and having a great time to our more upbeat tunes, and it just gave me such a rush.” Enthuses Declan. “When I’m in the studio writing, it’s
that feeling that I have in mind, I just wanna see more of it.”
The live shows have come thick and fast in the past couple of years, both in the pair’s home town of Brighton and further afield. Slots at festivals as diverse as Pangaea in Manchester and Wildlife in Brighton have exposed the duo to a much wider fanbase, but they’d be just as happy playing if nobody was watching:
“Sam’s brother Callum plays live bass for us, and our mate Owen joins on drums, so playing feels more like 4 mates having a laugh than a chore.” Declan explains. “Spending hours on a song in the studio and then finally debuting it live, it’s one of the best feelings there is, I can’t think of anything better.”
Sweetmates aren’t slowing down any time soon, delving deeper into a melting pot of inspirations with one end goal. Making great sounding Disco Turd.
Sweetmates’ new single 'Wine Days', with accompanying B-Side 'Tapes' is available now.