- Tiana Speter
INTERVIEW & PODCAST: Jason Brown & Luke McDonald (SUNK LOTO)
It's been five (x 3) years of silence since metal trailblazers Sunk Loto last stepped foot onstage. Once the poster children, both literally and figuratively, of Australian heavy music, the Gold Coast alternative icons were last seen 15 years ago after a high-octane decade of existence after exploding and shaping the scene back in 1997.
Founded by Luke McDonald on guitar alongside brothers Dane Brown on drums and Jason Brown on vocals, and then joined by Sean Van Gennip on bass, the Sunk Loto journey saw an intrepid band of teenagers ricochet from the underground into prime-time infamy and festival stages, including the hallowed Homebake festival in 1999 armed only with a nu-metal flavoured EP, Social Anxiety.
Releasing their debut full-length not long after via 2000's Big Picture Lies, Sunk Loto scored favour with its eclectic prowess and tracks like Sunken Eyes, while still also signalling that the best was still yet to come. And future greatness was indeed lying in wait, with the band living up to and utterly monstering expectations courtesy of their sophomore follow up album Between Birth and Death. Putting themselves under extreme scrutiny for the 2003 release, the band emerged with an opus classed as one of the best Australian metal albums of all time, while also simultaneously enduring ongoing personal hardships and the ever-growing conjecture that the group were being, as Dom Alessio succinctly put it: "pushed by their label to be the next Silverchair".
Sunk Loto indeed snagged quick and frequent acclaim as they progressed, going on to grace Big Day Out, Livid and Splendour In The Grass festival stages while also touring over the years with the likes of Linkin Park, Korn, A Perfect Circle and countless other titans of the international alternative realms . But while a third album was potentially in the works, the band devastatingly parted ways back in 2007, seemingly never to surface under the Sunk Loto moniker together again, and breaking the hearts of many who had looked to the group for a fresh and formidable gateway to heavier and more ambitious sonic waters.
But, in true unexpected 2022 form, earlier rumblings and speculations from fans following some cryptic online posts earlier in the year ultimately culminated in the stuff Sunk Loto dreams are made of: the confirmation of a Sunk Loto tour, their first in 15 years, and a chance to witness the original lineup together in action once more. With majority of the shows selling out within 24 hours of going on-sale, it's clear that fans are well and truly primed and ready for whatever lies in wait when the tour kicks off next month and beyond. But before Sunk Loto embark upon this new and extremely exciting chapter, Tiana Speter grabbed some time with Jason Brown and Luke McDonald to chat reunions, live music memories and some of their own personal musical gateways.
Grab a listen below!
CATCH LUKE AND JASON ON EPISODE 3, SEASON 2 OF THE SOUNDCHECK'S PODCAST BEHIND THE SOUNDCHECK BELOW, ON SPOTIFY, APPLE PODCASTS OR WHEREVER YOU GET YOUR PODCASTS FROM.
SUNK LOTO'S IMPENDING TOUR KICKS OFF ON FRIDAY 29 JULY ON THE GOLD COAST FOR A SOLD OUT GIG AT MO'S DESERT CLUBHOUSE. AT THE TIME OF PUBLICATION, TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE FOR SATURDAY 30 JULY IN BRISBANE, MORE INFO BELOW.
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BY TIANA SPETER