Few bands have taken indie stardom by storm quite like Brooklyn’s Sunflower Bean. The trio of Nick Kivlen (lead guitar and vocals), Jacob Faber (drums) and Julia Cumming (bass and lead vocals) exploded onto the scene with the critically lauded Human Ceremony(2016, Fat Possum), a compilation of songs the trio wrote while still in their teens.
Their new maturity is apparent on Twentytwo in Blue (2018, Mom + Pop), released this past March. The band takes on a more rock-fueled tone while Cumming, who handles the lion’s share of vocals, comes off like a modern-day Harriet Wheeler but without the acoustic lilt of The Sundays.
I caught up with the band and gave them the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s what they had to say:
1. What is your favorite album?
Julia Cumming: Transformer – Lou Reed
2. What is your least favorite song?
Cumming: Anything by the Chainsmokers.
3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
Cumming: It’s a dream come true. I love being on a team with people I trust and care about, and making art with them. We get to travel the world, and no show we play is the same as any other. Each show has improvisation and is kept super live so that we can create these special moments every night. Creating those moments is the best part of being in a band.
4. What do you hate about being in a band?
Nick Kivlen: There’s nothing we really hate about being in a band but sometimes when you’re on a 4-week tour you really start missing your own bed.
5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?
6. In what city or town do you love to perform?
Jacob Faber: NYC will forever be the best.
7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?
Faber: Not sure of the worst gig but one that stands out is when we played a frat house and fight broke out and everyone went to watch the fight instead of our show.
8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?
Faber: We are lucky enough that we can support ourselves through music, nothing is ever guaranteed, but we work really hard and are able to do it full time.
9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?
Faber: Would love to be a traveling food critic; would hate to be a car salesman.
10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?
Faber: All I know about Omaha is that Nick’s old dog, Casey, was from Omaha and he was a great guy RIP.
Sunflower Bean plays with Public Access T.V. Monday, June 25 at Reverb Lounge, . Showtime is 8 p.m., tickets are $12 Adv./$14 DOS. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.